News / Africa

American al-Shabab Member Buried, Witness Says

Omar Shafik Hammami, alias Abu Mansour al-Amriki, a U.S. citizen and former resident of Alabama, is seen in an undated FBI handout photo.Omar Shafik Hammami, alias Abu Mansour al-Amriki, a U.S. citizen and former resident of Alabama, is seen in an undated FBI handout photo.
x
Omar Shafik Hammami, alias Abu Mansour al-Amriki, a U.S. citizen and former resident of Alabama, is seen in an undated FBI handout photo.
Omar Shafik Hammami, alias Abu Mansour al-Amriki, a U.S. citizen and former resident of Alabama, is seen in an undated FBI handout photo.
VOA News
A witness says the American Islamist militant reportedly killed in Somalia this week has been buried.

A resident of Bardhere, a town in southwest Somalia, said in an interview with VOA's Somali Service that the bodies of Omar Hammami and three others were brought to the town Thursday morning.

The resident, speaking on condition of anonymity, says the bodies were buried Thursday night in an unknown location on the outskirts of the town. 

Former militants told VOA that fighters with militant group al-Shabab killed Hammami and at least two others Thursday morning at a forest hideout 20 kilometers from Bardhere.

Hammami, also known as Abu Mansoor al-Amriki, had recently broken ties with al-Shabab, several years after traveling to Somalia to fight with the group.

The U.S. government has charged Hammami with providing material support to al-Shabab and offered up to $5 million for information leading to his capture.

The State Department said Thursday that it is trying to learn more about Hammami's fate.

"We've seen the reports that he was killed in Somalia, we're working to verify them right now," said State Department spokesperson Marie Harf. "As many of you know, in 2006 Omar Hammami moved to Somalia with the intent to join al-Shabab. He's alleged to have made significant contributions to this terrorist organization's media and military activities."

The Bardhere resident who spoke to VOA said there were unmanned drones flying over the town Friday morning.

The FBI says that in 2007, after Ethiopian forces invaded Somalia, Hammami joined the front lines as a fighter and eventually became a leader in al-Shabab.   He also served as a propagandist for the group, helping to recruit English-speaking youth through writings, rap songs, and televised statements.

In an interview with VOA nine days before his death, Hammami said al-Shabab was trying to kill him.  He was also critical of al-Shabab leader Moktar Abu Zubayr, who he said cared only about seizing power in Somalia.

On Thursday, Hammami's father Shafik Hammami seemed forgiving of his son but had harsh words for al-Shabab.

"My own judgement is that he had good intentions to fulfill his Islamic principles but was deceived by the al-Shabab and their murderous ways," he said.

The father said he had spoken to U.S. authorities about his son but had not had contact with Hammami since he left for Somalia.

You May Like

Asian Stocks Plunge on Weak Factory Activity

Official survey finds China’s manufacturing sector contracted at its fastest pace in three years More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs