American militant in Somalia releases martyr's rap - FoxNews.com
update on American Al-Shabaab Jihadi Released NEW Rap-Songs
Six weeks ago there were claims he was dead. Now an American jihadist climbing the ranks in Somalia's deadliest militant group appears to have resurfaced.And he's released two new rap videos to prove it.
In the videos, posted on a jihadist website this weekend, the Alabama-born Omar Hammami raps that he wants to die a martyr. Scroll down to hear the rap Still alive: Omar Hammami from Alabama who joined Somalia's most dangerous militant group has released two new rap songs on the Internet In two songs entitled 'Send me a cruise (missile)' and 'Make jihad with me', he taunts the West in a toneless drone and calls on other young Americans like him to rise up and join the jihad. Hammami, who grew up in the middle-class town of Daphne, Alabama, is the most high-profile American member of the Al Qaeda-linked Al Shabbab. He joined the militant group in 2007, when he was in his early 20s, taking on the nom de guerre Abu Mansur al Amriki, or 'the American'. In late February it was rumoured that he had been killed in heavy fighting in Mogadishu. Last month Somalia's defence minister told The Associated Press that intelligence reports indicated that Hammami may have been killed during the anti-insurgent offensive. But the minister said the reports weren't confirmed. U.S. intelligence still suspected that Hammami was alive.
The new videos seem to prove it. In them, however, he appears to yearn for death. 'There's nothing as sweet as the taste of a tank shell,' he says in one song, according to a transcription by the website The Long War Journal. 'It was a beautiful day, when that predator paradise missile sent me on my way.'Martydom: An Al Shabab militant killed in fighting last month. There were rumours Hammami had been killed in late February - but he has now released two new rap videos that appear to prove he is aliveEnlarge Joining the jihad: Al Shabab militants outside Mogadishu (file photo). Omar Hammami, an American born in Alabama, has joined the jihadist organisationThere are scant details about what made Hammami go from being a gifted student, president of his Sophomore class who dated the most sought after girl in school, to a key figure in one of the world's most ruthless Islamist insurgencies.He was brought up as a southern Baptist who went to Bible camp and sang 'Away in a Manger' at Christmas time.His mother was a typical Southern Belle with a distinct Alabama accent and taught at an elementary school.His father came to America from Syria and became an engineer though was said to keep a strict household.Hammami's upbringing was immersed in American culture yet still remained culturally Muslim, shoes were left at the door, Koranic inscriptions decorated the walls, pork was forbidden.As a teenager, his passions fluctuated between Shakespeare and Kurt Cobain, soccer and Nintendo. He had dreams of being a surgeon. Friends in his class said he was a natural leader and compared him to the main character in Ferris Bueller's Day Off.His best friend from school told the New York Times: 'It felt cool just to be with him. He was fun to be around. You knew he was going to be a leader.'A decade later that hasn't changed, but he is a leader in a way no one would ever imagine.
More...Yemen president scraps offer to step down as Islamic militants take advantage of unrest to seize towns Saudi national accused of plotting to bomb George W Bush's home pleads not guilty According to the New York Times it was a trip to Damascus the summer before his sophomore year would make a lasting impression on him. He loved the order of things: how his aunts waited on him, how his male cousins shared a 'cohesiveness of brotherhood'. In photos of the trip, Hammami had traded in his khakis and polo shirts for a long cotton tunic and a prayer cap. A family video shows him bowing to Mecca in prayer one evening.
WHO IS AL-SHABAB?Al-Shabab, which means 'the youth' in Arabic, emerged when the Islamic Courts Union fractured. A militant Islamist group from Somalia, it became known as the armed wing of ICU.
Forced out of the capital in 2006 after the arrival of the African Union peacekeeping troops, it refused to recognise the American backed government and vowed to fight it.Al-Shabab has launched regular attacks ever since, killing thousands. Its stated aim is to overthrow the government and impose its strict version of Islam. It has also, according to Jon Lee Anderson in The New Yorker, 'declared war on the U.N. and on Western non-governmental organizations', and killed 42 relief workers in 2008 and 2009.Al-Shabab has claimed overt affiliation with Al Qaeda since 2007, and is on a State Department list of terrorist organizations. The Washington Post reported that the group sometimes snatches its recruits, often very young, and forces them to fight. It 'has taken over both of Mogadishu's stadiums,' the paper reports, 'to train recruits, most of whom are younger than 17.'They have very medieval practices including beheading their political enemies, chopping off the hands of thieves and stoning women accused of adultery.With help from Al Qaeda, they have managed to turn Somalia into an ever more popular destination for jihadis from around the world. When he got back to Alabama, he was said to be torn between his Christianity and Islam.
According to the New York Times, one night before he went to sleep, he turned to God for guidance. He later wrote to his sister: 'Slowly I started to incline toward Islam, and my heart became tranquil.'He later tried to convert people in his school to Islam, strolled around campus in a red turban and long robe and would defend Osama bin Laden any time he was brought up in class.When 9/11 happened, he became the go to guy for local reporters, according to the New York Times.But he preached to other students with authority and magnetism, making them question their own Christian beliefs and soon had a sort of cult following. It was just the beginning for Hammami.According to government officials, in the four years since he made his way to Somalia, his ascent into the Shabab’s leadership has put him in a class of his own.While other American terror suspects have drawn greater publicity, Hammami exercises a more powerful role, commanding guerilla forces in the field, organizing attacks and plotting strategy with Qaeda operatives.A senior American law-enforcement official told the New York Times last year: 'To have an American citizen that has risen to this kind of rank in a terrorist organisation - we have not seen this before.'Bill Roggio, the managing editor of The Long War Journal, said the lyrics have two aims.One is to appeal to rebellious Western Muslims who might be recruited into militant groups. The other is to dispel reports of Hammami's death.'Hammami is stressing an often-repeated theme in jihadist circles: that dying while waging jihad is both noble and desired,' Mr Roggio said.Hammami has starred in previous jihadist videos that showed him rapping and running with gun-wielding fighters.He puts a contemporary spin on the Jihad's medieval practices. The rebels are known for beheading political enemies, chopping off the hands of thieves and stoning women accused of adultery.With help from Al Qaeda, they have managed to turn Somalia into an ever more popular destination for jihadis from around the world.Hammami was indicted in the U.S. for his role in Al Shabab in August. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said then that Hammami 'has assumed an operational role in that organisation.'Last year in emails he wrote on an internet forum, he said they would obey all the commands given to them by Bin Laden and confirmed that 'America was an obvious target' for them.Hear part of Hammami's song here