American Traitor Claims Shabaab Trying to Kill Him Foreign Fighters Being Arrested, Killed by al Shabaab? al-Shabaab Responds in Press Release(UPDATED:BUMPED)
NAIROBI, March 17 (Reuters) - An influential American fighter for Somalia's al Shabaab rebels, who has in the past urged Western-based Muslims to join the group, has dismayedradical Islamists by saying his life is under threat from fellow guerrillas due to internal disputes.Experts on Somalia said the video by Omar Hammami suggested splits over ideology and strategy were weakening al Shabaab,which joined al Qaeda in February and is fighting to topple Somalia's weak interim government.Such a public disavowal by a serving member of an al Qaeda aligned militant organisation is highly unusual, and will beseen as a significant public relations setback for the movement. In a video uploaded on Friday, Hammami, who goes by the name..more
|US-born al-Shabab fighter 'fears for life'|
American Islamist fighter says in online video he may be in danger from fellow extremists over "Sharia...and strategy".A US-born Islamist fighter viewed as a key foreign leader within Somalia's al-Shabab group has said he fears his life is now in danger from fellow extremists.
Omar Hamami, better known as Abu Mansoor al-Amriki, gave the warning in an undated video posted on several Somali websites and YouTube on Saturday.
The bearded Amriki, dressed in a black robe and with a checked scarf, posed in front of the al-Shabab's black flag and beside an automatic rifle in the minute-long video, but did not provide a location.
He provided no further details about the threats or differences with other al-Shabab commanders.
The video adds weight to reports of growing divisions within the al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab, who face pressure on three fronts by regional and pro-government forces. Al-Shabab aims to depose the weak, US-backed Transitional Federal Government in Somalia and impose Islamic law.
Amriki had previously been seen as a key leader for foreign fighters in al-Shabab, alongside top Somali commanders Muktar Robow and Sheikh Hasan Dahir Aweys.
Some suggest Somali al-Shabab fighters view the foreign gunmen as a liability, even as potential spies, while missile strikes have targeted the foreign extremists.
However, al-Shabab spokesmen dismissed Amriki's concerns in messages posted Saturday on internet website Twitter.
"We assure our Muslim brothers that Al-Amriki is not endangered by the mujahideen, and our brother still enjoys all the privileges of brotherhood," they wrote.
"A formal investigation is just underway and HSM [Shabab] is still attempting to verify the authenticity as well as the motivations behind the video," the post added.
Alabama-born Amriki, who has reportedly been based in restive Somalia since late 2006 and is wanted by the United States on terrorism charges, has issued previous videos calling for foreign recruits, including singing rap songs praising jihad.
The Royal United Services Institution, a security think-tank, estimates that there are around 200 foreign fighters in the ranks of al-Shabab. African Union military commanders have said they have reports some are fleeing Somalia for Yemen.
Al-Shabab last month lost control of their strategic base of Baidoa to Ethiopian troops and pro-government Somali forces, the second major loss for the rebels in six months after the majority pulled out of the capital Mogadishu.
However, experts warn that al-Shabab fighters are far from defeated and remain a major threat, especially now they have switched to guerrilla tactics in many areas after leaving fixed fighting positions.
Omar Hamami, better known as Abu Mansoor al-Amriki, Farewell.... Goodbye....