Hammami has been a thorn in the side of al-Shabab after accusing the group's leaders of living extravagant lifestyles with the taxes fighters collect from Somali residents. Another Hammami grievance is that the Somali militant leaders sideline foreign militants inside al-Shabab and are concerned only about fighting in Somalia, not globally. Hammami's Friday comment about a civil war could refer to violence between those two groups.
Al-Shabab slapped Hammami publicly in a December Internet statement, saying his video releases are the result of personal grievances that stem from a "narcissistic pursuit of fame." The statement said al-Shabab was morally obligated to stamp out his "obstinacy."
Hammami has enemies on all sides. The U.S. named Hammami to its Most Wanted terrorist list in March and is offering a $5 million reward for information leading to his capture. Al-Shabab fighters are not eligible for the reward.
Along with Adam Gadahn in Pakistan — a former Osama bin Laden spokesman — Hammami is one of the two most notorious Americans in jihad groups. He grew up in Daphne, Alabama, a bedroom community of 20,000 outside Mobile. He is the son of a Christian mother and a Syrian-born Muslim father.
Hammami regularly chats on Twitter with a group of American terrorism experts, conversations that are so colloquial and so infused with Americana that many in the counter-terror field have formed a type of digital bond with Hammami.
One of the FBI’s most wanted terrorists reportedly shot in the neck in Somalia