US extremist in Somalia battles ex-comrades
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
An American extremist in Somalia is fighting former comrades in the
Al-Qaeda linked Shebab insurgent group, in what he says may be his final
stand, he writes.
Alabama-born Omar Hamami -- better known as
Al-Amriki or "the American" -- once fought alongside the hardline Shebab
in Somalia, but last year fell out with the fighters who now want to
He is also wanted by the US government, who have placed a
$5 million bounty on his head and is listed on the FBI's Most Wanted
"We were forced to fight in self defence and
killed three and wounded others," he wrote in a message on Twitter,
posted late Monday.
"May not find another chance to Tweet but just
remember what we said and what we stood for. God kept me alive to
deliver the message to the ummah (community)."
Hamami, 28, moved
to Somalia in 2006 and began to work for Shebab recruiting young
trainees through his English-language rap songs and videos, but later
split from the main wing of the Shebab.
"They raided our houses
and took our stuff, and said they found condoms, alcohol, and
documents," he added, writing from an undisclosed location in Somalia.
"Their goal is to kill us regardless of reason."
Last week he
claimed a Shebab gunmen tried to assassinate him while he was drinking
tea in a cafe, posting a photograph of himself dripping with blood from
where he said the pistol bullet grazed his throat.
"They are sending forces from multiple directions," he wrote last week. "We are few but might get back up."
in 1984 to a Syrian Muslim father and a white Protestant mother, Hamami
was raised as a Christian but began to feel estranged from his
upbringing as teenager before moving to Somalia.
"'I'm on a
mission from God', minus the blues music", he wrote last week, an
apparent reference to the 1980 Blues Brothers film, an American musical