The father of American-born Islamic extremist Omar Hamami, reported
slain in Somalia, tells FoxNews.com that he has not heard official word
on his son's death.
Friday, September 13, 2013
"We have not heard anything other then what we have seen on the
Internet," Shafik Hamami said from his home in Alabama on Thursday.
Reports suggest that Hamami -- better known as Abu Mansoor Al-Amriki
or "the American" -- was killed Thursday in a shootout with Al
Qaeda-linked Shebab militants, former comrades he had fallen out with,
Hamami was one of the most prominent foreigners fighting in Somalia,
and the U.S. State Department had offered a $5 million bounty for his
"There was a gun battle between Amriki and his men and other
fighters, the reports are that Amriki is among those killed," said
Moalim Ali, a resident in Bardhere district.
of Hammami's death have cropped up every few months in Somalia, only
for him to resurface a short while later. But J.M. Berger, a U.S.
terrorism expert who closely follows the inner workings of al-Shabab,
said he thinks the current death reports are accurate.
The rebels did not immediately present proof of Hammami's death.
was highly critical of Shabab's leadership over the past year and
freely shared his views in Internet videos and on Twitter, apparently
making him a marked man.
has been an attractive destination for foreign fighters, and about two
dozen Somali-Americans from Minneapolis have joining al-Shabab in the
past several years. Hammami's death will hurt the group's recruitment
efforts, said Abdirizak Bihi, an advocate for the Somali community in
Minnesota and the uncle of a young man killed in Somalia in 2008.
with Adam Gadahn in Pakistan — a former Usama bin Laden spokesman — the
29-year-old Hammami was one of the two most notorious Americans in
jihadi groups. He grew up in Daphne, a community of 20,000 outside
Mobile, the son of a Christian mother and a Syrian-born Muslim father.
YouTube videos that featured him rapping and his presence on Twitter
made him one of the most recognizable and studied U.S. foreign fighters.
The FBI put Hammami on its Most Wanted Terrorist list in 2012 and
offered a $5 million reward in March for information leading to his
U.S. prosecutors had charged Hammami with providing material support to terrorists.