An American who became one of Somalia’s most visible Islamic rebels and was on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorist list with a $5 million bounty on his head was killed Thursday by rivals in the al-Qaida-linked extremist group al-Shabab, militants said.
The killing of Omar Hammami, an Alabama native known for his rap-filled propaganda videos, may discourage other would-be jihadis from the U.S. and elsewhere from traveling to Somalia, terrorism experts said.
Hammami, whose nom de guerre was Abu Mansoor Al-Amriki, or “the American,” was killed in an ambush in southern Somalia after months on the run after falling out with al-Shabab’s top leader, the militants said.
Reports of Hammami’s death have cropped up every few months in Somalia, only for him to resurface. But J.M. Berger, a U.S. terrorism expert who closely follows the inner workings of al-Shabab, said he thinks the current reports are accurate.
The rebels did not present proof immediately of Hammami’s death.
Hammami was highly critical of al-Shabab’s leadership over the past year and freely shared his views in Internet videos and on Twitter, making him a marked man.