American jihadi slain in Somalia by rivals


Associated Press

MOGADISHU, Somalia

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.

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