Al-Shabab Says Suicide Bomber in Somalia Was American

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The al-Qaeda-linked group says a bomber who carried the attack in Mogadishu was American-born, and released a tape of him calling for jihad in the west.

The attack killed at least 10 people at a base of forces from the African Union, troops posted in Somalia to help government troops hold al-Shabab forces out of the capital city. The Associated Press reported that a site linked to al-Shabab posted what appeared to be a video of the attacker from this weekend's blast urging fellow Muslims to fight:

The website, often used by the al-Shabab militia, said Somali-American bomber Abdisalan Taqabalahullaah had emigrated to the U.S. when he was 2 years old.

It was not possible to verify the claims and the U.S. Embassy was not able to comment. U.S. authorities estimate that at least 20 American passport holders have joined the insurgents in Somalia. At least three of them became suicide bombers. 

The tape mixes American slang with calls for religious warfare, the AP said.

“We have to believe in Allah and die as Muslims ... Brainstorm,” the youth said. “Don’t, don’t just sit around and, you know, be, be be a couch potato and you know, you know, just like, you know, just chill all day, you know. It doesn’t, it doesn’t, it will not benefit you, it will not benefit yourself, or the Muslims.”

The African Union action has helped weaken al-Shabab, as has an incursion of Kenyan troops in the south of Somalia, but group maintains a capability to launch "spectacular attacks like a truck bomb that killed more than 100 people earlier this month, or Saturday’s two-hour attack on the AU base," the AP wrote.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.