An American-born militant who joined forces with an Islamist terror group in Somalia is reportedly dead, after possibly being killed by his former comrades. There is no confirmed evidence of Omar Hammami's death and there have been previous false reports of his death, but experts say they believe that these latest claims are accurate, especially after the Alabama-born jihadist's predictions of his own demise.
Hammami, who is on the FBI's list of most wanted terrorists, was indicted in the United States in 2007 for providing "material support" to terrorists as far back as 2006. He was also accused of fleeing the United States to join up with al-Shabab, the anti-government terrorist group that has been wreaking havoc in Somalia for several years. However, Hammami apparently had a falling out with al-Shabaab's leadership, who he accused of leading extravagant lifestyles while turning increasingly hostile to foreigners in their ranks. He also criticized them for being unconcerned with larger jihadi goals outside of Somalia. Hammami was reportedly ambushed by fighters connected to al-Shabab's top leader, who ordered his death. A British-born jihadist ally was also killed in the same attack.
Born in Alabama in 1984 to a Syrian father and American mother, Hammami was perhaps the most well-known U.S. citizen still fighting on behalf of Islamic terror groups. He became famous for posting on Twitter and YouTube, including videos that earned him the nickname "the rapping jihadi." Earlier this year, he posted videos expressing fears for his life, believing that al-Shabab would attempt to kill him—and it seems those fears came true. Back in April, Hammami claimed that he was shot in the neck, posting a photo of his wounds on Twitter and saying they were the work of an assassin. It's doubtful, however, that the Somali militants will collect the $5 million placed on Hammami's head by the FBI.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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