American jihadi killed in 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 r

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 travelling 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 following 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 immediately present proof 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.

Somalia has long been an attractive destination for foreign fighters, and al-Shabab counts several hundred foreign fighters among its ranks, including about two dozen Somali-Americans from Minneapolis recruited over 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.

“We always knew the Somalis inside Somalia knew that al-Shabab was bad,” Bihi said. “We were concerned about the Somalis in the diaspora . . . who never really knew the facts on the ground and were always manipulated and misled.”

“So that’s why it’s a victory. They now know exactly what al-Shabab is, as much as the Somalis inside.”

Terrorism expert Clint Watts wrote on his blog, Selectedwisdom.com, that Hammami’s plight “probably soured recruitment pipelines from the West into Somalia.”

Just Posted

Backlog of irregular asylum claims has ballooned to over 28,000

OTTAWA — The backlog of asylum claims from irregular migrants awaiting a… Continue reading

Canada Post asks for halt to international shipments as parcel backlog grows

OTTAWA — Canada Post has asked its international partners to halt mail… Continue reading

Killer wildfire, bar shooting draw Trump to California

WASHINGTON — The killer wildfire in Northern California and the recent country-music… Continue reading

Georgia derailment leads to town’s evacuation

BYROMVILLE, Ga. — A small Georgia town has been evacuated after a… Continue reading

Trump visits as California struggles to locate 1,000 people

PARADISE, Calif. — President Donald Trump heads to Northern California on Saturday… Continue reading

UK leader fights back against critics amid Brexit upheaval

LONDON — British Prime Minister Theresa May fought back against critics of… Continue reading

Workers at Quebec-run liquor stores begin 3-day strike, shutting down most outlets

MONTREAL — A labour dispute that began with stickers on store windows… Continue reading

Trump’s heated rhetoric not in line with U.S. actions: American senators

HALIFAX — Two outspoken U.S. senators — one Republican and one Democrat… Continue reading

B.C. government to bring lower transgender surgery to the province

VANCOUVER — Gwen Haworth says she always knew her gender identity, even… Continue reading

Action needed to reverse Canada’s wildlife decline, conservationists say

MONTREAL — Canada may be known for its wide-open spaces and wildlife,… Continue reading

Vancouver lawyer who prosecuted Khmer Rouge leaders welcomes genocide verdict

OTTAWA — A Vancouver lawyer who helped prosecute two of the Khmer… Continue reading

Trade war between U.S., China shows no sign of abating amid tough talk at APEC

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea — Leaders from the world’s two biggest… Continue reading

Most Read