A militant jihadist born in Alabama to a Southern Baptist mother and a Syrian Sunni Muslim immigrant father has reportedly been killed by fellow militants. Time magazine reports that Omar Hammami, known as Al-Ameriki and “the rapping jihadi,” was killed today in Somalia.
The 29-year-old Hammami gained attention because of his American roots and his apparent fondness for the spotlight, which Time says created friction between him and other militants.
Hammami had gone to Somalia "to wage jihad with the group that apparently put him to death," the story reports, adding that he was killed "along with a British citizen of Pakistani descent known as Osama al-Britani, after forming a splinter faction from al-Shabab, the al Qaeda-affiliated militant group that had been hunting him for months, according to Hammami."
The report notes that al-Shabab tweeted last year about Hammami’s “narcissistic pursuit of fame.”
The story reports: "When Shabab fighters closed in on Hammami in the Bay and Bakool area of southern Somalia, the men apparently fell victim to the internecine conflict typical both of radical political groups and of Somalia, which has had no functional central government since 1991. Various clans and neighboring nations still dominate the major cities, while al-Shabab, which translates as The Youth, is confined to the scrubby, sandy countryside where the firefight erupted early Thursday, outside the village of Dinsoor, according to the BBC."
The report adds: "True to form, Hammami had countered earlier reports of his death (including one that claimed he was done in by a U.S. drone) by releasing videos and hip-hop tracks. ‘Just been shot in neck by shabab assassin. not critical yet,’ he tweeted in April. The State Department offered $5 million for information leading to his capture."