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American jihadi faces Somali death threat

By Jason Straziuso

Associated Press

Published: Friday, Jan. 18 2013 10:24 p.m. MST

American-born Islamist Omar Hammami has engaged in a public fight with the militant group al-Shabab over nearly the last year.

Associated Press

JOHANNESBURG — An Alabama native who moved to Somalia to wage jihad alongside al-Shabab militants faces a Saturday deadline to surrender to the insurgents or be killed, according to his Internet posting.

Omar Hammami — whom the FBI named as one of its most-wanted terrorists in November — has engaged in a public fight with al-Shabab over the last year, and a Twitter account that terrorism analysts believe is run by Hammami or his associates announced Jan. 4 that al-Shabab fighters had given him 15 days to surrender, or else.

"Shabab make (an) announcement in front of amriki: drop ur weapon b4 15 days or be killed. Its on," the tweet from the Twitter handle (at)abumamerican said. Hammami's nom de guerre is Abu Mansoor Al-Amriki, or "the American."

The killing of an American foreign fighter would likely harm al-Shabab's efforts to recruit Westerners, but Hammami has felt in danger for many months. Hammami first expressed fear for his life in an extraordinary web video last March that publicized his rift with the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab.

Hammami has since leveled a myriad of accusations at the group — corruption, murder, ignoring global jihad — and analysts agree the American has become an al-Shabab PR problem.

— Associated Press

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