18 March 2012

Dissent in Al-Shabaab Ropes American into Intrigue

An odd YouTube video shows an American-born terroristclaiming he's a target by the group he joined for the Jihad.

It seems that all is not well within Al-Shabaab, the Somali extremist group allied to al Qaeda. A short video was posted online Friday in which its best known propagandist, an American citizen from Alabama, said he believes that others in the group might attempt to assassinate him.

In the video, lasting just over a minute, Abu Mansour al-Amriki sat with a black banner behind him and a rifle leaning against a wall. In English and Arabic he says: "I record this message today because I feel that my life may be endangered by Harakat Shabaab al-Mujahideen due to some differences that occurred between us regarding matters of the sharia and matters of strategy."

He did not go into details and it's not known when the message was recorded.

Al-Amriki, whose real name is Omar Hammami, has become famous in jihadist circles for videos posted to YouTube and other social media encouraging fellow Americans to join Al-Shabaab. He is also seen in videos as a field commander, often shown leading fighters.

Ben Venzke of the terrorist monitoring group IntelCenter described the video as "unprecedented in recent history for a member of a major terrorist group to release a video fearing for his life from the very group he joined."

The English-language part of the video starts around 42 seconds in.

By: Brant

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