The most famous living American-born Islamic militant, who earned the nickname “The Rapping Jihadi” by spreading his radical message in music videos posted on YouTube, is reportedly no longer living as of yesterday. He was allegedly killed in an attack by his own al-Qaeda-linked colleagues in Somalia.
His death has not yet been confirmed and he has been wrongly reported dead before.
Omar Hammami (pictured), a native of Daphne, Ala., was, or maybe is still 29 years old. His mother is American, his father, Syrian. He was indicted in 2007 for giving “material support” to terrorists.
Specifically, he left the United States to join a Somalia-based offshoot of al-Qaeda known as al-Shabab which opposes the Somali government and has been a source of violence and chaos in the country for several years.
Recent reports indicated that the leadership of al-Shabab had turned against non-Somalis in its ranks. At the same time, Hammami became critical of the leaders’ outsized lifestyles, which he felt to be inconsistent with the goals of jihad.
The operator of the terrorism-monitoring web site Intelwire.com, J.M. Berger, "rates the reports of Hammami's death and subsequent media reporting as highly credible," his site says, "making it nearly certain that Hammami's long strange path had come to an end."
Someone identifying himself as “Sheik Abu Mohammed” and claiming to be a member of al-Shabab told the Associated Press that he knows the people who killed Hammami and a mysterious British-born radical known only as Osama al-Britani, reported to be of Pakistani background. Abu Mohammed said that both militants are now dead.
Acquaintances of Hammami say he became radicalized during a visit to his father’s home country of Syria as a teenager.
The Alabama native was on the FBI’s “Most Wanted Terrorists” list and the U.S. State Department had issues a $5 million reward for information leading to his capture and conviction.
View one of the possibly late Hammami’s YouTube raps in the video below.
SOURCES: The Atlantic, BBC News, Associated Press, YouTube, Intelwire