Al-Amriki pleads for intervention to resolve 'friction' within al-Shabaab

By Majid Ahmed in Mogadishu

October 30, 2012

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Deep divisions are brewing once again within al-Shabaab, Somali analysts say, as another video message was released featuring American-born jihadist Omar Hammami, better known as Abu Mansoor al-Amriki.

  • American-born Islamist fighter Omar Hammami, known as Abu Mansoor al-Amriki, speaks in a YouTube video titled

    American-born Islamist fighter Omar Hammami, known as Abu Mansoor al-Amriki, speaks in a YouTube video titled "An Urgent Message". [File]

  • Hammami speaks during a gathering of senior Islamist officials at a farm in Afgoye district on May 11, 2011. [Mustafa Abdi/AFP]

    Hammami speaks during a gathering of senior Islamist officials at a farm in Afgoye district on May 11, 2011. [Mustafa Abdi/AFP]

In the video released on October 19th titled "An Urgent Message", Hammami said there is "friction" between al-Shabaab's local leaders and foreign fighters. In his three-minute long video message, Hammami called on "the leaders of jihad and virtuous scholars" to intervene and find a fundamental solution to "the bitter situation that currently engulfs the Somali [foreign fighters]".

"We are afraid that this conflict might end soon in the favor of those who do not want the battalions of global jihad to take off from [Somalia] to bother the disbelievers and destroy their interests around the world," Hammami said. "Yet worse, we are worried that the end will have undesirable [consequences, including] injustice, imprisonment and infighting."

"Therefore, [I ask you in the name of] Allah [to come to the aid of] your mujahideen brothers, and to rein in the internal strife before it is too late," he said. "Do not abandon us... "

In a video released in March, Hammami, one of al-Shabaab's chief propagandists, said his life was in danger from fellow al-Shabaab members. Subsequent media outlets reported in April that al-Shabaab executed Hammami, but the group never admitted nor denied the claims.

Since the earlier video and the new release look very similar, it is unclear whether both were recorded at the same time.

Al-Amriki places risky bet to save his life

"Al-Amriki is closely linked to the leaders of al-Qaeda, so the video recording he released was yet another attempt to send a message to al-Qaeda leaders such as Ayman al-Zawahiri and to put pressure on al-Shabaab leaders to save his life," said Abdirahman Mohamud, a political analyst who monitors al-Shabaab.

"Al-Amriki is now betting on al-Qaeda's leadership to intervene in this matter and save his life from his comrades," Mohamud told Sabahi.

But Badrudin Osman, a political analyst from the Somali Centre for Media Consultancy, said it is unlikely that al-Qaeda will intervene in this issue on behalf of Hammami.

"It appears that al-Qaeda is unable to intervene to solve this internal problem that al-Shabaab suffers from because al-Qaeda's leaders are being hunted down and are constantly on the run due to anti-terrorism operations led by the allied forces in Afghanistan," Osman told Sabahi.

Sheikh Hussein Ahmed, a former member of the Islamic Courts Union, said the internal divisions among al-Shabaab leaders have been ongoing since the group joined al-Qaeda.

"Al-Shabaab has never really been united and coherent but was always a group of radicals, extremists, foreign fighters and moderate nationalists," Ahmed told Sabahi. "But divisions have publicly surfaced with more depth and obviousness after the group joined al-Qaeda, which coincided with successive military defeats."

"The al-Qaeda merger, which came at a time when both groups were weakened, was not based on consultations between the top leaders of the group," he said.

He said the merger revealed divisions between al-Shabaab's local leaders and foreign jihadists who want to link the fate of al-Shabaab with that of al-Qaeda. "It is likely that this crisis will lead to the group's demise," Ahmed said.

"Al-Shabaab has been immensely weakened and is now in state of significant decline as it loses large swathes of land that it used to control," he said. "Also, the fact that Hizbul Islam broke away from the radical group has increased al-Shabaab's isolation."

Mass defections from al-Shabaab are also becoming increasingly more common. In late September, more than 200 al-Shabaab fighters surrendered with their weapons to Somali and African Union forces.

Al-Amriki in a state of despair

Abdiwahab Mohamed, political science professor at Green Hope University in Mogadishu, said Hammami's latest video is a desperate step on his part and a sign that the man is living in a state of frustration and despair.

"Although the situation has not yet escalated to an outright war among the different wings of al-Shabaab, al-Amriki's latest call refers to his feelings of concern in regard to his future and that he fears for his life," Mohamed told Sabahi.

"If al-Shabaab starts to eliminate the foreign jihadist leaders such as al-Amriki, who have come to Somalia to support the mujahedeen, this might affect the credibility of the group as seen by al-Qaeda and might deprive al-Shabaab of the financial funding coming from al-Qaeda," he said.

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Reader's Comments

  • abdulaziz
    September 7, 2013 @ 03:35:22PM

    Allah is great.. Al shabab were defeated and the right won , Al shabab go to hell .

  • Faanjay
    August 5, 2013 @ 08:24:00AM

    Dear brothers, you always have to avoid talking about the things that you don't know. If Christians are people who don't believe in the Qur'an, Allah says in the Qur'an that these Jews and Christians will not be satisfied until you follow their traditions. Therefore, a Christian should not contribute to this topic because he knows nothing and will always takes the side of his God who has three selves. And even to my Muslim brothers, who do not have the knowledge of the Qur'an, God says do not talk or issue fatwa on the things which you don't have any knowledge. Also remember differences in the religion haven't started today, but since the times of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). So, first learn the objectives of those groups before judging them. I call upon all Muslims to learn Allah's principles and history, and then have your stand.

  • Umu anfac
    April 19, 2013 @ 12:09:25PM

    I see that as a joke .

  • abuu kataada
    November 30, 2012 @ 11:13:46PM

    we support our fellow Muslims Al-Shabaab. They are Mujaheddin and we support them and we ask them to welcome more Muhajirun (immigrants) in the jihad so that we can attain paradise. And we will not listen to propaganda of any type. infidels you will be defeated and the Quran will reign the world over. Insha'Allah.

  • adan
    November 27, 2012 @ 08:22:20AM

    this is a kind of proprobagda still al shabab are unit and moved for one direction to wards the rulling for holy book(quran) and i hope they can prevail every one against them

  • adan
    November 27, 2012 @ 05:11:38AM

    You are required to be moderators. You always talk of Al-Amriki and that is not good for you. Al-Amriki is a a Moroccan Arab Muslim Do you think you will be honored for talking ill and insulting Al-Amriki and praising Bush and Obama instead? Everyone will put in the same line with his friend in hereafter and that is what you should know.

  • ictimaaad macalin
    November 26, 2012 @ 08:35:24AM

    Al-Shabaab is not based on any knowledge. They originated from Jews and they remain to be Jews.

  • Bin Soud
    November 26, 2012 @ 03:52:10AM

    Muslims are winners if they stick together.

  • amon nyakiba
    November 25, 2012 @ 10:26:12AM

    Come together and shareon thee table nottaking revenges.

  • oira f.n
    November 25, 2012 @ 09:58:47AM

    down to al shabaab

  • kefah ongeri casmir
    November 25, 2012 @ 04:38:47AM

    al_shabaab would not make it ,they are done.GOD bless somalia.

  • okothmbecbe@gmail .com
    November 24, 2012 @ 10:46:42AM

    Knowmater you upto what we want is peers all over the world !!!

  • mimi
    November 23, 2012 @ 06:18:15PM

    As a Muslim I support Al-Shabaab 100 percent. They are fighting so that God's laws which are in the Quran can govern Somalia but the infidels are doing everything to remove that rule. That is why everywhere there is that rule they interfere with it and start causing problems and calling those people terrorists.That is just a way of fighting Islam look at Saddam Hussein look at Iraq they were acting in secret but now they have been exposed. Obama's co-aspirant has a clip where he says that "we are not fighting against terrorism we are fighting against Islam" be aware my Muslim brothers.

  • ibrahim shaban
    November 23, 2012 @ 06:03:53PM

    If its a genuine jihad, i can be ready to die fighting but this way in somalia has been politicised. How can you kill your muslim brother because of resorces and hide in the name of jihad? AUDHU BILL-AHH MINA SHAITWAANU RAJIIM

  • Dolveen Khan
    November 23, 2012 @ 11:15:45AM

    ASSALAMU ALEIKUM I GREETED ALL MUSLIMS HERE . THE ISLAM IS THE BEST RELIGION OF THE WORLD SO LETS SUPPORT THE ISLAM BUT LET NOT SUPPORT THE THE BAD FIGHTERS OF Alshabab or Alqaida in every place of the world. because their fighting is not true it is a fighting for ecconomic resources if you want the reality. well have a nice day all of you.

  • by who
    November 23, 2012 @ 03:10:23AM

    I dont c a dif btn america and al al shabab wot makes u bliv dat america kills in de name of God n al shabab de opp

  • Jumanne M.
    November 22, 2012 @ 04:04:38AM

    Africa we are the one, but the religion leaders [Islamic & Chiristianity], i think, these main cause on religion conflict especialy in Africa. So to solve this, we must recognize that GOD is one who created us, therefore human being originated from the one family.

  • waaniye
    November 20, 2012 @ 12:36:41AM

    May peace be on those who follow the right path. After that, Oh, people we have been created by God and brought to this world to solely worship Him and the only religion in this world that allows you to worship God is Islam, so learn how to say the truth and live by the religion if you are a Muslim and if you are not a Muslim then don't die unless you become a Muslim, God willing.

  • rashid saston
    November 19, 2012 @ 08:24:21AM

    al shabaab they are nonthing just coz the world it has accepted people who are poor to keep dieng but if it will decide the group well be abolished by chidy

  • asiime god
    November 19, 2012 @ 08:22:09AM

    let them be summoned byICC and account for the lives of innocent civilians and peace keepers

  • ann
    November 19, 2012 @ 02:35:10AM

    i will always call the name of the Almighty God of peace and He will never put us in shame. rememeber God is love and since what this terrorists are potraying isnt love, God is not on their side and they will loose big time

  • MOHAMED MAWINDA TAI
    November 18, 2012 @ 05:56:29AM

    ISLAM IS NOT A SATANIC RELIGION YOU ALAA... TELL US THE TRUTH, WHAT IS BEING FOUGHT OVER IN SOMALIA?... HOW MANY GROUPS ARE FIGHTING, AND WHAT ARE THEY FIGHTING FOR... WHAT ARE KENYANS, UGANDANS, BURUNDIANS AND ETHIOPIANS DOING IN SOMALIA? ARE THOSE ALSO MUSLIMS?

  • hussein
    November 17, 2012 @ 11:17:06PM

    The call of that laanatullah HAMMAMI, does not have any logic it's the same as a drowning person who does not fail to be confused

  • owino Toby
    November 16, 2012 @ 08:08:37AM

    Nobody forced Al-amriki 2join Al-shabaab so he shld not be afraid after destroying THEIRNATION

  • abdulrahman
    November 16, 2012 @ 07:11:27AM

    everybdy should rsepect othrs to b respected

  • JOELA
    November 15, 2012 @ 03:08:12AM

    ALMARIK TURN TO jesus the true prince of peace and you will blaim yourself for being late. You are lost for not knowing what to believe. Go to the true GOD. The god of Ibrahim, Isaack and Jacob.

  • MOHAMED MUDEY
    November 15, 2012 @ 01:53:01AM

    Dat wil vivdly shows dat de succez of somali govnment nd wat dis man fears z de brekej of de brutal bond,nothing mo,

  • Albert
    November 14, 2012 @ 10:31:22PM

    To hell with al shabaab. Why should they execute their fellow countrymen in the name of supremacy? Those who rule by sword die by sword.

  • hamid karzay
    November 14, 2012 @ 10:38:13AM

    very good article

  • kamo
    November 13, 2012 @ 12:10:02PM

    Stop the propoganda. Alshabab will be back. Kenya will be soon under control of Alshabab

  • Hussein Abbas
    November 12, 2012 @ 03:41:17PM

    It's a good column and we need to get it everyday if possible

  • ERIC
    November 12, 2012 @ 09:49:26AM

    LUCKY R CITIZENS OF SOMALIA, 4 AL SHABAB WIL NEVER SUCCED.MAY GOD PROTECT THEM.

  • yussuf
    November 12, 2012 @ 04:14:33AM

    great job i salute for you

  • mwenda milton
    November 12, 2012 @ 03:02:04AM

    it seems people are interested

  • jamaal
    November 11, 2012 @ 08:09:53AM

    I Think that mr amriki is an agent so dont disturb his speech dispite his Fugitivnes

  • RUDWAAN
    November 10, 2012 @ 02:46:47AM

    the leaders of alshabab they are the wrong doers

  • mali
    November 9, 2012 @ 03:17:41PM

    When you were killing those innocent citizen of Somalia you took it as funny game and you enjoyed doing it because you were protect by the same people you are now fearing. Show them that you have courage and defend yourself at least you have a weapon but those you killed had nothing.How wicked you have been to innocent people.God be with Somalians

  • leyla
    November 9, 2012 @ 08:04:32AM

    i think should leave the somali pple choose the kind of leaders they want and not him to choose for them. let the somali pple have peace at last........plz.

  • Abdalla
    November 9, 2012 @ 05:57:39AM

    Wrong place dude; blame no one but yourself.

  • alfred
    November 9, 2012 @ 05:00:08AM

    Why r u afraid of dying?i thought you are a jihadhist.go meet your virgins!!!!!

  • luqmaan
    November 9, 2012 @ 01:41:13AM

    the man definately is there to die. that is wherey he left the comfort of america to go to a war zone. he is only worried for the unity of the mujahideen in somalia

  • grace
    November 8, 2012 @ 02:47:12AM

    God told Ishmael that he shall live by the sword and he will be against every man and every man will be against him. No wonder then, Islam lives by the sword, killing even where there are no christians except themselves, they have no peace and do not trust even their own people. why did amariki leave his own country to come and cry foul in another country? is it christians who rule somalia or egypt or libya or tunisia? is it the Jews ruling in Syria or Iran? this is a devilish religion a brainchild of the heart of satan and which does not rule by reason or justice! i will die praying for the Jews and for their Nation.

  • j goa
    November 7, 2012 @ 09:37:04AM

    Such people should never see the light of the day

  • swaleh yusuf
    November 7, 2012 @ 03:39:37AM

    the guy is not afraid but his taking precosion , if indeed is afraid he could not come all the way from america to somalia. he travel becouse he wanted to die. soon he will get his matridom

  • AHMED
    November 6, 2012 @ 03:37:19AM

    Whoever lives with the sword…will die by the sword.

  • ahmed
    November 4, 2012 @ 12:44:02AM

    god save your soul......

  • ali Elmi
    November 3, 2012 @ 09:44:21AM

    Alamriki is worest foreign fighter who is frequently lie the Somali people, he is a killer of many Somali people.therefore he trying to appeal mercy to the Somalians. But,i would like to tell you that the Somalis are already United and will destroy any enemy whatever clour he/or she has

  • kyalo muthengi.
    November 2, 2012 @ 03:52:10AM

    why is he afraid for his life? was those he used to kill were they animals? my prayer is for somalia to have peace and their own government of which to boast of.please let these innocent enjoy the land of their fathers dont cut their lifes by fighting why are you fighting,God is aspirit and he does not need any man help or to fight on his behalf.

  • Hada
    November 1, 2012 @ 04:20:01AM

    You are Al-Shabaab and I pray to God to stop you from harming the nation. God willing, you will soon lose grounds.You are people who abuse Islam and we know ‘that you are an NGO funded by the Jews to misuse the word ‘Jihad’ (holy war). We know everything and the truth will prevail soon, God willing. I pray to God to protect Islam from oppression and the truth will prevail, God willing.

  • maark
    November 1, 2012 @ 02:37:23AM

    live by the sword die by the sword hamami should have known that

  • wam
    October 31, 2012 @ 06:35:07AM

    Let him continue to be afraid because through them elderly people, children and the disabled have got into a lot of problems. They feel no pain or mercy seeing these innocent people suffer. This is not at all a human or civil spirit. If it’s God’s it will stand. What I know is that God has great ability to defend himself according to his power and might and he cannot be defeated or let his people be defeated maybe unless they have sinned and he is disciplining them. The defeat of Al-Shabaab and Al-Qaeda shows that what they are striving for is for individual gain and God is not in it. God is not an oppressor and he cannot cause oppression or affliction without reason.

  • jacob njagi
    October 31, 2012 @ 03:24:15AM

    Evil will not prevail in this world, because God is not evil, God is love and peace.

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