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Offline mayya

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The Last Tweets From An American Jihadist In Somalia
« on: September 22, 2013, 23:41:54 PM »
The Last Tweets From An American Jihadist In Somalia

by NPR Staff
September 22, 2013 7:37 AM



In this 2011 photo, American-born Islamist militant Omar Hammami, left, sits with al-Shabab deputy leader Sheikh Mukhtar Abu Mansur Robow during a press conference in Somalia.



Omar Hammami grew up in the small of town of Daphne, Ala., but ended up in southern Somalia on the FBI's Most Wanted Terrorist list. Last week, Hammami was reportedly killed by members of al-Shabab, the al-Qaida-linked militant group, after a falling out with its leadership.

He was known for rapping in an al-Shabab propaganda video and was the subject of an extensive profile in The New York Times Magazine. He also went by the name of Abu Mansoor Al-Amriki, or "the American."

The story of how a young, charismatic kid from Alabama became a self-described terrorist has fascinated many people, including counterterrorism expert J.M. Berger, author of Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam.

Berger struck up a relationship with Hammami on Twitter, and wrote about it for Foreign Policy in a piece called "Omar and Me: My Strange, Frustrating Relationship with An American Terrorist." Weekend Edition Sunday's Rachel Martin talked to Berger about Hammami's death and their "strange kind of camaraderie."

Interview Highlights

On Hammami's conversion to Islam

Omar was a very popular young man. He grew up in Daphne, Alab. His father was a Syrian Muslim who was not very observant at the time that he was born, and his mother was a Christian of Irish descent. And basically he grew up in a fairly secular, Christian-leaning kind of environment and took an interest in his father's religion as he started to get older. He went from being a very popular kid — he had been class president and he was very bright, and very socially adept. And he went from that to being kind of an outcast, as he became very serious about Islam.

The more he got into it, he sort of approached it with the zealousness of a convert. Over the course of time, he drifted into a more and more militant reading of the religion and began to associate with people who had more militant readings. There wasn't any one dramatic moment for him where he suddenly became radical; it was more of a steady trip from being an enthusiastic convert to the religion to being somebody who felt that he had to take part in the idea of jihad as he understood it.

Getting to know Hammami through Twitter

It was a pretty interesting process, getting to know his personality ... He was bright, and he was funny. We often don't give our enemies credit for being as human as they are. Certainly, there are jihadis and terrorists who have a sense of humor — sometimes a pretty dark one. Omar's sense of humor was unusual; it was goofy. He would make strange references to pop culture and he could be very childlike in one moment and childish in the next. And above all, he was just very much committed to the cause that he believed in, but also very enamored of his own role in events.

On why they talked

Having ongoing information about him was interesting to me professionally. Beyond that, when I started engaging with him in public, one thing that happened pretty quickly is we would get into sparring matches over his ideology — over the use of violence, over the use of terrorism as a tactic, over the goals of the movement and his perception of what the West wanted. And a lot of those exchanges I took part in part because I thought that this was an interesting place to go, in terms of countering violent extremism.

There's been a move in recent years from just fighting terrorism as a violent tactic, to, sort of, trying to get at the extremism — the beliefs — that underlie it. So, to some extent, there was an appeal to doing that, and doing it in public had a lot of side benefits.

In private conversations ... I started it because I had a professional interest and it became kind of routine. We often talk about the ways that social media is transforming the world and transforming extremism, and I think this is really a strong example. [It just became] part of my daily routine to check in with Omar, to check in with a terrorist with a professed love of al-Qaida in Somalia on the other side of the world.

His reaction to Hammami's death

Omar's situation in many ways was so self-inflicted that it was hard for me to sympathize with him properly. But I felt bad, because I was talking to somebody who was going to die eventually in the middle of one of our conversations, which is ultimately kind of what happened. And it's hard. When you talk to somebody on a routine basis, day after day, over the course of months, you develop a sense of them as a human being and not just as a subject of study.

So, you know, I felt bad for him. I was not sympathetic to the situation he had gotten himself into, but I thought that there was some value to be had in encouraging him to try and seek a deal. I would have liked to see the government aggressively offer him a deal, because we don't really have a mechanism for people to leave al-Qaida. If you join al-Qaida, you're kind of screwed for life, because you sign up and you can't come home again, basically, without facing the prospect of life in prison and being compelled to turn in all of your friends. We have no exit strategies for a guy like Omar, and I would like to see us put some attention into something like that.

Their last exchange

About a week before he died, he ... put out one last tweet on his public "Abu M American" account, in which he just commented that he was still a terrorist, despite breaking with al-Shabab.

So, I contacted him privately ... and I asked him why: 'You've just said that you've broken with al-Shabab, you've broken with al-Qaida. Why insist on still being a terrorist? What meaning does that have for you? What does that accomplish for you that does any good?' And he deflected that. We talked a little bit. He said that he expected an attack soon, and that his martyrdom might be near. I asked him the question about why he called himself a terrorist again, and never responded to that. So, that was where we left it.

Reacting to his death

It's very difficult to find the right words for it. I think his death was a terrible waste of a young life ... I can't really say we were friends, because I don't spy on my friends in my spare time and I don't send information about my friends to the government, which, while I treated our conversations as being privileged, any other information I got on Omar through these other methods, I would share from time to time.

If he had been a real friend to me, and me to him, I would have told him to run. I would not have insisted that he turn himself in. I would have just said "Run." And I didn't say that, because I was afraid if he ran and escaped and started up somewhere else, that it would end in him taking part in a serious act of terrorism that would be difficult to live with. At the same time, though, our interactions were not nothing. He was a strange guy and there was a strange kind of camaraderie that we developed. So, it's a little strange to think that I won't be trading snarky tweets with him again.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/codeswitch/2013/09/22/224491508/the-last-tweets-from-an-american-jihadist-in-somalia
« Last Edit: September 23, 2013, 00:03:00 AM by mayya »

Offline mayya

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Re: The Last Tweets From An American Jihadist In Somalia
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2013, 00:47:11 AM »
abu m
@abumamerican

Mujaahid in Somaalia, See new pic of al-Amriiki:
http://t.co/IkVdNYcWLV
Somalia · http://www.youtube.com/user/somalimuhajirwarrior



Tweets
abu m @abumamerican 15 Sep

We confirm the martyrdom of Omar Hammami in the morning of Thur 12 2013. Shafik's family please accept our codolences.
Öffnen
abu m @abumamerican 6 Sep

Regardless of the fact that voa decided to turn a 30 min interview into 2 words, i'm still a terrorist
Öffnen
abu m @abumamerican 3 Mai

Mujahidin in gedo and jubba refused the order to fight us. The willing are decreasing in number and the pop and mujahidin are with us
Öffnen
abu m @abumamerican 30 Apr

They have started harrassing our wives. Army from gedo refused 2 come. Theysaid they will kill me even if they lose 100 despite defections
Öffnen
abu m @abumamerican 30 Apr

@intelwire big changes start w/little steps
 Gespräch zeigen
abu m @abumamerican 30 Apr

Abu mansuur, afghani, hasan thahir uweys, &others passed a fatwa on http://aljahd.com that fighting us is haram &that we arent bughat
Öffnen
abu m @abumamerican 29 Apr

May not find another chance to tweet but just remember what we said and what we stood for. God kept me alive to deliver the mssg 2 the umah
Öffnen
abu m @abumamerican 29 Apr

People r with us but till now the wars extremely unbalanced bcuz we blew them up &they found a hoard of explosives. Even if we die weve won
Öffnen
abu m @abumamerican 29 Apr

Its culmination of full faceted
dime warfare against those who speak truth.Boycott,tribe politics,assassination,char assass, mil attack
Öffnen
abu m @abumamerican 29 Apr

They raided our houses &took our stuff and said they found condoms, alcohol, and documents. Their goal is to kill us regardless of reason
Öffnen
abu m @abumamerican 29 Apr

We called 4 shariah &accepted many things 2 bring peace but they said we are an armed renegade group even if az is our leader &we dont fight
Öffnen
abu m @abumamerican 29 Apr

They now have to bring outside forces who dont know why they are fighting to track us in the forest. They are losing patience
Öffnen
abu m @abumamerican 29 Apr

We were forced to fight in self defense &killed 3 and wounded others w/no losses. The main amir who wanted 2 fight us was from the killed
Öffnen
abu m @abumamerican 29 Apr

We were allowed to go home bcuz most of the army refused to fight us. We went to the forest instead but they still followed.
Öffnen
abu m @abumamerican 29 Apr

The court accepted our shari proofs &our reason 4 fear so shhabab droped the case &said go home.We asked if theyd attack us they said yes
Öffnen
abu m @abumamerican 29 Apr

They agreed but we thought it was a trick.Once we reached an open place they said drop guns. We told the "court" that we didnt agree 2 that
Öffnen
abu m @abumamerican 29 Apr

3) that i was sorry abt apostates killed in court bombing. They said drop guns &go to court or prepare 4 war. We said we want court w/ guns
Öffnen
abu m @abumamerican 29 Apr

Eventually they sent two guys to negotiate. They said u said 1) that az is taghut 2) that 2 bros that accidentally blew up are in hell
Öffnen
abu m @abumamerican 29 Apr

After the failed assassination attempt i woke in the morning to hear that i was surrounded. We ran to a hole behind the house and waited
Öffnen
abu m @abumamerican 26 Apr

they are sending forces from multiple directions. we are few but we might get back up. abu zubayr has gone mad. he's starting a civil war.
Öffnen
abu m @abumamerican 26 Apr

just got word shabab are preparing an attack w/the army now
Öffnen
abu m @abumamerican 26 Apr

So this means that my albums might be better sellers now?
Öffnen
abu m @abumamerican 26 Apr

@aahronheim "I'm on a mission from God." minus the blues music.
 Gespräch zeigen
abu m @abumamerican 25 Apr

@intelwire gotta finish what i started jim. let's see what type of war breaks out tomorrow. my tribe here is raving angry
 Gespräch zeigen
abu m @abumamerican 25 Apr

like this: http://qfs.mobi/f566339
Öffnen
abu m @abumamerican 25 Apr

btw type: htp://qfs.mobi/ in front of those numbers
Öffnen
abu m @abumamerican 25 Apr

f566332
Öffnen
abu m @abumamerican 25 Apr

f566329
Öffnen
abu m @abumamerican 25 Apr

first of 4 pics: f566324
Öffnen
abu m @abumamerican 25 Apr

@theheroweneed pistol. not sure calibre
 Gespräch zeigen
abu m @abumamerican 25 Apr

@vijaygkg @jarret_brachman No windpipe or artery. peroxide, gauze, and pressure. a perimeter has been made
 Gespräch zeigen
abu m @abumamerican 25 Apr

@jarret_brachman cheaper than a drone, but expensive on shabab's credibility. the shooter's been i.d.'ed as known shabab assassin
 Gespräch zeigen
abu m @abumamerican 25 Apr

sitting in tea place then 3 shots behind to left. pistol i think. they ran
Öffnen
abu m @abumamerican 25 Apr

just been shot in neck by shabab assassin. not critical yet
Öffnen
abu m @abumamerican 25 Apr

@watcherone @anniea20 sorry guys. i stopped watching tv WHILE still IN the u.s. i'm way behind, trust me
 Gespräch zeigen
abu m @abumamerican 25 Apr

@jeremyscahill it's all good. my response wasn't meant as a dig either. just clarifying our view on the whole dying 4 cause thing
 Gespräch zeigen
abu m @abumamerican 25 Apr

@jeremyscahill and if it were possible he would love u 4 it. we got a handy hadiith abt that btw.
 Gespräch zeigen
abu m @abumamerican 25 Apr

@realclearworld @kevinbsullivan world's eye=media. who owns it? and u.s. claims to be invulnerable. not a mystery.
 Gespräch zeigen
abu m @abumamerican 25 Apr

@watcherone no, no, no. u mean extra-sweet "sun" ice-tea.
 Gespräch zeigen
abu m @abumamerican 25 Apr

@foreignpolicy viet cong w/homemade bombs were stupid 2. didn't keep em from winnin. try it off home turf w/cops &cameras
 Gespräch zeigen
abu m @abumamerican 25 Apr

@watcherone u thought i was calling u takfiiri? ha ha! relax
 Gespräch zeigen
abu m @abumamerican 25 Apr

@watcherone dangerous takfiiri mentality. reporting about what has happened, and not liking shabab don't take u out of islam. complicity?
 Gespräch zeigen
abu m @abumamerican 25 Apr

@new_narrative @ap @breakingnews @intelwire hmmm
 Gespräch zeigen
abu m @abumamerican 25 Apr

@daudoo @arisroussinos it's ok, he's got a good record of running away from it.
 Gespräch zeigen
abu m @abumamerican 25 Apr

@gregpmiller cia's got everyone and dey mama on dat list as it is. then u got the tsa 2 strip search them 4 good measure. loses its meaning
 Gespräch zeigen
abu m @abumamerican 24 Apr

@myoasisliving anyone want to collect 4 me? not 5 mil but every bit counts.
 Gespräch zeigen
abu m @abumamerican 24 Apr

@digitaloutreach @firstaubiegirl it's called humor. u don't get out much do u?
 Gespräch zeigen
abu m @abumamerican 24 Apr

@strategyaffairs ‎شيخنا، أي تقييم لكتابي: استراتجية لأرض المحشر؟ تجده باسم أبي جهاد الشامي ‏
 Gespräch zeigen
abu m @abumamerican 24 Apr

@codejake 2.348 liters. yeah .348. definitely 2.348 liters. yeah.
 Gespräch zeigen
abu m @abumamerican 24 Apr

thank God each time u have a nice hot steamy shower without getting the water from a donkey &boiling it 1st. egypt was my last semi-proper 1
Öffnen
abu m @abumamerican 24 Apr

@firstaubiegirl good God! tell him i taught him better than to go around the world killing people! just keep him out of somalia.
 Gespräch zeigen
abu m @abumamerican 24 Apr

@cheapsuits used to pretend to root 4 auburn to get under the skin of my redneck uncles, but wasn't really a fan either way.
 Gespräch zeigen
abu m @abumamerican 24 Apr

@natsec_canada i believe we are at war. i only point out doublespeak/hypocrisy to show that our religion is better suited than ur constit‏.‏
 Gespräch zeigen
abu m @abumamerican 24 Apr

@firstaubiegirl pattrick mcginty's mom was an auburn fan i think.
 Gespräch zeigen
abu m @abumamerican 24 Apr

@azelin already said a bit in previous tweet. he told me not to say any more.
 Gespräch zeigen
abu m @abumamerican 23 Apr

@natsecnerd HS. lots of donkeys, but we could use any lunch money u have to spare. living off the tribe at the moment.
 Gespräch zeigen
abu m @abumamerican 23 Apr

@natsecnerd i used to really get a kick out of rotc nerds. btw i'm not sure how well u'd go on to enjoy ur medal after the fire fight.
 Gespräch zeigen
abu m @abumamerican 23 Apr

@theheroweneed I'm a conservative hippie at heart.
 Gespräch zeigen

https://twitter.com/abumamerican
« Last Edit: September 23, 2013, 00:50:23 AM by mayya »