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Tuesday, March 8, 2011
American Jihadist Omar Hammami Said To Be Killed in Unconfirmed ReportA Somali government claims that Abu Mansour Al Amriki, who was born as U.S. citizen Omar Hammami, was wounded or killed in recent fighting near Mogadishu (story).
False reports are copious in the war on terror. So far, jihadist forums have not confirmed the death of Hammami. Until they do, the report should be taken with a large grain of salt.
The story I linked states Hammami's "demise would be a serious blow to al-Shabaab and to its efforts to attract foreign fighters from the US and elsewhere." That's not strictly true. While Hammami is a significant and powerful figure among radicalized Americans, his death will only elevate his status.
In the long run, a live Hammami might work out to be a net gain over a dead Hammami, but that's not guaranteed, and in the short term, a "martyred" Hammami would generate a lot of light and heat in the world of online jihadists.
For more about Hammami and other American jihadists, pre-order "Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go To War In The Name Of Islam," the first comprehensive look at the phenomenon of American jihadists from the 1970s to the present.
Views expressed on INTELWIRE are those of the author alone.
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