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News, analysis and primary source documents on terrorism, extremism and national security.


Monday, February 18, 2013
 

Former friend rips U.S. jihadi Hammami in online post, calling him 'simple-minded,' says he stole credit for raps

An author using the name Abu Hamza Al-Muhajir today posted a devastating attack on American jihadist Omar Hammami, who fought with then turned on Somalia's Al Qaeda affiliate, Al Shabab.

In a slickly produced 17-page PDF, Al-Muhajir rippped into Hammami, whose vocal criticisms of Al Shabab include accusations that top Shabab leaders assassinated key Al Qaeda members in Somalia.

Al-Muhajir writes fluently in colloquial English and admits to a weak grasp of Arabic in the tract, suggesting the author may be another Western jihadi involved with Shabab. His spelling shows British traits in several places. However neither the author's identity nor the authenticity of the manuscript could be confirmed at this time of this writing.

Al-Muhajir says he waited in the hopes that Hammami would turn away from his public path of dissent, but finally had to speak because it had become "intolerable" to continue to refrain. Al-Muhajir accused Hammami of "childish petulance" and an out-of-control ego, calling him "vacuous" and "simple-minded," before proceeding with a detailed rebuttal of Hammami's tell-all online exposes and his online autobiography.

Al-Muhajir provides new details on how Hammami filmed several videos claming Shabab was planning to kill him and pleading for help from global jihadists. According to Al Muhajir, Hammami asked for technical help from a friend then went into a room and recorded the videos without telling his friend what they were.

The videos were filmed in a location linked to Minnesota Shabab recruit and prolific Facebooker Cabdulaahi Faarax, who used to post pictures of himself hanging out with Hammami, a practice that stopped soon after the videos went online. (And by the way, Cabdulaahi, you're not fooling anyone with that new pseudonymous profile.)

Some choice excerpts from Al-Muhajir:
Abu Mansur Al-Amriki’s vitriolic attacks on the leaders of the Mujahideen were not intended for a local audience; the austerities of the Nomadic way of life here in Somalia offer no chance of lending an ear to what has come to be known locally as the ‘unnecessary drivel’ of an Al-Shabaab poster boy. In the global village, however, and through an online presence, Abu Mansur found a captive audience and, crucially, the attention of the Western media - whose growing appetite for anything that is deemed even slightly detrimental to the furtherance of the burgeoning Jihadi ideology has become almost insatiable. ... 

It is worth noting from the onset that Abu Mansur’s actions are deliberate; neither is he physically immature nor known to have an acute mental disability that would absolve him of responsibility for his actions and he remains, undeniably, conscious of the terrible turn of events. At times, it is painfully embarrassing to watch a man whose alleged ideals of restoring the Islamic Khilāfa gradually debase to bickering about his meagre salary and publishing images of his donkey and his wife on the internet just to prove it. ...

It is inevitable that any attempt to expound on the Abu Mansur saga would necessitate divulging some information that would have otherwise been buried deeply under the carpet, but because that information is considered indispensible to understanding the complete story, it becomes imperative to unveil it so as to convey a more balanced insight into the grossly inaccurate picture of the Somali Jihad painted by Abu Mansur and also to allay the fears of the Mujahideen around the world in what has now been labelled the ‘Somali soap opera.’
Al-Muhajir also repeated a claim that had circulated on Twitter previously -- that Hammami's grievances were related to his loss of driving privileges when Al Shabab took his car away.

On Hammami's autobiography:
Despite the disorderly and inconsistent plot that renders the reader almost perplexed and the self-aggrandising teenage narrative interspersed with the odd ‘Haha’, the autobiography, much like all of his subsequent writings – whether in Arabic or English - reeks of the fetid odour of unabashed obsession with the self-image. 
On Hammami's personality:
Abu Mansur is often at the centre of his own universe -- a brittle mental construct of his own making -- and judging by the condescending attitude with which he treats the Ansari brothers, who often generously go out of their way to help him, he, more often than not, is the only person competent enough to manage the affairs of the Muslim Ummah. 
On Hammami's rap prowess or lack thereof:
Worth noting here also is that the Jihadi rap Nasheeds, ‘send me a cruise’ and ‘make Jihad with me’, that are often erroneously attributed to Abu Mansur are the work of another Muhajir,  - another American Mujahid - but, of course, Abu Mansur would never say otherwise since the Nasheeds ‘perfect’ and complement his projected self-image.
For more about American jihadists, check out J.M. Berger's new book, Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam, on sale everywhere.

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OF TERROR

ISIS: The State of Terror, by Jessica Stern and J.M. BergerJessica Stern and J.M. Berger co-author the forthcoming book, "ISIS: The State of Terror," from Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins. The book, which will debut in early 2015, will examine the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, its potential fall, how it is transforming the nature of extremist movements, and how we should evaluate the threat it presents. Jessica Stern is a Harvard lecturer on terrorism and the author of the seminal text Terror in the Name of God: Why Religious Militants Kill. J.M. Berger is author of the definitive book on American jihadists, Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam, a frequent contributor to Foreign Policy, and editor of Intelwire.com.

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