American jihadist slain in Somalia, reports say
MOGADISHU, Somalia — An American jihadist from Alabama who became a military commander in Somalia's al-Shabab militia was killed Thursday in an attack ordered by the al-Qaida-linked group's leadership, according to terrorism analysts and news reports.
If confirmed, the death of Abu Mansoor al-Amriki would mark the end of one of the most colorful extremist figures operating in the jihadist world and highlight the bitter internal struggle for influence in al-Shabab.
Amriki, who was born Omar Shafik Hammami, had been the militia's most visible face, praising extremist Islam through boisterous raps in videos posted on YouTube. He used Twitter and jihadist websites to express his views.
He was indicted in the United States on charges of terrorist activities, and a federal warrant was issued for his arrest in 2007. In November, he was added to the FBI's most-wanted list for terrorists, and the State Department in March offered a $5 million bounty for information leading to his capture.
Amriki was apparently killed in an early morning ambush in a village in southern Somalia, along with another foreign fighter, Osama al-Britani, a British citizen of Pakistani origin. There has been no official acknowledgment of their deaths by al-Shabab, the Somali government or Western diplomats.
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