Omar Hamami, Somalia, Al Shabaab discussed on American Jihadi

American Jihadi
|

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

I'm Christopher puzzle. This is American Jihadi episode one. The Matrix I became aware of our mommy in two thousand nine when he showed up a propaganda video. That was put out by Al Shabaab in this video. There's no scarf hiding his face. He looks like a Skinny Che Guevara. His Brown hair is long and much of his face is covered by a young man's first beard insincerity points. Omar speaks directly to the cameras. He's recruiting foreigners like himself to come join Shabaab. Encourage more of your children and more of your your neighbors anyone corner and to send people like him to this would be a great asset leader. He appears to lead Al Shabaab fighters in setting an ambush camping. Omar looks white and his accent is so clearly American you do and yet he is sitting in Somalia with an AK47 surrounded by east African can fighters hanging on his every word that the numbers. They're close two thousand more. I try to his me vehicles as we can and kill as many. You can take care too much so his face cracks into a smile as if he feels self conscious saying these things on camera. The picture cuts away to a shot of the Bush allowed the enemy approaches in the US more story was quickly picked adept media Omar Hamami the US citizen born and bred in the American south. Who is now a leader of a terrorist organization affiliated with Al Qaeda? It's fighting in Somalia. Catherine what have you learned about this guy. Twenty five years old American known Jihadists Turco's as key or the American American and I found his story fascinating. Omar had grown up in a small town in Alabama going to a southern Baptist Church until midway through high school his life had been almost just a cliche of American normalcy. He played soccer little league baseball. Even took the prettiest girl in school to homecoming. And then somehow he'd found his way to Somalia Aulia where he joined up with Al Shabaab Group designated a terrorist organization by the State Department's. He believes that word of data at actually reported from Somalia in two thousand six just a few months before Omar had arrived there at the time I was a TV correspondent for a program called Vanguard on current TV. We were sort of Vice News. Used before vice news existed. We try to report on stories that we thought the rest of the media was missing. We interviewed cartel hitmen. Russian skinheads folks like that. I wanted to do a story about Omar by the time has video started attracting attention. The situation in Somalia had gotten worse than six and a half thousand people have been killed in fighting in Somalia in the last twelve months. Shebab was in a running gun battle with Ethiopian and African Union troops American drones fired missiles at suspected terrorists and suicide bombers. We're beginning to target. The city's just too chaotic and dangerous for me to go back. Security officials implicate Al Shabaab in the assassination of aid workers. `and in a string of bomb attacks talks in Mogadishu. Still I knew I wanted to figure out a way to tell Omar story a young American who had traded his middle class life for life of struggle and one of the the most dangerous parts of the world a guy with something to prove chasing his ideals. Were there was enough of me in there to make me really want to understand the choices he'd made and I know where to reach Omar. I knew that his family was still living in Alabama. So I got on a plane.

Coming up next