Omar Hamami, Somalia, Al Shabaab discussed on Bad Batch

Bad Batch


I'm Christopher puzzle. This is American Jihadi episode. One the Matrix I I became aware of Omar Hamami in two two thousand nine when he showed up in 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 let us. His Brown hair is long and much of his face is covered by a young man's first beard sincerity points. Omar speaks directly to the cameras. He's recruiting foreigners like himself to come join al-shabaab. Encourage more of your children in more of your your neighbors. Anyone around to send people like him to this would be a great asset leader. He appears to lead Al Shabaab fighters in setting an ambush in camping. Omar looks white and his accent is so clearly American ages and yet there he is sitting in Somalia with an AK47 surrounded by east African fighters hanging on his every word that the numbers. They're close to a thousand thousands. More try to me. They vehicles as we can and kill as many of cannon take care too much so his face cracks into smile as if he feels self conscious saying these things on camera picture cuts away to a shot of the Bush now the enemy approaches in the. US more story was quickly picked up by the media. Omar Hamami the US citizen born and bred in the American and south who is now a leader of terrorist organization affiliated with Al Qaeda. It's fighting in Somalia. What did you learn about this guy? Twenty five years old American. He's known jihadist circles as Abu Key or the American and I found his story fascinating. HOMER had grown up in a small town in Alabama Alabama going to a southern Baptist Church until midway through high school his life had been almost 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 where he joined up with Al Shabaab Group designated a terrorist organization by the State Department's mets. He believes that the word of Dada I'd 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 Program called Vanguard on current TV. We were sort of vice news 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 Kamalia had gotten worse wolf and six and a half thousand people have been killed in fighting in Somalia in the last twelve months. al-shabaab was in a running gun battle with Ethiopian and African Union troops groups 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 armed in a string of bomb attacks 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 most dangerous parts of the world. A Guy with something to prove chasing his ideals. There was enough of me in there to make me really want to understand the choices. He'd made him. I know where to reach Omar by knew that his family was still living in Alabama. So got on a plane.

Coming up next