20 Episode results for "Shabaab"
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How does it feel to be chatting with one of the world's most ouanamint kind of feel like I'm talking to a friend of mine that's the weirdest thing about it? Omar Omar only communicates with puzzle. The reason we're staying here away from our families and is because we're waiting to meet so shallow. Kelly people goal is eve. I didn't really know what was going on. I just knew that I was my brother on. TV I'm going to be a ghost for a while and if I live to see the other side we can try to link up again. Here's the link to the audio responses. This could be good by for a while or forever it. Just pray that God gives me strength that strong Omar and I had been writing back and forth every day for more than a month when he sent his last email with the subject line. Houston we have a problem then. Nothing I watched on. TV as African Union troops overran Iran. Al Shabaab strongholds on twitter. There was an account that posted an endless stream of photos of dead fighters. It was hard to imagine that Omar could have survived months. Months went by Omar was gone right before he had disappeared. He'd sent me an audio recording of him asking questions I sent on him in an answering them. Describe your life as Jihadi combat would. Did you were did you sleep center. It was haunting to hear actual voice describe fighting. I guess I'd say adrenaline hunger thirst uncertainty fatigue. And maybe some other fun things you whatever you can find the steam whenever and wherever you can but in all honesty really. I guess you really can't be quite exhilarating times just knowing that putting your life on the line for what you believe. Of course. It's much better when you win. My wife had moved to London full-time for Grad School. She had a vague idea of what I was working on. But not the details. We both prefer it that way. Her father had once been the acting secretary of defense. It seems smarter not to put her in the middle of a story like this about once a week I would sit alone in the living room of our apartment in La listening to the tape. Your father said that you love America and we'd never attack. Is that true. I'd say I guess that's probably true mentality back in the sixth grade but not after I accepted slam realized all the wrongs America's doing against Oman. I mean how could I really think about refraining from attack America or. They're not just attacking the old Monday night. Actually put people just like me on the killers for their cowardly. Hardly drums. Not That I would overstep the balanced Shadier to attack America or Americans but given legitimate opportunity against legitimate targets. It's I don't see why I should hold back from attacking I mean I think we're more as far as I can tell. Occurred to me was relieved that I didn't have to deal with Omar anymore that now that he was presumed dead. I didn't wake up every morning to a new email from a wanted terrorist enemies. But I couldn't stop listening to the recordings I found them so frustrating. I couldn't push-back on what Omar said couldn't ask follow up questions. I had set myself the job of trying to understand Omar that could explain him to the world despite all the access so I had to him I never quite got there then one night at three. Am when I was home asleep my phone rang. It was a man's voice over staticky connection. I asked to his calling. I heard chuckle on the other end of the line. He said it's your friend from Somalia. I'm Christopher puzzle. This is American Jihadi episode. Five the right. I literally fell out of my bed onto the floor when I realized it was calling me. I told Omar that it wasn't a secure line but he said he didn't care just to write down his number and call him back. I ran to the room where I kept my computer and turned on the recorder. But I couldn't get through the. I had no idea why he was suddenly willing to risk talking to me on the phone. He had told me a bunch of times he was afraid the US military could use his cell signal to Geo uh-huh locate him and send a drone. Hey can you hear me now. Shit Man I can't hear you but for two hours I couldn't get him back on the line to ask ask him. Hello Hey how you doing. What's going on man? Finally frankly I didn't I didn't know if he was still alive. Nobody knew if you still live. This is the first phone call. I mean like that was kind of a big question and and it was kind of weird to be waking up every day and not be getting you communications after we'd been doing it for so along so it was the first phone calls are so chaotic me scrambling to ask my questions before the line went dead again so basically man I just because it's so hard to get through to you. I just wanted to just talk to you. Now get a sense of what's going on and weird you've been the best four and a half months in the phone calls can be hard to hear at times swell. Just summarize for months Omar had been hiding out in the city but when the African Union troops attacked the city stopped being safe place for him. John come on I look hey can you hear me talk. Made his getaway from the Empty House. House and set off in the direction of the forest was him another foreign fighter the donkey to carry their stuff. My best guess was that they had started somewhere about forty five miles l.. South West of Mogadishu. Had you been in Mirka the the area where we're had you been when we were communicating okay. That's okay you don't tell me it's Martha talking on. The phone could get him killed by drone and I just asked him to be more precise about his location. Okay that's fine that's fine. You went into the forest and you were there like was it. Were you hiding like like you mentioned before that you thought you were going to be like ducking in the mud and eating snails and drinking urine like did any of that end up. Coming about Omar's goal was to reach the neighboring regions of band bacall in southern Somalia. He wants been a leader in that area and one of his wives was part of a powerful clan there but banned because we're about two hundred miles away and he was traveling on foot with a donkey cart. His plan was to use back trails to the forest to keep away from both the African Union troops and Al Shabaab. They only got around twenty miles before they were spotted. I think we were hiding under the donkey cart and some people just came by and they spotted us. They went and told my you know. There's some white people. Hey good. News started spreading. It is like Thirty I can Merican commandos or something that about like. Oh so you were mistaken like Abaga. Like on the American side village coolidge. Police came men who are aligned with Al Shabaab. They quickly realized they weren't under attack by American commandos but they did recognize more than it became the whole issue of like all. Excuse guy so like you got beef with the she loves. We're Omar had once been a top recruiter now. The police identified him as the guy who had beef with Al Shabaab. They took him him to the village but they weren't sure whether they were supposed to hold him or let him go so they called people higher up the chain which caused like like layer type thing. The local mayor said delayed Omar go Kamara was freely but still over one hundred fifty miles from band. McCall like Omar realized that his plan to just walk there with his friend. The donkey wasn't going to work and they didn't want to risk getting spotted again. The hit out the forest near the village for about a month until Omar managed to convince someone to drive him the rest of the way for hours and hours. He hid in the back seat of a car with tinted windows to get past the Al Shabaab roadblocks. Somehow he managed to go undetected the whole way when he finally arrived in band. Bacall the local leaders there told him he was welcome them to stay as long as he kept his head down and didn't try to go back to the front lines along I they had been in the band because area for several months. Now food was hard enough to come by that. He had planted a small garden for himself. The whole bunch of my being cows in a whole bunch of means. Are you growing the beans. Are they going to be the end of the farm. And they just munch them all up auto show like one four of work down the drain beans aside. Omar seem to think he was safe at least for the time being now one is is going to happen to you. If these people within the Shabaab that WanNa find you what happens if they find you. What are they going to do to you? Uh I fall back a lot on the words. Surreal real to describe my relationship with Omar but it was surreal. The entire reason we were talking to each other was that we both wanted something from the other person as a journalist I wanted his story as a Jihadi fighter with an ax to grind. More wanted me as a way to get his message out to the world. We also have this weird bond. Ah I was the one person market being American with he was the one person who had been on this ride with me. The one I communicated every day with terrorists yeah. We started trying to document that ride for a magazine article. So let me just tell you a little bit about what I'm doing because we have been in touch for a while so I'm I'm basically I'm writing a really really long very indepth article about you right now for like a major magazines. I guess I hope that this would keep them on the lion that his desire to be the center of attention engine would keep them calling me and that's going to be coming out probably in about three or four weeks. There's a delay on the time and now with your call. Jesus man you've totally totally screwed it up so if I sound a little like I'm losing it. It's because I am all I knew how to do in. This situation was to keep trying to pull his story out out of him to keep being a journalist whether or not it made any sense to build my entire life out of tracking every last move of Omar Hamami wanted to go G. Z Q G. Pate my face onto like some some guy's body wearing a. Ah That's hilarious. I might have to use that line. Have you ever registered ooh I WANNA take a minute to talk to you about something important mental health. You wouldn't hesitate to go to a doctor for professional care of you had a broken arm or the dentist for a cavity. Your mental health deserves the same attention better. Help the world's largest counseling service is professional secure online counseling. 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Ha One of the people who paid the closest attention to Al Shabaab was a Canadian security expert named Matt Bryden for longtime he had lived in Somalia by the time. Omar got there. He'd relocated located Kenya while Hamami showed up While Al Shabaab was still a a sort of militant and perhaps the most disciplined military tree wing of the Islamic courts. Brian says it didn't take long for Omar to align himself with al-shabaab second in command and he seems to have become associated with a leader known as Mukta. Robo Omar says he became robos deputy and eventually married one of his nieces. al-shabaab started to divide in two thousand nine. Two things happened. I the Ethiopian army mostly left the country so in a sense the the main cause of the the resistance came to an end. The second thing that happened was that Al Shabaab is main leader. A man named Ahmed. Ed Optic Donnie decided it was time for Al Shabaab to get revenge on people who'd help the opens. He gave orders that any government figures. Who'd collaborated with the occupation? Japan should be apprehended and killed and someone who defied that order was Muktar Robo Robo and Omar disagreed. It's agreed with Ghedini about the rules that governed went al Shabaab was allowed to kill other Muslims. It became clear that there were two camps in Al Shabaab and one of them go Danny's on his was the more ruthless and the more brutal. The first complex attack was already in two thousand nine when a bunch of gunmen wearing suicide vests went into a hotel called the Muna Hotel and they went room to room and they just shot everybody. They could find these guys what they do to people. They chop off heads. They blew up innocent people in coffee. Places in hotels in weddings. MOLLICA DELLA was the Somali transitional government's director of Communication Haitian during much of this period. All they were doing this killing punch of innocent black people poor black African people. That's who they were killing every day in the name of Allah and this didn't go down well with all parts of Al Shabaab Robo and some other leaders. Top leaders of the movement were uncomfortable with this indiscriminate murder. These kinds of things really started to split the movement and Hami found himself with Robo. Hello on the side of al-shabaab that started to call for some moderation that indiscriminate killing was was not okay. al-shabaab had recruited hundreds of foreign fighters many leg. Omar wanted to saying how things were going. These kids that come from America and Europe. They are very open about their opinions. And you know. They've had this freedom that they can say. Hey this is wrong and the guys over there. Those are not the ones you tell them. They won't home. They ticket personal at one point. Omar told me a story about going to meet with Gadhafi. An person you want. He said he told this brutal murderous leader to his face everything that he was doing wrong. The violence should be used against military targets that the foreign fighters who had come to join Al Shabaab should be treated better and shown more respect than Al Shabaab shouldn't just focus on. I'm getting control of Somalia. But she's generally worked towards creating a global caliphate Yucky Dirksen. He went against the leadership. The Guy who was in charge was very evil guy the most evil guy and shops. And when when you go against that guy there was only one way out of the door and is to be killed. Recently Gdansk faction of Shabaab had begun a quiet purge of foreign fighters accusing them of spying then disappearing them into secret prisons where they were tortured. Some are even executed. Omar had made it to ban the call. An area of Somalia were robos clan was powerful and Omar thought. He'd be relatively safe but he still slept with an AK47 just in case he tried to live the quiet life for a while but it wasn't long before his old instincts began to surface his need as he was fond of saying to speak out against oppression. What's what's happening? There is going to be a news. Item Omar Omar wanted to tip me off about okay. So can you give me a hint at all or or is this a top secret. Omar had planned. I don't know what something for that. Friday excuse vague about the details but it was now clear. Why L. Marley reaching out to wanted me to cover whatever it was? He was planning to do something he'd been worn by others could get him killed. Do you really think that they're going to kill you or whatever this stunt is that you plan on Friday. Says he doesn't. There's no you can't really put anything past Shebab. Despite a shit no combing Amar he's out he says Uh this guy planned front. We were back in our old roles Omar warning owning me that his life was in danger insisting that he needed me to help save him me half convinced that he was right and half convinced that he was just crying wolf to keep me around Omar's big Friday surprise it turned out was another video on youtube this one in Arabic. I watched it. I realized it was the second half of the message. He recorded months before the one where he had said that he was afraid. Life was in danger. WHO's wearing the same clothes seated in the same empty he room in front of a black flag and his AK47? Not Having any higher Sullivan engine. When he but unlike the first video? This one is directed to the leaders of al-Qaeda earlier that year al-shabaab officially declared its allegiance to Al Qaeda. Omar Omar was basically going over his own leaders heads to complain to the big bosses. He asked them to intervene on behalf of the foreign fighters in Somalia who he said. Were being singled out by Al Shabaab. Bob's leaders he went on to say that faction of Al Shabaab only cared about taking power in Somalia and didn't really care about the cause of global jihad by airing al-shabaab kebabs dirty laundry in public. Omar had taken his fight with Ghedini to a whole new level. I didn't hear from Omar again for two weeks. Take Y'all John Still Alive. They didn't take action anything up until now. Everything's normal. Bought the data. The film went out. They really they put in jail for another guy. Another hot things hadn't gotten any better. Since Omar video had gone up. How shebab throwing another foreign fighter in jail? Okay got it and What do you do? Was that an accident response to keep the depression garden called with another even darker story tonight. Hit the four door like Getting into foreign fighters had been killed. Men who had shared Omar's view of Al Shabaab. Now Omar saying that the official story. The Al Shabaab story was that the two men had been killed by American. Special Forces would snuck in from a boat somewhere off. The coast was a story that seemed transparently. False trauma. Possible Marsabit. Killing was getting out of hand. There's not so expert documented. I had never heard Omar sound so scared because like every Shimon Guy Understanding should canal. Everyone who has my understanding of this Shebab keeps getting taken out just comes down to me and the guy. I was kicking lead with a donkey. Take we're just sitting around waiting to be taken out like chickens. Part of me always thought that I'm dying Somali. But it'd become emotionally exhausting to be the person he had invited to watch that process play Out in real time. It wasn't that I stopped caring about what would happen to him but I was less and less sure I wanted to be. The person reached out to whenever there was one more the threat that put his life in the balance. He wasn't the only reason in my life. Felt out of control while all this was happening with Omar my marriage was ending Not officially that wouldn't happen for almost a year but ending my wife and I both grew up in Washington. DC Hey we made a plan to fly home for Christmas and December her from London me from La. The conversation one where a marriage ended took a couple of hours that night because it seemed easier somehow than telling them what had happened between us. We kept our plans to go with her family to a Christmas party. The host of the party had been Ronald Reagan's secretary of Defense. My Wife's father had been his. Deputy Colin Powell was there so it was my wife's Godfather the former director of the CIA. I remember standing there trying to keep it together telling him how well things are going with his God daughter and then my phone buzzed in my pocket. It was Omar the FBI had just added him to their most wanted terrorist list and now he was calling me while talking to a man who had once run the CIA. I excused myself as best I could and went into an empty room to take the call. I can't talk to you right now when I just can't Omar told me. He had walked miles to get cell reception. He said it was important. We're Code Red. I was standing in the Private Library of former Secretary of defense talking to an alleged terrorist told Omar. Whatever it was it would have to wait and I hung up I wanted to be done. A Martin call me again for weeks. I didn't pick up when he did. The American Jihadi he is produced by endeavor audio and two productions it's hosted and executive produced by me Kristof puzzle of hidden door media our producers. Are Julia Botero. Zach Hirsch with help from politics Cottam Osu and Ashley. Our senior producer is Brenton. Renault editor is Keith. Romer managing producer as Samantha Alison. This episode showed was mixed by Hannah's Brown with sound design by Hans Brown and Zach Hirsch Business Affairs Shoshana Jack. Above fact checking by Laura Bullard executive producers. Here's include Adam Levine. Josh Gomersall Adam Harrison of to to do productions Dave Eastern of Endeavor Audio and Jonathan Hirsch of neon media. Coming up on American Jihadi. Romar was very focused on trying to protect this is operational security. But it wasn't really that good at he would make what I thought were dumb stakes about his location. At times he would be like. I'm on a car and we got to have ice today and I was like we just told everybody you're within a thirty minute ride of an ice machine. We developed a pretty good map of of his activities. I did try and encourage him to to come in to give himself up built to do some jail time. But you'll be alive. Shabaab make official announcement in front of them. Rickie drop your weapon before fifteen days or be killed. It's on available now. From imperative entertainment and Texas monthly. A new tin podcasters called boomtown about the biggest whole been history. 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I don't leave except on rare occasions when the streets are dead to go use the phone. People are looking for excuses to get me out of the way in in my back and forth with Omar. There's always this strange split in the way. He presented himself the part. That made the most sense to me. Was The the part that we shared references to nineties. Bands like sublime in the Red Hot Chili peppers. The way we take shots at each other over email the other part Omar in Somalia Omar the Jihadi. That part was harder so sometimes I would try to get Omar to show me how to put the two parts together. After I came back from interviewing serving his parents in Alabama. I asked him how he would explain himself to them what he wanted to know about who he was now. I want them to know that. On the same Omar in a new box doc surroundings and circumstances some may find it easier to assume that I have changed but the real change is in my environment. It was an answer. He'd given me a bunch of times before and other emails and even the way he told his life story in his autobiography. I have always been making the same choices. Since I was young I've always despised oppression and stood for what I thought was right. What was new in? This version was the way he framed his answer. I believe that everyone is born with a degree of inherent goodness or Badness S. within himself it may seem to our is that so and so was an extremely good man who later became evil vice versa but the capacity for good or evil was always residing in that person. He was only waiting for the right situation. To present itself for that capacity to be made known through the choices he makes six Somalia Jihad. He seemed to be saying. They weren't a wrong turn he had taken. They were an opportunity to test himself to prove who he had been. All along. Doc I am still me still playing my same role but maybe on a different set with a different costume. I'm Christopher puzzle. This is American Jihadi episode for the test. I was far from the only person in the West trying to figure out. Just what Omar was up to in Somalia at at the time Jam Burger was a counter. Terrorism analyst studying online extremism. The first time I heard about Omar Hamami was when al-shabaab put out a video featuring him you you know working with other fighters engaging in an attack and most memorably. He was wrapping night and day by day. Mujahideen's the J. spreading all over the place. Matt Bryden was an expert on security in the Horn of Africa. I mean he'd cut quite a character. He was He was young in. He had to hair down to his shoulders and and a beard. He wrapped I'm using extraordinarily bad rapper. But he made an effort and that that certainly made aiden impression on his audience is stat is a former. CIA officer and former diplomat. She was working for the State Department. Kenya in two thousand six when Omar first surfaced whether or not he was truly useful to anybody in Somalia. He is biggest propaganda recruiting tool possible. Like that must have been just a gold mine. Signed for them. The video with Omar wrapping put Al Shabaab on the map got unbelievable Manson news coverage. There's no Al Shabaab could have gotten that. Pr on its own at that moment in time. The thing about how mommy was that he was one of very few foreign fighters with Al Shabaab. Who spoke the Flu English and so he became a kind of poster boy for recruitment of Westerners pure joining the global jihad? You weren't necessarily thinking in Somalia until Omar starts telling you. Hey this is where the dams add this is. This is Ed luring them to the cause and trying to Romanticize what it was is to be a fighter in the Somali Bush. Taking on the Theo pins until probably this moment. We didn't necessarily think this this homegrown terrorist being inspired by things happening in other countries was as much issue for us here in the US. What was frightening about Omar Omar wasn't necessarily what Omar could do himself was the way the Internet allowed his message to reach the entire world? Only a tiny percentage of any given population. Elation are going to be susceptible to terror recruiter but if you reach a million people that tiny percentage can be you know a thousand people out Shebab. Pr Campaign was was reaching a lot of people. Federal prosecutors say. Terrorists are being recruited in Minnesota to fight with al-Qaeda terror. Group Al Shabaab in Somalia. The most troubling situation is in Minneapolis. Where up to twenty seven? Young men have vanished. This was the first time authorities at ever seen so many Americans leave to join join Islamic extremist group overseas. Most of the young men who disappeared were of Somali descent children of parents who originally fled the fighting there years earlier U s counterterrorism honor terrorism officials tell NBC News Around Fifty Americans. Most of them of Somali origin have come here to fight. Some were recruited by this man a twenty six year old from Alabama Mommy. al-shabaab uses him in the Internet based recruitment videos. Post boy to advertise their calls that he called hold on all Somalis to return home and fight for their countries Mali communities in Boston. Cleveland San Diego and Seattle Canada. Australia and Great Britain are also awesome missing young Somalis. They went to join an Islamist militia but mostly they believe they were there to defend their homeland. The United States had backed an invasion by Ethiopia. al-shabaab had come together to fight back. That was the cause. Omar was recruiting for but the US government saw differently. al-shabaab was designated needed a terrorist organization and Omar was accused of being a recruitment strategist atop field commander and financial manager for the group by two thousand nine and he'd been indicted in federal court on three separate terrorism charges if he ever returned to the US he was potentially facing forty five years in prison in the six years. Since Omar joined Al Shabaab the group's goals had become less and less clear and its tactics. More and more violent security officials implicate al-shabaab in and the assassination of aid workers under a string of bomb attacks in Mogadishu. What it started out? As a resistance movement meant to protect molly citizens had ended up as just one more warring ring faction killing anyone who opposed them and enforcing a particularly brutal version of Sharia law. We obtained these pictures of a group of young man who each had a hand and foot cutoff Gulf. They were accused of stealing. We were told how women suspected of adultery are stoned to death in the streets in an e mail tried to pin Omar Down about where the line was between in him and the worst of Al Shabaab. It's difficult for many people who know you to understand how you could so strongly align yourself with a group like Al Shabaab which is growing infamous for implementing public executions stonings. Cutting off limbs. Have you watched or participated while I understand how you justified under Islamic law. Doesn't that kind of brutality still affects actor psyche. I think the brutality as you have termed it is exactly the cause behind the intended psychological effect. The whole purpose of these punishments. Smits is to stand in the way of more such crimes. The hippies will scream. That doesn't work but Islam. Countries that apply these laws have much less crime. In other countries. Omar went on to describe watching a video of a public execution at a soccer stadium. Not long after he arrived Somalia. I was squirming in my seat and covering my is the whole time. I don't think I will ever kill someone with a knife without do right after watching that. But Omar had been in Somalia for a long time. Now they didn't know how far things had gone for him. Have you killed anyone if so how many and how sounds like that question. You're supposed to ask your cellmate. Doesn't it I think if you ask people who have actually engaged in combat. And they were honest they would mostly say. I don't know even when you come across bodies after the fact with everyone shooting. It's tough to know who's bullet went where there are exceptions to that rule and I can say yes to the question but I don't know how many how did it feel the way it feels is probably like giving a speech to a pack stadium. You feel nervous until you you get into it but the difference with us and non Muslims is that we know that our cause is just and that killing has been prescribed for us. ooh I understand that this is how you justify it but can you honestly say that you never. I second felt any guilt so long as the guy was definitely a war with Islam. I can't see how I could feel any guilt. Guilt only comes from doing something wrong. My conscience is clean in one of of the videos Omar had appeared in. There's a shot of him sitting on the ground surrounded by a group of young men listening to him lecture about the sacrifices they've made to join Al Shabaab. The only reason we're staying here away from our families away from the cities away from ice candy bars all these other things is because we're waiting to meet with so shall the FBI would later identify one of the men in the video. Listening to Omar as show it off med one of dozens of Somali Americans who disappeared from Minnesota. WHO WAS ACH med? And who begin to embody American authorities worst fears about Al Shabaab. You've learned of young men from communities in the United States radicalized and recruits Robert Mueller. Who at that point was still the director of the FBI? A man from Minneapolis became what we believed to be the first. US citizen to carry out a terrorist suicide bombing. I'm sure what Akkhmed blew himself up in northern Somalia as part of a coordinated attack that killed at least twenty people. He was believed to be the first American suicide suicide bomber in history and according to US authorities. It was Omar who had orchestrated the attack. I asked him are if that was true I was really close. GOES TO SHARE Wa. But I didn't have anything to do with his operation. I do remember him saying one day that I had really given peace of mind after I'd given him a motivational title speech. I realized what he was planning to do and I told him not to. Dip out on me without saying goodbye. He gave me some warning a few days prior. That was about it. It may have been true. That Omar had ordered Ahmed do it but it was clear that he had at least helped him find his way to the choice he made in this life. We believe that everything that happens to us whether good or bad is a form of Test Achmad suicide bombing was a watershed moment in Somalia. There had been a nearly continuous civil war. There for two decades hundreds of thousands of people had been killed but even in the midst of all that violence Somalis had never been willing to blow themselves up for the chance to kill their enemies. According to former CIA officer allies and Stat al-shabaab willingness to use. This tactic was was terrifying. You start looking at. ARE THEY GONNA send suicide bombers to other countries are they ever GonNa actually if they have enough support from all Qaeda like figure out how to get people on planes planes like these are all the scenarios that start going through your head want something like that happens. The question I had was whether Omar would ever do more than just give his blessing into this kind of attack whether Omar was considering the same path for himself a particularly plan for a martyrdom operation at the moment but I would never rule it out we have been placed on this earth to worship God and to further the cause of his law. If giving my life in that way is the best for Islam. I pray cray. Alah gives me strength. The New Year is right around the corner. Why not upgrade your style and starting new routine with a box of awesome from bespoke post bespoke post sends guys only the best staff every month? And so whether you're looking to craft your own hard cider or your need of some new outdoor gear box of awesome. has you covered. It's easy to get started. Just take the quizzes visit. BOX OF AWESOME DOT COM. Your answers will help them pick the right box for you then. They released new boxes every month across a ton of different categories. It's totally free to sign APP. You can skip a month or cancer subscription at anytime. Each box cost forty five blocks but has over seventy dollars worth of deer inside. My last box came with a great flannel in in a Nice Benita match. And I've been loving both and in case you're late on the holidays this year. It makes a great gift to get twenty percents off your first monthly box when you sign up at box awesome dot com and enter code. AJ At checkout. That's box of awesome dot com code. Aj for twenty percent off your first box support for this podcast comes from NBC. Last fall on manifest the disappearance of flight eight to wait became. TV's biggest mystery. Where did the passengers go for five and a half years? Why had none of them aged a day Monday January sixth last year's number one new drummer returns with a mind blowing new season? The passengers ages of Eight to eight have delayed their death but time is running out. Can they solve the mystery and also save the passengers get up to speed for the amazing new season of manifest with manifest the official. Podcast your deep dive into all things manifest show Creator Jeff. Rake and his team of writers. Have the answers to the biggest questions from season. One one plus behind the scenes Intel on. What's to come? Check out manifest the official podcast. Listen or subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. And don't miss the return of manifest Monday January sixth on NBC. I first few years in Somalia Omar had been treated as though he were as important as he'd always imagined himself to be. He was the great recruiter his opinions about Islamic like law and military strategy were listened to by important men. He would eventually take three wives by the time he reached out to me. He had fallen out of favor in his messages to me. Omar talked a lot about a documentary. He'd seen about Che Guevara I told you after seeing it sold out and Bolivia I wanted to cry for him. I I know what it's like to not receive proper treatment from people. You came to help. Because their decisions are clouded by their short-term material interest tribal politics Omar was bitter about the way he'd been nice elated. If you stay out of the politics and let them steer the whole thing whichever direction they please you'll be a cute little foreigner and be granted the best guest treatment possible. nope but all of that ends the moment. You have an opinion about the way things should be especially if that opinion means that there's could possibly be wrong. It was his wrong opinions unions. That had led him to hiding out an empty house trying to avoid pissing off. The leaders had grown tired of him. Trying to figure out what is next step could possibly be. The whole world is full so much suspense right. Now you have to slash at it with a sabre just to make headway. It's so ridiculous and it's making me incredibly anxious just to get it. All over with Omar would get his wish sooner than he knew so they're going to be that way to be accepted on this continent thousands of soldiers being trained with. US support support that we deployed this Amalia to go and fight al-shabaab he had always been cagey about details but the empty house were Omar was hiding was somewhere in the territory held by Al Shabaab territory. African Union troops had been trying to drive the group out of years lost. Yeah a you forced. Took control of all of Somalia's capital Mogadishu and has taken more ground since Ugandan army says defeating the remaining insurgents is within reach. I'm pretty sure they mean at this time. It's something everyone has been waiting for and quite frankly we're all wondering what has taken so long. Omar was getting ready to flee. We will have to go to smaller towns and for us things are not normally planned well so hunger and thirst or quite normal. I'll have to eat slugs and drink P for a few months. What's not knowing if I'd get another chance? I Made One last pitch for Oh martyr record himself answering my questions on audio video but Omar said that was an even worse idea now now than it had been before I mean. It's going to look weird with the whole place falling and I'm just sitting back given a Q.. And A. About my childhood people will be like why isn't he fighting. I might as well put a bazooka my shoulder and waltz down the street flip in everyone the Birdie everything Omar did he did with one eye on how it would play with Al Shabaab uh-huh on trying not to make a bad situation worse even with an army closing in on him. It wasn't really the African Union troops. That scared him a more worried of running into the elements of the Shabaab. That would like to find me a loan in such chaos to pretend that I was lost or taken out by an Ethiopian commando mission. Omar was worried that out in the open it would would be easy for Al Shabaab to kill him without anyone knowing how he had really died. That by the way turned out to be the secret message. He'd been trying to get across in his autobiography. How al-shabaab al-shabaab would assassinate its opponents within the group and then make it look like they had died in combat? Did none of you guys read that part of the book. Journalists are weird people they pick up on the most trivial points and leave the whole point on touched a lot of times. Omar seemed to be almost looking forward to the African Union attack partly to end his limbo limbo in the empty house but partly because he seemed to hope that the whole thing would end up working in his favor maybe they would take out the current leaders of Al Shabaab. Maybe whatever new leaders rose is to take their place. Wouldn't be so determined to kill Omar if I survive we might have an administration that is less interested in putting me through the grinder. You might even get your interview view. Then as the fighting got closer and closer Omar decided. He didn't need to wait that long. I'm starting to warm up to the interview idea seeing as one. It looks like I don't have much to lose and to the Shabaab might not be around much longer. Be attacked by. African Union troops had finally come in al-shabaab occupied occupied town called Afgoye about thirty kilometers north west of Mogadishu. Send me the questions and I'll start preparing my answers to record but before it had a chance to respond. Omar Santa second email with the subject. Line the POO hits the fan and the body of the message. Were just two words. NUFF said fierce. Fighting leads to a breakthrough in the battle against al-shabaab melons African Union and Somali troops say they've captured a key stronghold from the al-qaeda-linked insurgents right now as I don't run I wrote back immediately. Holy Crap you there. I'll explain in a few hours. Have to go somewhere. Have successfully taken control of the down without humming this video for hours later he wrote again at this point ain't nothing is certain wages fell and the next place is to fall. We'll be Markelle amarone. I'd say a week is probably always hope for on the the news I watch reports about the progress of the African Union. We should be able to eliminate Shabaab within Somalia in a short while two days later. Omar sent me the recording morning. He'd made. Here's the link to the audio responses. It was an all nighter trying to upload I downloaded the audio onto my hard drive. The rest of our message was more dire. This could be good by for a while or forever just remember Kristof. Life is about what happens. After it's over please please keep your mind open and your heart searching for the truth on twitter. Someone who appeared to be on the front lines anonymously posted picture after picture. Graphic a close up of the bodies of dead Al Shabaab fighters who had been killed in battle. I looked carefully at each image searching for a white face. Among the dead there was one last email from Omar May twenty sixth two thousand twelve. The subject line was Houston. We have a problem. Well looks like we missed the train. I'm sorry about that. It's a bit out of my hands. I'm going to be a ghost for awhile. And if I live to see the other side died we can try to link up again. I never wrote a will tell my dad about my three wives and tell him he has five grandchildren he needs to come find and take the care of because they don't have anyone in the world after me. Tell my mom and sister to pray for guidance from the one true God and I pray they die as as Muslims. I love them all and I pray we meet up in paradise. I responded immediately. Dude call me this time. I got no reply. We're both go through. Uh strategic transition soon giant life is always nice. I didn't make clear that I was reading Henrik portion and the Shalom politics gone wrong tons of Angeles. 'cause I think it's going to be the lone wolf attacks from the targets. I should hold back. The issue is stacking the West Hatred. God's law that can't remember what people have to keep in mind about news. I've always been ready to sacrifice everything from our principles and so all this is really just the natural progression and outcome of all Pray that God gives me the strength and strong. The American Erkin Jihadi is produced by endeavour audio and two productions it's hosted and executive produced by me Kristof puzzle of indoor media our producers are Julia Tarot and Zach Kersh with help from politics. Komatsu and Ashley Creek our senior producer. Brett were now. Our editor is Keith. Romer are managing producer is Samantha Alison. This episode was mixed by Hannah's Brown with sound design by Hannah's Brown Zach Hirsch Business Affairs Shoshana Jacka fact checking by Laura both executive ED producers. Include Adam Levine Josh Gomersall and Adam Harrison of to to do productions Dave Eastern of Endeavour Audio and Jonathan Hirsch of Neon Home Media American. Jihadi listeners Christoph. Here WanNa let you know that. We're taking a quick break for the holidays but we'll be back on January thirteenth. Make sure you tune in and subscribe to American Jihadi See. Don't miss what happens next. Have a great holiday and I'll see right back year on January thirteenth. If you're liking American Jihadi you should check out a new podcast from recode called reset hosted by Ariel dozen Ross former science reporter quarter for the verge and the first climate change correspondent un-american nightly news reset explores the unexpected ways technology is changing humanity from authors using ai the right to bio hackers altering their own DNA these days every story is a tech story and reset explores why the first episode is out now. Subscribe to reset for a free on apple. PODCASTS stitcher or your favorite podcast APP.
Hear More about 'The Operative' with I Spy Plus
"Hello is by. You can hear more about this week's episode by subscribing to is by plus good. A foreign policy dot com poured slash ice by for details. and. Look for other foreign policy productions in your podcast. APP including. Don't touch your face a weekly show about the corona virus which I co host with my colleague James Palmer. Meantime? Here's a sample of our latest ice by bonus episode. In beans case he was pulled back by a very loving person that knew the Koran very well, and heard him bragging about being. Jihadi and said do you relieve a know what that means, and invited him to engage with Iran, and to see what the versus really say, because the these militant groups so is this al Qaeda Al Shabaab they quote from the Krahn and they claim that they have the true Islam, but a scholar can usually take. What they're saying and show someone like Movin-. This is exactly what happened. Look, you've got half of verse here and let's look at the whole verse and look at the context, and let's look at the history, and let's look at how it relates to everything else in the Koran and the dates, and then suddenly you have a very different picture.
US Blacklists Al-Shabab Leaders For Attack On Kenya Base
"You're listening to the news hour on africa business radio. Us has imposed sanctions on senior leaders of islamist militant group. Al shabaab accused of responsibility ability in an attack on the military base in kenya. The state department said it had designated abdoulahi osman muhammed and marlene especially designated global terrorist. It said mr mohammed was al-shabaab senior explosives expert and leader of its media wing. While mr simon was responsible for planning the attack on campus simba. It's other that. Us persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with muhammad and i-and their property and interest in property subjects to us jurisdiction a blocked and that was the news at this time when africa business radio. You can't continue listen life online at stopping u. w. w. dot africa business radio dot com or fire arm -able app i am ratio chih-jen. Do thank you for listening.
Abu M American
"If you're liking American Jihadi you should check out a new podcast from recode called reset. It's hosted by Ariel dozen Ross former science reporter for the verge and the first climate Emma Change Correspondent un-american nightly news reset explores the unexpected ways. Technology is changing humanity from authors using ai to write to bio hackers altering altering their own DNA these days every story is a tech story and reset explores why the first episode is out now subscribed to reset for free on apple podcast. Stitcher sure or your favorite podcast APP previously on American Erkin Jihadi. It was kind of weird to be waking up every day and not be getting you communications. Frankly dude I don't know if you were still alive. Hamami found himself Elf on the side of Al Shabaab that started to call for some moderation that indiscriminate killing was not okay. I always told them to just be a man of honor stick to his principles. He went against the most evil guy in Shebab. And when you go against that that guy there was only one way out of the door in this to be killed. What happens if they find? What are they gonNa do to you? There's a story that Omar's father Shafique told me about Omar's a young man. Omar had just turned twenty. He and Shafii. You could been locked in a long-running argument about how dogmatic Omar had become about Islam. Since his conversion as a way to mend fences they agreed to travel together to Syria to visit relatives loves. It didn't work out the way we hoped. We were in a resort area on the Mediterranean with friends and families. There you and somehow he broke loose from us and he went to Internet cafe. He's just had to be Uh on the Internet Omar had become obsessed with fundamentalist Islamic forums online forums that the security services in Syria kept a close eye on so apparently drew through the attention of the secret. Police is true they stopped them and then they'll don't put him in jail. She feek managed to smooth things things over but he knew that Omar wasn't content to keep his head down. Omar talked openly about his plan to move on from Syria to Yemen. Despite the fact that there are the beginnings of a civil war there a new at the time it was wasn't glazed to be I mean there was chaos Yemen always in chaos. Omar said he wanted to go study study there but his dad hated the idea of how to stop him. So I took the passport and hid. Shafique lied Omar told him the secret police had taken it. It was defiant. He he was. Why what would I do WanNa doing that for Shafique? The story is about Omar's Americanise. She could threaten his son with the most frightening thing. He knew. off the Syrian secret police and Omar didn't care. He wants to challenge the secret police in Syria. Can you get any more provocative than this. It's the sense of superiority instilled in every American so carelessness and feeling like we. You can do whatever you want to me though the stories actually about Shafique about this desperate step he took when he realized how far his son was willing to go for what he believed in about. How powerless Shafique was change? Mars mind it was a feeling Omar wooden site and a lot of people. I'm Christoph Puzzle and this is America haughty episodes six Abu Am American when Omar called me while I was at the Christmas party the one where I was surrounded by former CIA and State Department officials officials. It turned out. He wanted to alert me to yet. One more turn things had taken in his feud with Al Shabaab. I got off the phone with him before he gave me any details and I didn't answer any any of his calls after that so I learned about what was happening the same way. The rest of the world did on twitter on its official account. al-shabaab tweeted out a statement about Omar. The Video Omar had posted the one where he called on the leaders of al Qaeda intervening al-shabaab. That was the last Straw. al-shabaab publicly disavowed Omar saying he didn't represent the group and that is complaints quote stemmed purely from a narcissistic pursuit of fame for the next three months. A bizarre and very public fight played laid out online and Omar's audience expanded way beyond me and started to include some very different folks people like former. FBI Agent Clint Watts. My was doing in social media tracking Mostly terrorists because I was Kinda just bored. Watts was living in Boston with his wife and young daughter and working as a consultant to keep one foot in the counter-terrorism world. He started a blog and it gave me away when I had to work a job that I didn't want to be working in a town that I didn't want to be in and so the blog was my outlet to like still be in my field and somewhat relevant in early January. What saw a new tweet? From Mars Account Abu am-american Shabaab make official announcement in front of 'em Ricky. Drop your weapon before fifteen days or be killed. It's on after after that Omar went nuts. It was mind boggling for me to watch the same Omar who had insisted on only communicating with me under encryption was now putting all of Al Shabaab dirty laundry up on twitter over the course of two days. He posted fifty three separate times. He compared the leaders to Nazis. Omar publicly accused Abdi Ghedini the leader of Al Shabaab of being responsible for a series of assassinations of fighters. WHO deposed him? Clint Watts could hardly believe it. Amami reveal the things that were critical. One that go. Donnie was having a coup and was bringing together all the power under him by creating a formal mole relationship with al Qaeda central and to that Donna was achieving his goal by eliminating anyone who might have served as an intermediary between him and Al Qaeda all the old al-Qaeda hands inside Somalia were being killed off. He'll edges by the emir of Shabaab. That is by Gadani a friend of Watts. What's another terrorism analyst named Jam? Burger was also following Omar. He says what was interesting. Wasn't just what Omar was saying but the response it got there were a bunch of people from al-shabaab we're getting on in tweeting. Things like you know the hyenas are going to be eating your bones. Your there's a Lotta Hyenas in there for some reason each time. A new account tweeted it. Omar Tacoma liar wire or trader or dead man. Burger could Adam to his list of potential. Al Shabaab members for Burger was a gold mine most of the activity jihad a sexy align had taken place place in these closed. Message Board forums where you had to have a password to get in and somebody had devout for you before he could get a password. This was a huge game changer. Just really put but these guys out in front of Analysts in a way that was you know the Golden Age of what we call open source intelligence you know we were just able to create incredible trails to document their activity and this included Omar was boom boom boom boom boom so key in on those conversations and watch everything that was being said. Nobody had ever seen anything like this before. We're seeing this civil war in al-shabaab that was suddenly playing out in real time on our screens for Watson Burger it. It wasn't just that they got to learn the inside scoop on terrorist organization. It was that it was Al Shabaab former poster boy. Who's the one telling people how bad things had gotten? We were happy to have that information nation. Be Out there because it highlighted the dangers of joining these organizations people don't want to join a terrorist group of the terrorist. Group is going to turn on him and kill him so I just wanted him to keep talking the highlight of the you know. They're not always what they seem that the you know you go and be part of something great and then they decide. They're sick of you and they're going to kill you now as a pretty. Hey good message. For Counterterrorism Omar appeared to thrive with a new attention. He was receiving on twitter. He finally had the platform for Ford's voice to be heard he had a vision of himself as being somebody who was special thin he really saw himself as someone. Who could? We play a really important role in in both al-shabaab specifically and in the jihadist movement generally and occasionally he would try and be like a profit Ryan he would post his Arabic thing hanging manifestos and he and I come on man like you're not really the next bin Laden was just calm down right. He sort of thought of himself is that he was aspiring to be more like Anwar Lackey. WHO's in American cleric? Who became the most miserable voice of al-Qaeda? Really one of their chief ideologues logs in the English language I think that's what he wanted for himself. He wanted to be an ideologue. He wanted to be an inspirational figure that suited his his narcissistic tendencies. It didn't take long for her to become aware that it wasn't just other jihadists. who were following him on twitter and he was more than happy to engage with them? Even even folks like Burger. We were all pretty hesitant about giving him a lot of oxygen. We didn't want him to you. Know become famous thanks to his interactions actions with us and so I kept trying to push him into more private conversations because I wanted to hear what he had say. I just didn't want to make a big show of it. Watts took a more direct. Direct approach. Intentionally baiting are on his blog. I remember I would set up my laptop and I feed my daughter Oatmeal and then I see he is. I like tweet in the morning and then and I would post and shoot it out because I knew I had his attention and he would ping right back usually within ten minutes always wanting to correct you about something that you had wrong which he didn't realize I would deliberately put things wrong in there so that he would respond back to me and then I would you know. Try to keep the dialogue going with that when other analysts questioned whether the twitter account don't really belong to Omar. Watts got to help improve that it did people like you're an idiot. That's not him and so I've deliberately wrote a blog post. I was like maybe we don't need to listen any of this because it could just be some kid like in his basement or something to that effect. I was like so this is a waste of time. I knew that would drive crazy and so that was the next day. He said Something like Clint Watts. No one's providing you the information and then he posted the picture and it's January eleven twenty thirteen in the photo. Omar stood next to three. Other foreign fighters here's squinting at the Sun Holding Handwritten sign with today's date. And then that's when everybody's like no shit. That is Omar Hamami right lake. He was validating as identity in some reason was so important. Fortnum to say like this is me this is me. Romar was very focused on trying to protect his operational security but he it wasn't really that good at it so he dropped a lot of breadcrumbs. Sometimes Watson Burger would even work together to trick Omar and to give him clues we would send him links to click on the only I click on them and we'd get his Ip address and we get a little bit of information there he would make what I thought were dumb stakes about location. You know at times he would be like. I'm on a car and we got to have ice today and I was like we just told everybody you're within a thirty minute ride of an ice machine. How many of those do you think there aren't so they're smaller right? He tweet tweet about there had been caught in a rainstorm and so we went to the maps and looked at Somalia. Because it's you know. His big chance of smalley. Were not necessarily raining slowly but surely we developed a pretty good map of of his activities. Omar's carelessness opened up to real risk in March of two thousand thirteen eighteen. Three months and Omar's tirade on twitter. The US government announced that it would offer five million dollars for any information leading to his capture. matchbooks and posters posters were distributed with Omar's picture and information and Somali about how to collect the reward around that time Omar posted a picture of his own on twitter twitter. It's a family portrait of Omar kneeling on a blanket. Next to one of his wives and one of his daughters both covered in full burqas so that only their eyes are showing behind them. The Somali Bush and a small dome tent covered in tarps. Omar smiles for the camera. That is an American family picnic picture like we go for picnic. Got The blanket out and we take a picture to watts. The picture was proof of the fault. Line that ran right down the middle of Omar's identity then like wow he to the end was trying to live in two worlds right. He was trying to live in this world where he was this kid in Alabama. And he's taking this picture as if he's at a picnic right and at the same point he's got the AK47 like he's you know the next bin Laden and he's out in the hinterlands of Somalia and just was remarkable to me like the point he navigated himself into right. He's on the hunt from all directions. Ray He really out there on his own if you're looking to create new habits in the New Year Make Jordache part of your routine. Maybe you're looking to eat healthier but you can't make it to the farmers farmers market on the weekend or maybe WANNA save time meal prepping so you have more time to focus on other things. Jordache delivers food. Your favorite restaurants straight to your door so you can save time Eh trips to the grocery store ordering his easy just download the door dash APP. Choose what you want and your food will be delivered you no matter where you are Jordache delivers food from popular popular national fast food joints but if you WANNA eat local you can also order say that meatball sub you love from the Deli around the corner with door to door delivery in all fifty states and Canada. Stop worrying about what's for dinner. Let dinner come to you with Jordache right now. American Jihadi listeners can get five dollars off their first order of fifty dollars or more when you download the door dash APP and enter Promo Code American. That's five dollars off your order when you download the Jordache APP from the APP store and enter Promo Code American. Don't forget that's Promo Code American in for five dollars off. Your first order from Nash was a three month period period. The beginning of two thousand thirteen when I didn't communicate with Omar at all no phone calls no emails or direct messages. While part of me was relieved not to have the responsibility for tracking Omar's rollercoaster story anymore. Another part of me was frankly jealous that this source sites spent months cultivating was now just out there in the open. Ready to talk to whoever bothered to send him a tweet and so you would see a lot of journalists. I thought sort of fall in love with Omar on the twitter conversations. Forget like oh he did confess to killing people will they would forget that part because you see the person as somebody you know now and I thought that was an interesting dynamic to watch even when they're not being recruited but they're being sucked in a little bit to the fact that he is normal in a lot of senses on top of that one says to anyone who was paying attention whose hard to miss. How Rough Omar's life had gotten? He especially noticed it in the photos are posted. You could tell he was very hungry. He was putting on a good masquerade publicly. But I knew if you're in the woods of inner Somalia trying to survive your hunting you're surviving off the land. It's insanely hot like you're suffering. Clint Watts hamburger had started watching Omar and then going back and forth with him for reasons that were in a lot of ways pretty different from mine but but in the end they ended up in a similar place. I've always been one to think about terrorists as being human. They're people and there's one thing to understand that and integrate that into your work and it's another thing to sort of have that experience of talking somebody day in and day out because what happened was he just became part of my daily life from the people. I talk to every day and it was weird because we weren't friends who we had real obstacles between us and At the same time there there was this weird. I don't know I guess Report for you know for a while. This is my way to get through my day and I think for Omar a lot of ways as twitter was his way to get through his day when he was like super isolated and we're we're on totally different parallels but it is interesting like how many times I'll be like oh man I I think the sky is suffering too and he's just in his own way suffering. I did try encourage him to to come in. I try to encourage them to give himself up and and try and make some kind of deal. I couldn't guarantee anything. I don't have those kinds of contacts in the government but I had enough context that you know I was like look. If you want to try and surrendering get out of this alive I can put you in touch with somebody. You're probably not going to get out of this. You Know Scott Free. You're not gonNA like you. You go go live freely in the United States somewhere else to do some jail time but you'll be alive in your family will be alive and you'd be able to see them some day and you know he just wasn't he will do it. He was too committed to to what he was doing. Even when it was clearly a lost cause he said I appreciate the compassion. But I'm not I'm not interested. Thank you for three months. I watched Omar on twitter arguing with trolls trading jabs with Watson Burger holding a Q.. And A. With anyone who would listen. Most of my brain was taken up with the slow motion car crash of the end of my marriage. But every so often I check in on Omar On the story that once upon a time I had worked so hard to get and then one day after the separation from my wife was final. I decided that what I needed to do to get my life back on. on-track was to get the story back. Even if I only had to vegas idea what I meant by that so I sent a message to Omar. I told him about my separation. I told him to economy can hear you. My way of dealing with Omar had always been to open up to him and hope that it would make him be open with me but on that call call my dials. Were all cranked. Way Too high did so I'm like I'm still married but I think I'm getting divorced. Told Omar things things. I hadn't told a lot of my closest friends. It's fucked up. It's terrible I mean that's why I've been distracted. These guys like three months because it's just been like all I can think about. But Omar told me not to worry that I was a catch. Were plenty of fish in the sea. Six years I had my whole life. Adamy no okay. No kids I did ask. Some of the questions journalist was supposed to ask but on that call. I just didn't care about al-shabaab is relationship to al Qaeda. Data the fuck are you GonNa do man like I mean you've got this five million dollar bounty on your head. Omar thought about are you just gonNa live life as normal or do you think the end is in sight soon. I just wanted to know if he thought he was safe. You're saying you're not. You're not concerned or scared right now. For more than a year Omar's mother. Deborah had been calling me once a week or so at first to see if there was any news about Omar then sometimes times just to check in on me. She called me again a week after that. Call with Omar. She asked if I'd been on twitter if I knew what had happened. I got off the phone and open my laptop on Omar's twitter account. It was a photo who is a close up of his face he looked thin and tired he was grimacing thing beneath mad veered a stream of bright red blood ran down his neck soaking the top of his tee-shirt. The tweet there for anyone who wanted to see it read just been shot in neck by shebab assassin. American Jihad is produced by endeavour audio and two two productions it's hosted and executive produced by me Christoph puzzle of hidden door media our producers. Are Julia Potato and Zach Hirsch Without Impala v cut him ASSU and Ashley Click. Our senior producer is Brent Renault. Our editor is Keith. Romer are managing producer Samantha Alison. This episode was mixed by Hannah's Brown with sound design by Hans Brown on Anzac Hirsch Business Affairs. Shoshana Jacob of fact checking by lower bullard executive producers include. Adam Levine. Josh Gomersall Adam Harrison of to did you do productions Dave Eastern Endeavor Audio and Jonathan Hirsch of Neon home media Coming up on American Gi. I'm near the most feared group within al-shabaab. That's the hit squad could be the driver it could be shopkeeper could be anyone has your neck your neck. Yeah okay. Are you wounded your neck is it. Okay Hey guys this is Sammy. Alison managing producer American Jihadi. If you're liking this podcast I'd like to talk about another one. You might enjoy Epstein Devil in the darkness as a shocking investigative series that reveals for the first time the full story behind the life and death of Jeffrey Free Epstein. The man who had allegedly abused hundreds of underage girls while entertaining some of the world's most powerful men. The season finale is live now. So listen benched. The whole story was shocking new interviews and expert insights. Listen to the entire season. Free Right now on apple podcast spotify. Or wherever. You get your podcasts.
Somalia: could the world be doing more?
"Somalia's current rainy season, will be the least rainy from more than three decades. And it comes as Cemalli has barely recovered from a two year drought, which ended in two thousand seventeen the United Nations estimates that more than five million Somalis, a third of the population will face uncertainty at best about feeding themselves. If the world finds itself forced to help Somalia, it will do so, reluctantly, and cautiously, since the early nineteen nineties, the international community has come to see some Malia as that place where the road paved with good intentions, ends tens of thousands of troops from dozens of countries under several peacekeeping mandates have been unable to impose order upon Somalia's pirates, and jihadists uncountable millions of dollars in aid have not encouraged prosperity, but Somalia remains as undeniably important as it is seemingly impossible. It dominates the horn of Africa. And overlooks one of the world's key sea trade routes, what can be done that hasn't been tried, and what's actually trying to govern Somalia, like this is the foreign desk. Charlie though you speak to ordinary people what you can see that their aspirations is a for a unified country, whether you talk to businesspeople schoolteachers to please men and women to market traders awful across aboard is they want to see their country recreated as it was only this time as a democratic accountable system, some people even though they knew they have to make lots of sacrifices by living in alphabet territory. They knew if there by by the rules, there's going to be education. There's going to be structure. There's going to be predictability. And so, even though the afraid of al-shabaab, they're prepared to live in their territory as we speak now shebab is not ready to come to the table. But the conflict could only end through negotiations and s y if the government couldn't its act together, and they strategy to end the War I. Leave shebab sooner or later will come to the table. You're listening to the foreign desk with me, and Ramallah joined first of all by Abdi summit. Aw. A professor of geography at the university of Minnesota a research fellow at the university of Pretoria and a member of the African academy of sciences Abdeal. What are the incentives for countries around the world to put aside what abuse reservations, they may have by now and helps Amalia get back on its feet. That is an American soda saying in the commercial world advertising insurance will, which says either you pay my Menton, and it's now cheaply or you pay dearly later on, I think the international community has being on the wrong footing in terms of ideas on how to help Somalis now the cut government in all the show, which was put together by the international community is based on ethnic divisions among the publish, and what that does is to undermine the integrity of public institutions that they are functioning. Whether it's a highly racist hiding discriminatory highly essences and therefore fractional cannot do its work. So the international community, I think can reinvest impetus and say, we have done it from because we want about helping Somalis the wrong way, which was undermining their own collective belonging citizens. And now we have to help them create a government that is based on civic belonging rather than sick -tarian, ethnic belonging. And if they do that, I think the vast majority of the population will rally around that kind of a project which will reduce the cost to the international community in the long run. So I think we have to invest in now, you know, to be able to tell those costs, both in terms of human lives lost an intense of finance NATO. How would that work practically, though you talking about completely dismantling? The government structures already in place in replacing them with something else entirely or is what's already there's something that can be reformed along? You're talking about I think it's going to be reformed. I mean, the Saul closed constitution which said draft has been drafted for, I think about eight years now. Nowhere else in the world, you have constitution, instead that drops an answer, or a sanction by the population is to say, you know, the country the boundaries we know where they are. Basic government institutions have to be based on merit so you don't have to sorta destroy them to start a fresh, they have to be based on merit that politicians have to be elected by the population in the communities. They come from, and there has to be competition in that. So if we do those kind of steps towards sort of the change of government, that's supposed to happen in, in couple of years time, I think that will be able to build on whatever little good basis. There are, and eliminate all the nasty stuff that has been subverting, whatever the goodwill intentions of international community, under some people have before quite of all time at this point, though. How? Much legitimacy does the international community whatever we mean by that have in Somali. We have of course, just seen the appointment of a new u n Representative, this is the American diplomat, James swollen. This follows the expulsion of his predecessor the South African nNcholas Haisam. We've seen a, a reduction of thousand troops also in the UN peacekeeping mission in Somalia is the much faith among Somalis in what the international community can do or wants to do, I think there's very little faith on the part of the Somali community, or the international community can do given the way they have structured, their intervention in that country then tamasha community is serious about costs and humanitarian services, would they could have done is to say, listen, we have spent billions of dollars on quote unquote, I'm on fortunately, an international force. That's in Somalia fighting chevelle, if they were to recruit young men. And women across the country on the basis of citizenship to create a Somali defense force in the order of our twenty thousand men and women train them properly provide the kind of infusion of infrastructure necessary. The cost of the international community on the in the form of Amish foam will be in my assessment is seventy five percent less. So there is an incentive financially. The question is the Somali people do not have faith in the u n do not have eighteen international community, because the track record of that over the last fifteen twenty years is biz model is it still do you think logical useful to think of Somalia as being an entire country, within its current territorial borders by which I mean obviously those regions operating now as defectors Reverend Somaliland Puntland ever going to be folded back into Somalia entire and, and are perhaps that we going to see regions like Goma dog and? Gruber land become ever more like Somaliland and pump blind by defacto sovereign nations, I think would be the height of folly, and it would be tragedy. Not only for the Somali people, but for the entire region, what you have in the country, that's called somebody also, Molly Republic is one of the most homogeneous cultural entities in all over the world and settled in Africa. And so the differences are between the people, the conflict is actually, not the people, I've been doing research on this country for twenty five years, I go from one end of the country on the aspirations, and the feelings of the people are identical across that landscape. The folks who have been at looker heads, the politicians who want to carve the country into what I will call sort of South Africa Bantu stand so that they can become mentally bigshots in a small pond of water. But if actually though you speak to ordinary people what you can see that there s. Operations is a for a unified country. Whether you talk to business people to schoolteachers to policemen and women to market, traders, and so on and so forth across aboard is they want to see their country recreated as it was on this time as democratic accountable system if the United Nations international community's, let's sort of balkanized that I can assure them, you will have more trouble in the international community is the VIN a middle way between those two propositions, which if unhealing e-right you seem to be suggesting at which is the, the outside world agreeing to support structures assembled by Somalis themselves. Even if the outside world doesn't necessarily like them terribly much. I think there's a you know, that's what democracy is. We don't have to necessarily agree with what other people are thinking as long as there's open debate, and there as long as there's no violence. I think that government of the UN and international communities to say, secure. Purity is important to the international community as well as the Somali people. We want to put three sources into establishing a unified national security force. I have absolutely no doubt that the vast majority of the Somali people ninety nine percent. I would argue will rally around that is the place to begin and what that will do is literal, in my opinion. Dr Al Shabaab into the Bush or into the sea because these young men and women who are trained professionally who are disciplined who have institutional guidelines and discipline will be able to go after our survive in waste at the United Nations. Force is unable to do it. And consequently, once you create that kind of freedom for the local people to move around, then I have very little doubt. And I have a great deal of confidence that sensible people would come together and said, okay, now it's time to put the government's institutions outside the security forces together in ways that saves on supports Somali people because there will be enormous grassroots pressure from the. People that the politicians behave themselves Abdi summit. Aw, thank you for joining us. Somalia is clearly, not short of problems, but it faces few more challenging than Al Shabaab, the Jihadist group which has been terrorizing Somalia and its neighbors for more than a decade and establishing links with similar organizations around the world. I'm joined now by Mary, hopper Africa editor at the BBC's World Service and author of everything you have told me is true, the many faces of al-shabaab Mary, let's come into this with the most basic of questions, which is, who are L shebab asks fat is a Filan extremists Islamist organization that was formed in around two thousand and six, so it's more than ten years old and started of being an exclusively Somali organization. But then it started attracting foreign fighters from all over the world and also spreading its tentacles into neighboring countries especially Kenya, where it carries out, lots of attacks and security attacks in Uganda, and Djibouti. So it's one of the world's more enduring violence, you had this groups, and one of the most successful because they actually controls and governs large parts of Somalia, and until twenty eleven controlled most of the capital issue. How clear. Of on what they actually want. What is the end point of the campaign? They differ, quite the leadership has various ideas. Some of them believe that they should establish a caliphate, basically within Somalia and in the Somali speaking territories in neighboring Kenya. If you appear in Djibouti, but then there are others who say they won't take the jihad all the way to Alaska. They're very global in their outlook, and there's quite a lot of disputes between each side of the leadership, but the majority of people in shebab listeners, I've spoken to really seem to know even what they're fighting for their very unclear except that they think they're fighting for jihad. They're fighting for Allah, and baggage as you pointed out, the they are unusual in being a non state militia that does nevertheless control quite a substantial degree of territory. If perhaps not as substantial as they have in the past of a similar Jihadist organizations. Is that useful points of comparison along similar lines say, the Taliban or has below or Islam, excite or is this something completely different divorced from those organizations? I think it's quite a unique organization. But if you're gonna compare it to any of these groups publi the Taliban in Afghanistan is the most similar Islamic state stat seemed to be even more brutal than Al Shabaab. But there is a branch of Islamic stay in Somalia that mainly in the news east of the country. But it came down to Mogadishu recently started assassinating those people, but Al Shabaab is sworn enemy, and Al shit by basically sirott off in Mogadishu, but in terms of comparing al-shabaab to any other extremist movements probably the Taliban because it does govern territory. You mentioned that al-shabaab have attracted a contingent of foreign fighters. When you add the. The, the foreign volunteers to the Somali soldiers. Do we have a clear idea of, of how strong, they are as a military force people even confused about the numbers? They say this public around five thousand members of shebab, but they are very effective, fighting force. They're very nimble. They've managed to adapt like there was a time when they were fighting along frontlines over controlling will miss all the major towns and cities in south central Somalia, but then when an African Union force came in to try to defeat them. It was quite successful in getting them this on paper outside the city's even Astra bat, maintained a presence of al-shabaab, s-, very nimble. So it just became more of an insurgent movement and carrying out attacks in the major towns and cities, and then controlling large parts of rural somebody in the smaller towns. So it's infinitely adaptable. I mean it has been in existence for pretty much. The teeny is Nasser. It's one of the. Worlds more enduring Islamist groups you've spoken extensively to members of Al Shabaab, both those running the organization and the organization's footsoldiers I suppose, we can call them how focused and rational other people in charge of it. The, the cool leadership of ousted bap is very focused, and they do have this vision of establishing a caliphate. They're very extreme and they are very clear in what they believe. But most of the foot soldiers join all sorts of different reasons, some of them joined because they're forcibly abducted others, joined because they're paid more than they get from being in the Somali military others, joined for clan reasons. Maybe they're from a minority clan that's been abused over the decades. And they feel this is the way that they can get a gun and maybe get revenge on people from the more powerful clans. So there's lots of different reasons why people join, but the leadership does seem quite focused on his clear. Cool beliefs of establishing. Caliphate. How difficult in organizations? Are they to to get to know though? How willing are they to actually sit down and have conversations with foreign journalists Abbas co an incredibly sophisticated an active propaganda department and media and communications department, that one of the more successful in terms of that they've used social media in the past Email phone calls that very active in trying to reach out to local journalists and foreign journalists. So it's easy to speak to them. They usually the ones the initiate, the conversation rather than me. So when they do initiate, those conversations how does that usually work, and what do they usually want to talk about? They usually cool when there's been an attack that they've carried out and they want to let me know. So it was them carried out the attack. Sometimes they see something on the BBC that they claim is incorrect, and that it should be corrected other times they cool for chat in a way. Nothing. Thing in particular. They just want to slightly pass the time of day by talking to me. And that's when I actually get the most interesting information from them, because that's lightly of God, and they'll start talking about things, probably in those more formal journalistic conversations, they don't really branch into then they're quite clear, cold and callous about the fact that, that carrying out this attack. This is how many people they've killed how much fun their foot soldiers, having inside slaughtering people. But I suppose the most frightening thing they do is whenever I come back from Somalia. They tell me very much where I've been who I've spoken to so they have a very sophisticated intelligence network. I guess degree of control and coercion. Even if you like is that the key to how they have been able to hold the parts of Somalia? They've held is it just by Folsom by feel or do they have actual genuine wholehearted support among certain sectors of smaller say, don't they have to climbing support among the Somalis mainly governed through fair and finance? But they also offer services that the government doesn't offer, for example, they have courts that people who live in Mogadishu, and other government controlled areas us because then much more efficient than less corrupt than the coats, that exists in the government controlled parts of Somalia say, also distribute charity to people they do have a system of governance that even though it's Conan it works. And it probably works better than that. That's, that's in the Somali government's kind of attempt. So very weak attempts to. Foam, kind of civilized working society in Somalia. That has completely failed. So I think some people even though they know they have to make those sacrifices by living in Ashgabat territory. They now if if they bite, by the rules, there's going to be education. There's going to be structure that's going to be predictability. And so, even though the afraid of Al Shabaab that prepared to live in their territory and what you'll sense being of how they see the future. I mean, whether they've been willing to admit it to themselves or to anybody else, so not do you get any sense that those in charge of Al Shabaab recognized that at some point they will need to be some sort of accomodation with a Somali government, which will result into their incorporation into the political structures even if it is in a slightly half in half out semi hypocritical fashion in the manner of say Hezbollah in Lebanon or they absolutely. Hell, bent ride or die determined. On imposing sharia law under the caliphate in Somalia and possibly other places up to end including Alaska acid up is pretty adamant that he doesn't want to speak to the government. So even though some people in the government tool people who work in intelligence people who've really, really know the situation very well have been suggesting that eventually there's going to be have to be some kind of talks that go on. But Al Shabaab says it will never speak to the government. But then at the same time, there are channels of communication that exists as lots of people who have relatives in shebab they speak to each other. So it's not as if there's no communication tool, and it does seem that if the situation is ever going to end which will eventually there's going to have to be some kind of negotiations are going on. But at the moment that seems quite far away Mary, hopper. Thank you for joining us. Mary's book everything you have told me is. True. The many faces of Al Shabaab is available now. How then does one govern the seemingly on governable spare a thought for those who are trying in two thousand twelve Somalia's first parliament for more than twenty years was sworn in amid tight security at Mogadishu airport in two thousand seventeen that parliament elected Somalia's current president Mohammed Abdullah Mohammed better known as Joe. I'll next guest Hussein Shaykh Ali is former national security advisor to the president of Somalia, and now, chairman of the Huron institute, he joins us from Mogadishu sane, Somalia is very commonly depicted in foreign media, not least in this program as absolutely lawless and ungovernable, how close to reality is that. Well, I think it's been the case for the wire, but since two thousand nine Amalia have beaten on the track over copy, and the every day every month on air. There was an incremental improvement both on governance and security. So in that period, if we reflect all ten years from two thousand nine to now, what kind of legitimacy and what kind of reach has the central government of Somalia been able to establish the fest two presents two thousand nine on dead? The second one came two thousand twelve those leading stations have actually managed to push back Al Shabaab at the time who literally controlling over ninety percent of the south central part of Somalia, and most of the towns, cities and the. That infrastructures as well as they managed to put together a degree of governance all over the country building. Any genetic states said who are more or less attorney Mus running on the own issues and held to elections, you know, concede that a fair free, but nod was no that when a man went will elections. In terms of what life is like now. And what the job is like now for the president of Somalia Mohammed, Abdali Muhammed, who you have worked for. Of course. What's an average day like for him, how is he able to actually go out and see any of Somalia's he's still constrained by security? Name edged up the president is more or less constrained to move around to the on here in the city. And if and when he went to move out of the city, it's a much more undertaking, and a takes days to, to plan to move and his main security as the mandate of Amazon. Where did I miss is the African Union forces, which are mandated by the United Nations Security council? Is there any prospect at all? Do you think of al-shabaab ever being incorporated, into Somalia's mainstream political process? We had, of course, the story last year of Muktar bile, formerly a very senior Al Shabaab official trying to run for state governorship. Was that an indication that they are actually interested at some point of becoming a legitimate? Political organization, or is that more? A case of them trying to subvert subvert, Somali politics. Somebody has had success in the past where they have incorporated, rebels and jihadi groups to the government aside. So that's why might believe always comes from dad passed expedience where Shabaab will as we speak now. Shabaab is not ready to come to the table. But the conflict could only end through negotiations. That's why I put it together. In two thousand eighteen October fourteen coinciding the major attack that they did two thousand seventeen opinion is adding that we should negotiate little Tra and s y if the government put its act together, and they strategy to end the wool. I leave shebab. Sooner or later, will come to the table. If that's the case though, what is it? The Dow shebab would be looking full because the situation as you've described it sounds pretty much like what Al Shabaab booed actually won't in. They do have a degree of power that I have a degree of control. They are presumably making money what could us Amoly government offer them would induce them or encourage them to give that up. I think the first thing I, I think that Donovan needs to work on the military side, they have to show little bit of as thread, where they have to convince the leadership of Al Shabaab. The endeavor is gonna produce in other yield a success. So they summit after statal the military side, but also have to have a comprehensive strategy to convince them that the government is ready to talk to them, anything that they want to be talked about, for example, the two major issues that they always. Site when they're talking to the bubbly entre. Bob is number one, the foreign forces. I'm some other forces who I in the country, they always, they have to go and the second one is the shuttle, we are Muslims. We need a shutout. I think these two items are not something that we cannot talk to them about is a more of a technical discussion land. The, the government has to be ready to discuss with them on the subject of those foreign forces to which Al Shabaab object. This is the UN backed African Union mission Amazon, how dependent on those foreign forces. Now is the government of Somalia four its ability to project strength, and also day today security as, as you'll be aware. It has just been announced that, that force is going to be reduced by one thousand troops. Oh, where did, I think we are heavily dependent on African forces the last Security Council. Resolution is father. Reducing the forces believe at went to a lot of pressure on the ground where the government is not ready yet to take over from those forces. So we extremely dependent on there, but it is something that after be leveraged that the government have to negotiate with Al Shabaab, if we have to ask for enforces to leave, then what are you offering on the ground? So that's where it has to be a negotiating tactic for the government. If you think about the next save five ten fifteen years in Somalia. What's your idea of plausible best case scenario, where might the country be able to progress to from where it presently is? Well, I'm one of the optimist here in Malaysia. And I be that the next ten years, they wouldn't be substantial improvement on the ground book on the unity in politics, or though, the, the country is calumnies straddling, the basics, but they daily hope that you'll find on the down people with the thinking, hell, they want to improve the country, sort of a, you know, blit can discussions on the discourse that, that people are having Betty optimistic and that what makes me, you know, optimistic about the near future and the long term where now you know, as you know, somebody has been resources both. The own gas and or the other minerals, and people are looking forward, making the best of what they have economically, Hussain Shaikh Ali in Mogadishu. Thank you for joining us. That's it for the separation of the foreign desk, where back next week and look out for the foreign desk. Explainer available every Wednesday the foreign desk is produced by Yolene Goffin and build. Lucci, Bill also edits the program with help this week from Nora Hurrell and Kenya scarlet the research is when Neil amnesia and Rory good. Drink my name's Andrew, thanks very much for listening until next time goodbye.
Introducing AMERICAN JIHADI
"Hi I'm Chris Daum Puzzle. I WanNa let you know about my new podcast series. American jihadi over eight episodes. Tell the story of the years I spent reporting on a young American named Omar Hamami who became one of the FBI's most wanted terrorists Amami left his home in Alabama and eventually ended up in Somalia. Fighting with Al Shabaab a militant Islamic summit group Al Qaeda Amami reached out to me directly from where he was hiding in Somalia and we kept up a secret correspondence for over a year historic lead me down one of the strangest the most fraught roads of my career as a journalist. Listen to the first episode of American Jihadi coming up next to hear what I mean. And while you're listening go subscribe to American Jihadi Audie and apple podcasts. Or wherever you're listening now there's also a link in the episode notes that will take you right there. In the fall of two thousand seven. A video was broadcast asked on the Al Jazeera News Network. A thin man in his early twenties sits on the ground in a field somewhere in the east African country of Somalia. He's wearing camouflage Josh. And there's a hand grenades strapped to his left front pocket. He's looking directly into the camera but his face is wrapped in green scarf so that only his eyes and a flash of white skin showing all Muslims of America take into consideration the example of Somalia. The man is the mouthpiece for new Islamic militant group in Somalia called Al Shabaab which means the youth in Arabic after fifteen years of chaos and oppressive rule by the American backed warlords. Your brothers stood up in order to establish I wish peace and justice in this land. The camera cuts to dozens of African fighters. I'm AK47's and grenade launchers. The video doesn't make clear is why they're spokesman appears to be a white American. MD story quickly circulated online. And even though the American had been careful not to reveal his identity identity and the small southern town of Daphne Alabama they knew exactly who he was. I came home from work. One day in Bernie he was as white. That is a she'd what is always like mom. You need to watch us the minute we heard the boys when you that it was more now. It all makes sense. He's over there fight. He's not coming back and we saw. Oh my God what is going on when it's going on it's gone. The man in the video was Omar Hamami he would become one of the. FBI's most wanted terrorists. I would spend years chasing his story. Attract his life from Alabama Alabama where he had attended a southern Baptist Church and his high school class president to the frontlines of a guerrilla war in Africa. And then I heard from Omar himself Over time the relationship that developed between us would blur the lines between journalism and friendship and wreck the tidy story. I told myself about the boundary between good and evil. I'm Christoph puzzle this Jihadi episode one. The Matrix I. I became aware of Muhammad in 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 hiding his face. He looks like a skinny of Ara. His Brown hair is long and much of his face is covered by a young man's first beard at points. Omar speaks directly to the cameras. He's recruiting foreigners himself to come join Al Shabaab so if you can encourage more of your your neighbors England around to send people like him to this it would be a great asset person later. He appears to lead Al Shabaab fighters setting an ambush camping. Omar Lamar looks white and his accent is so clearly American and yet there. He is sitting in Somalia with an AK47 surrounded by east African fighters hanging on his every word. Worry that the numbers are close. Two thousand or more try to blow Piss me that vehicles as we can and kill as many of the mechanic take too much now face cracks into a smile as if he feels self conscious saying all these things on camera picture cuts away to a shot of Bush. The enemy approaches in the. US Omar story was quickly picked up by the 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 he learned about this Guy Twenty five years old American jihadist circles as Abu Lunch or the American and found his story fascinating 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 a cliche of American normalcy he. 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 ward of less. I'd actually reported from Somalia in two thousand six just a few months aunts before Omar had arrived there at the time I was a TV correspondent for Program called Vanguard on current TV. We sort of vice news before vice news existed. We tried 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 but by the time is 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. al-shabaab Babu in a running gun battle with Ethiopian. African Union troops American drones fired missiles at suspected terrorists and suicide bombers were beginning to target the cities. It was just to chaotic and dangerous for me to go back. Security officials implicate al-shabaab in the assassination of aid workers and a string of bomb attacks in Mogadishu still still. I knew I wanted to figure out a way to tell Omar story a young American who had traded in his middle class life for life 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. I knew it reach Mar.. I I knew that his family was still living in Alabama. So I got on a plane. MM-HMM I landed mobile and drove a half hour east to Daffy a small suburb on Mobile Bay. That calls itself the Jubilee City. The streets are lined with massive. Live oaks the kind film directors. Put movies that you'll think old south. I found Mars parents place at the end of a cul de sac. The curtains were drawn tight but on the mailbox it said in large white letters shifty Cami. I got a quick glimpse of Omar's father Shafique when he looked at me through the window of his front door hid hid glasses and a dark salt and pepper beard. I said that I was a reporter. He told me to go away and he couldn't talk to me before flying down I'd also reached reached out to Omar Sister Dina on facebook back on my rental car. I check my phone to see if she'd written back nothing on the highway. I fast and Applebee's K.. Mart I pulled into the hooters because I figured maybe someone there went to high school with Omar. The bartender told me that while he didn't know Omar well in high school. He did just run into his best friend Bernie at Walmart. The bartender even knew the street he lived on. I'm Bernie Street. There were names on all the mailboxes boxes except for one. I asked him kids playing street hockey if they knew who lived in that house. You mean the Jews one of the most Jews. Yeah the ones with the Star Wars outfits. Do you mean Muslims. Yeah them kid shrug. Whatever Bernie wasn't home? Later that night we managed to connect and he invited me over to dinner with his family. He lived with his mother. His wife and two kids dinner Thank you send. Version Bernie was tall and slender with blonde hair and a beard. He and his family are practicing. Muslims Omar converted to Islam during his sophomore year and soon after inspired Bernie to convert as. Well it's kind of hard for you to like envision the guys the terrorists you know if you're like lived with the guy and you know really good friends with the guy for so many years you just when you see them. You don't see like the tear show I go. Hey this is my friend that I haven't seen a couple years off Bernie's mother Sharon had converted to Islam too. When I met her? Her head was covered with black. Ajab added with tiny flowers for Sharon. Omar wasn't a terrorist terrorist. He was the person who started her on the path to putting her life back together. She told me that before she became Muslim. She hadn't been the greatest mother to Barney. He saw me grow Kalat lot which is very painful. Had A lot of shame felt that you know he didn't have a guidance. He didn't have a lot of supervision and he needed a moment. I wasn't here was Mar Sharing hadn't even harder time than Bernie understanding how the Omar she knew. Daphne became one of the. FBI's most wanted terrorists. He's the boy who helped me learn crafting and that's my head around thinking that he would and be a part of hurting innocent people. I just I just can't I can't fathom that Act Bernie and I watched the video Omar the ambush as they entered into our ambush it with small arms fire. He's the guy that everybody uses elements and ricky I known as Omar Jimenez. And that's the gateway you know Kinda like grew up with in high. School is a kind of a normal dude. I mean kind of like a job buell really charismatic. Cool main objective is to DIS martyr. The fact that we got to Martyrs is nothing more than other during of it. So if you look at the video don't read the subtitles and just kind of like watching events. Just like a seems like your old friend just with a different very close on over the course of the next four months I spent a lot of time with Bernie. We went to their high school and the Walmart where they both worked. We even flew to Toronto uh-huh to see where he and Omar had lived for about a year before moving down to Egypt. Egypt is where they separated Bernie coming back to the US Omar disappearing eventually turning coming up in Somalia and the long piece about Omar made for current TV. I tried to paint a more complicated picture of him than just the American born terrorist. I but I was never totally satisfied. I was able to follow Mars path from Alabama to candidate to Egypt and then to Somalia and al-shabaab what I couldn't really get my head around though was why he had chosen that path to answer that question or any of the others still had I would have needed to get to Omar Somehow mm-hmm but not even US intelligence to be able to find them. It would take another two years for me to get my answer as it turned out. I had it backwards words. I didn't need to find Omar. It was Omar. Who needed to find me? UH In March of two thousand twelve. It had been two years since my piece. On Omar Hamami aired. In the meantime I network current TV. She had decided to stop making documentary features and laid off almost everyone who worked on my show now instead of getting on a plane to go after a war zone I was supposed to be finding an angle engle for a story about the upcoming presidential election but then at the do popped up on Youtube. AOL said he it was Omar. Mr Hami but this video was not al-shabaab propaganda. It was titled An Urgent Message To Omar sitting on the floor alone in front of a black flag with white Arabic. Script looks thin and scared whenever they reach from the worst bones I record the maybe because I feel that my life may be endangered. The rest of it is an Arabic but the video was a cry for help. Omar Hamami the poster boy for jihad is saying that he thinks his life might be in danger. He's worried that people are trying to kill him. And that those people that one fellow fighters and Al Shabaab. The story only got stranger from their rumors started floating around online. homer had been killed Omar's mother Deborah even called me for years. His parents refused to speak with me but now she wanted to know if I had any hard information about her son I didn't I spent days combing online. Jihadi forums trying to make heads or tails of what actually was going on and then I got an email go. I admire your work. That's my producer Brent Renault reading email. I have a copy of an autobiography written by Omar. Hamami should I send it to you. Whoever wrote it didn't sign the email and honestly journalists get a lot of weird emails? I didn't think a whole lot of it but I wrote back and told them to go ahead. Hadn't send me the autobiography I asked if it was Dammar. Omar who wrote it. The next morning I got an answer. It was definitely written by him. It's an auto biography. I stared at my phone trying to make sense of what I was reading. Either somebody was messing with me or they had somehow gotten their hands on a book. Omar Moore had actually written or the person emailing me was Omar Hamami back from the dead and I called back on Mars Mother Deborah. I asked her for details about Omar's childhood things only he would know. I didn't tell her why I was asking. And she didn't cry and I then asked. Whoever was writing me? The House for Omar Sisters Middle Name Dina's Middle Name is looked via. I asked for the names of his family pets growing up. We Polo freckles. Hobie an Haley. Every answer was right. Omar Omar was alive. Even though the person writing me kept insisting that he was just Omar spokesman I was almost positive it was actually are himself. I sent another email okay. You're the real deal. Wow I was just talking to Debra. Yesterday she misses Omar with all our heart. Omar says you look like Dina's husband and thinks is your promptly a cool guy. That's why I decided to contact you. You'll really break my heart if you're some kind of closet neo-con over the course of several days and dozens of emails mouse. Omar mostly refused to answer questions. Well the first thing you should know that this conversation is one hundred percent watched by the whole alphabet he meant the CIA CIA the FBI the NSA I downloaded tour and started using a VPN to block my ip address. But I knew that already left a huge digital trail. The the second thing is Omar doesn't have any people on the ground anymore. The situation is best described as a power struggle where Omar is caught in the middle clan. Lewis misunderstood good and yet still adamant about his opinions. It was the same story he had hinted out in the mysterious video posted to Youtube. It appeared he was in danger. Because of some disagreement this agreement he'd had with the rest of al-shabaab by the way. Do you get in trouble for having contact with. Terrorists was bizarre to be trading emails with Omar. Mr One moment he would tell me about how life was endanger the next he be complaining about how hard it was to find. Free e books online Amazon is sucking. Everyone's life blood and I don't know where in the world find kindle fire or he'd asked me personal questions you know Mars deceased dog's name. He should probably get to know at least something about about you as well. I told him that I lived in L.. A. With my wife Julie who is a humanitarian aid worker that she was the love of my life but we rarely saw each other. I get the feeling you guys of the nonviolent peace love harmony tight I hope you and Julie grow old fat in toothless together however friendly Omar could be got impatient. I didn't reply immediately. It's helpful when you give me a heads up about when you're next reply will come when you don't. I sometimes sit for like an hour. Our staring at the screen. Ll Silence is not the expected result of such staring. It's all good though. I'll be dozing off often about two hours tools tools. I tried to convince Omar to let me come to Somalia to interview them on camera. He wasn't buying knowing that plan. The only thing that could come out of you trying to link up with Omar is getting auctioned off by the Shabaab and Omar might not come out of that situation too well himself at least for now if we're lives through the next few months which has a lot to do with getting this bio out. Things could become more flexible again. In in the meantime Omar wanted something from me. Presently Omar is dead to the world and has no voice if People Omar as the good guy in the victim and they. They know that he's still alive. It means having him disappear after that becomes that much harder. Omar's plan as far as I could make it out was for me to be a kind of megaphone. He could shout through to keep himself from being killed looking at this way. It'll help your career and for Omar it might save his head and I didn't want to Mars megaphone and I didn't really understand how the release of his autobiography. You can save his life but at the same time. I didn't WanNa miss the story awardee. He awaits your input and like I said there's little time so the sooner the better eventually we settled on a compromise. He would send me the autobiography. He'd offered me but he would also answer a long list of questions I had for him except Omar was done with having our conversation. Never g mail like I said if it gets in the wrong hands it could be Omar's death especially now without encryption. Omar wanted us to go dark from a hotel room. Where I'm staying in New York? I begin trying to follow his instructions for how to download al-Qaeda's secret encryption program. I'd so what's going on Airmont invite a friend of mine. WHO's a TV producer record? What happens the only camera I have with me as an IPAD? My friends starts to shoot. who were you chatting with On the shaky video is much younger version of myself sitting at a desk in a room at a downtown hotel next to me is a half empty bottle of red wine. I have to open on one laptop where I'm talking to Omar. He's insisting that around the encryption Christian program off a different laptop that's never been hooked up to the Internet I look exhausted and confused. Amar's reached out to me Or somebody claiming to be representing Omar and my heart is pounding recieving going. I feel like the police or the FBI will kick down the door at any moment. Just sitting here as Omar or or over claiming to be Omar is writing and trying to describe to me how to do encryption on my computer and and he's going on and on and on and on and on do you think it's really him. Yes definitely what makes you say that. That's all kinds of questions. He says that he does. He does reference that my documentary at most of it right. No kidding he saw your doc doc. Yeah he's a fan where where does not that scary. Yeah how did he see it. Guys clearly got Internet access. Do you feel conflicted as an American. You know because my job is to look at the world is good versus evil. I look at motivation and I believe that this is what I want to know. I've been trying to find out with him. What went what went wrong? How did you end up in a situation? You see where smart kid and I still believe incredibly smart or ego do really believe all this stuff. Because part of me doesn't I think he does. So that's what I need to find out but before you can do that. You've got to jump through some technical hurdles. I've gotTA basically. I tried to get off the grid as much as possible and you know block. Ip addresses start using encrypted code. Start storing things on flash drives. He's been a good teacher. So far I'll be plugged into the the underground jihadi network. Another time it takes all night but suddenly my computer screen goes black. That's what I got myself into. A green door appears on the screen with the logo. Ak47 Kyanne in English it it says Mujahedeen Secrets I type in a code. The key Mars given me. The screen is flooded with lines of Arabic script. You know what I want from waiting for this guy for so long. I'm like fun. And then I'm in. Omar greets me with a reference matrix. Well Mr Anderson Smith is waiting. How does it feel to be chatting with one of the world's most wanted man oh it's totally surreal? But at the same time. I kind of feel like I'm talking to a friend of mine UH.
693: Abdi the American
"Support for this American life comes from ziprecruiter hiring is challenging. But it's now twenty twenty and hiring can be simple and smart with ziprecruiter cruder. They help growing businesses connect qualified candidates. Try It for free at ZIPRECRUITER DOT COM slash American ziprecruiter. The smartest way to hire support for this American life comes from the capital one saver card earn four percent cashback on dining and entertainment tuber Senate then at grocery stores and one percent all other purchases. Now when you go out you cash in. What's in your wallet terms apply? WBZ Chicago this American Life. America's hey how's it going Louis chilly so excited man this day. Yeah this is the day it'd be call on a pier in Portland Maine was windows looking out on the water I'd be nor wearing Arroyo. Blue three-piece suit American flag tie American flag pin on his lapel page. Oh Yes yes yes. I dressed up for this. I ordered this online and it it arrived yesterday. ooh Just in time. So it's all it's all the. US fled lead. This is recorded three weeks ago. I be forty five others from twenty five countries becoming. US citizens and just before the ceremony started. Aubrey was told that he will be waiting the entire group and the end in the pledge of allegiance. John let me see if I sound. I pledge allegiance to the flag back the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands one nation under God indivisible with liberty and justice frog pronounciation problem perfect but slowdown. It's been a long journey to this moment. For Ati. Starting in two thousand thirteen eighteen episode of our show years ago built around recordings that he made during that difficult journey to America and today to commemorate his new status as our fellow citizen without we would replay that story with some updates at the end began when he wants. Something called the diversity Visa Lottery Devi Lottery. If you've never heard of this it sounds like the kind of thing that can't be real but it's been around since the ninety S. Remember the United States government every year the original idea of it was to get more varied group of immigrants from a diversity of countries into our country term administration has cut some of the eligible countries. Melissa the lottery is still operating over. Fourteen million people applied for the twenty twenty lottery with over eighty thousand winners back in two thousand thirteen found out. He won in a Cyber Cafe and Kenya. There was a smiley refugee back then. Living in Kenya is next playboy. I'm going to play you from those days. So you'll hear abuse. American accent is not as good as it is now. He remember the moment that he won this way. He's down on his computer. I put my confirmation number. I put my data breath and then click. There was a few seconds of silence but then you have been only selected. Everybody went nuts. Lifted him up in the air and his chair but he didn't believe it. He asked his friends to put him down. Started entering information into the computer again. Am and again same answer. December swallow booted sandwich response. I realized that one I walked out with this friend is all you know. Oh shouting behind me in front of me holding my hands shook me. My heart was bombarding I. I was not holding myself together. You're moving to America Don. Do but he'd know the half of winning the lottery was especially big deal for update because really more than anybody. The he knew he'd been obsessed with America since he was little as a kid. Growing up in Mogadishu Somalia. You go the movies. which in Mogadishu just meant a TV deep perched on a table Shack and he would bring a pen and paper to watch American films so we can write down any words you didn't know or in the language better became known to people. It was the guy who could translate the movie for you stuff would happen on screen and everybody would turn to Ati chat. He says he's about to kill that guy. You pronounce his English like an American AIRCON. That's always accent is so amazing when you hear him which led to his nickname was friends called him up American. That's my that's my nickname. As he got older he devoted himself to the goal of getting to America not only studying English but also teaching it. He did some radio stories in English. You can totally understand. Why when the country right you grew up Malaya? For years there was no functioning government it was rival warlords and militias just anarchy dangerous and violent violent bombings and attacks from the terrorist group Al Shabaab which is affiliated with Al Qaeda. Obvious him or really for any man in his twenties in Somalia. It's hard to stay out of the fight. You can just be neutral. Go about your life stories about Shebab members threatening to join them or else at one checkpoint on the way to his mom's told him basically next time you come through here better be one of us so that joined the government forces who were fighting Al Shabaab where he could flee the country you know? There's boats full of people trying to cross the Mediterranean to get to Europe and sometimes they sink and hundreds of people drowned I've been those people who've gone. Those boats and boats like them to escape to Yemen. Yes I've lost three very good friends. On one of his friends had his child and Losing your vote with his wife. He knew how to swim but he could not swim. Because his John Lewis you know he was trying to to save his jail and his wife and then they were caught up in the sea shocks. There were not the only ones who died there. Seventy five other Somalis were killed in that journey on. That has changed nothing about our decision. That dozen Skara Salah at all we know is there ever times op de point to take one of those boats but he had trouble getting the money together and eventually his mom talked him out of it so instead he escaped across the border to Kenya Smith. Kenya next to each other Abdi moved to Nairobi. Enrolled in a university tried twice for a student. Visa or America was denied both times if he hadn't gotten lucky that day in the cybercafe cafe he said he would have been looking again getting on a boat. Yeah if I had not won this lottery. That was one of my options. I will smoke a freight rate. Do that. I'm looking forward alive. I'm to get to that. I'll keep trying to the the thing about the lottery though what I'll do is that it does not guarantee your life in America. The fact is the first step after you win. You have to wait more than a year. Then you show up in an American embassy for an interview and you have to gather all kinds of paperwork to bring with you medical documents in school transcripts and a criminal background check. Everything has to be perfect. Every I dotted the tiniest mistake means that you can be denied for good if I most years over half the people win the lottery. Never get their visas. They don't make it to America and right away after winning the lottery. I've got a bad break. The please and I will be Kenya. Kenya where he lived started. Raiding houses looking around up all the smileys like him and kicked him out of the country. We have a very unusual day by hi day record. What happened to update because a BBC reporter named Leo Hornak Wanted Document this process and started calling the every night? There's one of the very first I recordings. Hey can you hear me. Yeah Yeah I can hear you you safe right now for the moment. Yeah actually you send me an email to have me really worried today. Yeah and what happened greasy actually chatting with some of the people in our apartment when these guys we don't call them the police we we call them the guys out of nowhere happier that at the gate and they asked us to raise their hands up and You know we we. We were thinking okay. This dan of it. We're GONNA go there tonight by their. He means a place called Casa Ronnie giant soccer stadium that Kenyan authorities and police were using as a makeshift jail told hundreds of refugees like my but the next couple of months. You're going to you're going to be spending their in the concentration camp. And then they dig into Mogadishu. Are you gonNa Miss Your luxury. All that things were going through my mind. What happened on April seventeenth? Twenty fourteen. I'll be had ninety six days as to go for his interview at the. US Embassy which will be scheduled for July twenty second. We have started calling him every day word for him. Say over half the people who win this this Oughta never make it to the United States would obviously over the next three months. He faced a horrifying obstacle course. It's just like one seemingly impossible impossible task after another at several points frayed for his life and his story is the story of so many people around the world. We desperately trying to make it to America to become. Come one of us Okay so you remember where we are op de is about to be taken into custody by the police. Here's Leo Hornak. So here's why the police were raiding these neighborhood in Nairobi. Al Shabaab is the very group. Aptly moved Kenya to escape. have been ramping up terrorist attacks inside right Kenya. You may remember one of the biggest ones the hostage crisis and the upscale West Gate Mall is ongoing the chaotic scene now a tenth standoff. ABC In September. Two thousand thirteen Al Shabaab gunmen trapped. Hundreds of people in the mall for days was killed. Sixty seven the way. The Kenyan government responded to these terrorist attacks ax was the way governments often do in these situations with a huge crackdown on the community. They hold responsible al-shabaab from Somalia. So they go off to Somali refugees. He's living in Kenya government's trying to clear them out of Kenya's cities and move them to camps in the country with a Portland back to Somalia and in Nairobi. The neighborhood they talk it is up. These neighborhood is called. easely is a dense neighborhood. Where many poor Somalis live? And whether some al-shabaab support he's he's been there for decades is known as little Mogadishu Abdi lives there with his older brother Hasaan in a small room with one bed and a single bathroom for the whole building. I think so too that phone call on April seventeenth the police show up and grabbed me by the shirt. They just get your caller and poets or pipe. I till you come with me and just get into track this with this all of us. It's ninety six days till Abdi's interview worried. They can throw him and his brother into a truck and take them into detention before we can ever get his papers together and leave for America they threaten you and they try to forcibly. Take you to two tracks We go with them. We were saying. Okay let's negotiate. I'm not going anywhere ever legitimate documents. And they were telling US okay. Bring all your documents. Would you have at the pulls out his refugee Fiji. ID officially that should protect empty. It's from the United Nations unofficially even even tried to give it a single glance because he he knows the shave he knows the frame of and he's as he threw it into my face and he says you're if you take doing here and they're like I'm GonNa give us whatever you have as is one of them's it so that's when the real business starts when the real business that's a Koa bribes Abdi his brother and the neighbors stop pulling their cash in total. I think we give them more than eighty eight thousand dollars and I had to beg them please. I have nothing this all. I have no nothing nothing of this all I have to take and how much does eight dollars by you. In Eastleigh it gives you the best food. It's is better genes barrel shirts jogging that stuff. It's a lot of money ended a lot of money and Apti what what happens next. I mean there's there's there's no solution right to this. This could happen again tomorrow tomorrow. It can happen right now. It can happen tonight. He gave it can have in the next few minutes. Got Having the next few hours every day what I realized was how relentless is every night and other excuse for crackdown and the Somalis are sitting ducks trapped in this one neighborhood. Most people are indoors today. They're not going anywhere coming out of their houses. April twenty fifth eighty eight days to Abdi's interview and counting. It's a Friday which normally would be a busy day in eastern because it's a Muslim holy early day people take off from work go shopping. Go out to eat to meet in the mosque for prayers. But not today. Last week the police showed up at a nearby mosque mosque. Grab people as they left Pres- and drove them away in trucks. Were getting in additional from police saying that the will intensify their operations and that they will tech or people so empty. What you think you're GONNA do today? Will you visit a mosque no l.. I never missed a prayer on Friday. These these one naval but you never know soon Abdi stops leaving his apartment for anything he and his brother Hasan. Essentially go into hiding lockdown in their building. I I stopped going to school days. Go by food begins to run short afternoon. Hasaan Pula supplies with another Somali family on the ground floor of their building. Two women one single mother with two small boys but it's not March soon that down to just tea and sugar and a loaf of bread. They're able to get each day from Kenyon anion guy who delivers it on his bike as what they were living on tea and bread our eyes are turning red and Danner just running out. We're looking pretty skinny. Abdomen Hasaan paying for the team. Bread with money they get from overseas years ago. I did some reports for an American in public. Radio show called the story and a listener reached out wanting to help. She sends the money not too different from lots of Somali refugees who have family members abroad supporting them but obviously that kind of help any go so far. It's the judging us you know. You can't even shut. You is at might on sleep soundly. This zapped older brother Hasaan. He tells me on sleeping he and abbvie sound the same by the way. Apparently even their father can't tell them apart on the phone any minute you expect. Awesome breaking into your house grabbing you. It's like sleeping. Would you pants on you know get a you know you're always ready. Not You don't know where they're you know while feeling harm is like you relax. Watch movie you something like. If you hit another sound outside some other knocking walking you know small you know kind of sound little. What's have been addicted not criminal just the Geez on? I never thought being we we make you sound like criminal kind of police abuse is apt. He told me about a well documented by human rights groups and journalists lists arbitrary arrest extortion beatings forcible deportation family members separated. It's illegal under international law to send refugees. She's back to a country where their lives could be in danger. The spokesman for Kenya's Ministry of Interior which oversaw the police raids in Eastleigh told me they were justified to make the the city safe from Al Shabaab but he confirmed that the kind of police corruption Abdeel told me about has been a problem for a long time in Kenya. That is a fact. He said we're not denying that her son tell me East. Come up with warning system. The first person to spot the police from his window fires a group text to his friends to say they're coming your way. See you've got time to hide. Then you pass the message on to your friends and so on you can tell a raid started. Hasaan says when you hear all the phones going off just three months left after his interview Abdi still needs to get all the documents required by the. US Embassy documents from the police is school doctors. But he can't do any of that because he can't even been leaving building the clock's ticking disallowing dream. My hopes were high to to get this thing but now today I mean trouble you know right. It's not Americans who are who. Are you know Putin my my visa into trouble. It's the king indicate police and I'm supposed to love me interview here in July. My Hafbro my feelings are very bad. I'm feeling like okay. I'm not you're going to make it April twenty eighth team his eighty five days his interview. Instead of have hiding from the police people are now surrendering from his window. Abdi's entire families on the sidewalk with their belongings. Hundreds of families are on the move back Somalia ready to show themselves to the police and say all right. I'm done I'm done. They don't have any more money to pay off the police and rather than end up at the football stadium that just go back to Somalia even the family on the ground floor. The two women with the young boys a packing up. Uh which really pro the heart of my brother tonight. Because that means we're going to be alone did you have any conversations with them about their. That plans. What they're afraid of? Can you tell me about any conversation you had with any member of that family. What they are telling me doing here come on? Move Your dreaming about America that doesn't exist. This is a dream come on. You're wrong as what they're telling Leo at some point thinking like would be okay to go with them. This is totally really no life. I guess it can't be safe for unaccompanied women with small children to be traveling by car from Nairobi to Somalia COM compensated for their expecting everything. They're expecting an extortion of property. They're expecting ray because there are gangs eggs on the road that can rape women on the gang. Snow that they're Somalis under under move so there's somewhere on the road where there's no police inside so they can come I'm on Jump into passes rape women take their to their money on. You know the other thing that these families are fearing when they free to the border between Kenya Somalia and they'll Egypt out of danger beginnings because it's al-shabaab that are lurking around to porter and when you fall into the hands of Al Shabaab you'd disappear forever now the thing that I was also discussing with them about this seven-year-old and five year old kids. Because does this odd agent at Al Shabaab. They really want to program and the case and teach them. You know whatever Ideologies they believe on so the the lady looked like she was so much worried for kids done for herself knowing these these two ladies and the case must go. Wow it's really clean so you've got a lot of things to think about a lot of things to worry about one night on the phone APP Diaz me if I'm familiar with the migration of the wildebeest APP do you want to be clear. He doesn't know about this because he's African he's aceticket. He's just seen on discovery channel clips like everyone else anyway. Each year thousands and thousands of wildebeest trek to a river that they have to cross in in order to graze on the other side the rivers infested with crocodiles and not every wildebeest makes it that they will have to try at says he knows how they feel both Somalis Apprai- he says the being hunted each evening. When I phoned up I was always concerned that one nine no one would answer? They do to finally taking the advice of his neighbors win. Hold off to the holding pens Casarini. When he did pick up often? He wanted to talk about things that weren't related to the Kenyan police al-shabaab. We talked about his favorite movies. Rambo that movie The rock with Nicholas Cage Anything Schwarzenegger. We talked about his friends in the good old days in Eastleigh when you could sit in a cafe and sip tea with camel one thing. I asked Abdi about what when people win the regular lottery. You always hear stories about how all of a sudden family members are really nice to them cousins. They haven't spoken to in years dot calling to say hi asking for favors. I wondered if this was the case with empty here. He was sitting in a slum with all these refugees who are in the same terrible situation and now he had a ticket out to people start treating him differently. Yes Leo Spice Girls. This is a very good question after. He's a practicing Muslim. And so the women he hangs out with so normally before you could only visit them in. A kind of formal courtship visited their home no having girls over to his place now hanging out in public the difference now since I want a green cutlery is that they're trying to come to my house. He's talking about before the police raid. It started when life was relatively normally years. Oh I just hear someone coming up the stairs knocking at my door saying hey happy being. It's it's a lady. Yeah she sits right next to your bed and it's all about the conversation. She's trying to do anything to attract you with this Woodward's Idea have a girlfriend when you want to marry What what type of girls you want? Now you're going to America. You need alive America Bliss. Let me be the first person you get in tight because here they don't have a husband. Are you thinking about any of these girls. Maybe you know something could happen. He he yes I really am attracted to one of these girls beautiful cute just a molly but she has finished high school in Europe. The good thing about her is she speaks English. She is really I think my type. She likes to read a lot. She has different character matters very shy but this pretty girl she gives me dance and she allows me to go to her jealous me to hang out with her in downtown narrow be where possible. You know so. Yeah I think I fall in love. Were congratulations. That's one piece of good news. Yeah but unfortunately lost four weeks. We haven't seen each other May I eighty two days and counting Apti cautiously ventures out of the apartment building for the first time Tom in weeks he heads downtown to central Nairobi. Where life is continuing as normal? It's a stressful journey. But he's able to buy a couple of gallons of clean water and some cans of beans to bring home. He says it's amazing. How good these taste to him and Hassen? He tells me he's getting more more worried about the paperwork. Key still has to get together for his interview his medical records and transcripts from his university. And there's one piece of paper that terrifies him. One of the the US embassy requirements is to get a police certificate something called Certificate of good conduct. This basically is is proof from Kenyan law enforcement. Awesome the APP. The isn't a criminal athlete. Doesn't have a record so this shouldn't be a big deal except for the place. He has to go to get the official certificates the headquarters of if the Kenyan police so that scares a lot thousands of Somalis are are being held as we speak and they're waiting for their pretend to Somalia or some of them. We're waiting for the cops so I'm thinking of jumping into a bus headed to headquarters stepping in there and saying hey guys. I need to police letter letter. My heart is all rebounding for weeks. After he'd been talking to me about this telling me how worried he was having to go into the belly of the beast. Finally on a Tuesday morning in May seventy seven days before his interview he gets up early gets together every ID. He has to prove he's illegal. Refugee says goodbye to Assen and takes a bus to police headquarters. He walks in waits for his name to be called and walks up to the window but he faces a Kenyan police officer and when he encounters is not brutal police tactics but bureaucracy. It was telling me there's nothing that I can do but you're Babar Senate. UNHCR and then. I have to wait for them to come back to me. Even can take more than five months to see testing five months way too long for aptitude have in time for his interview on July twenty. Second the guy there wasn't friendly. He was really really fierce and I was frozen with fear on. Finally I tell him wait. Just listen to me gentlemen. He's talking about five months to sir. But but that's not what I'm talking about if I don't get this Pacific and they will not give me or issue visa for me right so please see possible. And he was telling me. There's nothing that I can you. It's GONNA take more than five months. There's no possibility of you going into a later position with the US embassies. It doesn't happen if you delay your interview. At the end of some other people will grab the visa. Yeah there's going to be a doom it's going to be a doom Abdi says and I felt that to up to this point. It seemed like if Abdi could just hold on long enough to get to his embassy interview. He'd make it to America now. All bets were off now unless this changed those no way and we are Hornak decides to keep going back to police headquarters every few weeks despite the risk despite how frightening it is see if one time. Maybe it's a different answer. What happens next in a minute from Chicago Public Radio when I program continues support for this American life comes from Ziprecruiter? It's a new year a perfect opportunity to take your business to the next level by hiring the right people. But finding qualified candidates can be challenging. John Ging Ziprecruiter makes it easy by sending your job to over one. Hundred of the Web's leading job sites with their powerful matching technology ziprecruiter scans thousands thousands of resumes to find people with the right experience and invite them to apply to your job. It's so effective that four out of five employers who post get a quality candidate ended it through the site within the first day. Try Ziprecruiter for free at this exclusive web address ziprecruiter dot com slash American. That's ZIPRECRUITER DOT com slash American ziprecruiter. The smartest way to hire support for this American life comes from the capital one saver card and with the capital one saver card you earn four percent cashback on dining and entertainment. That means four percent on milkshakes with the kids and four percent on music with your pals house you'll also earn two percent cashback at grocery stores and one percent on all other purchases. Now when you go out you cash in capital one. What's in your wallet terms? Apply American Life From Ira Glass Today on our program or repaying. The story of Abdennour just three weeks after the ceremony where he finally became A. US citizen obviously smaller refugee. Who escaped Kenya and then he went? What amounts to a golden ticket to move the United States become an American? But only if he's able to make it to an interview at the US embassy with all the right paperwork all done perfectly so we can cash in that golden ticket. The United Nations has reported the number of people around the world displaced from their homes because of conflict and persecution is at an all time high. It's over seventy million people the largest number of the UN his ever recorded Abdi of course one of those people. He's Muslim from a country. With a proven history of terrorism. The story happened back in twenty thirteen. But today under president is it. In trump's travel ban a Somali op de would not be allowed a visa to immigrate into the United States. Anyway Leo Hornick continues a story may twelfth t minded seventy one days to Abdi's embassy interview after he gets on a bus home from school and this time runs into another danger not the police not al-shabaab themselves selves. But the fear of Al Shabaab the buses so crowded with people and there. Are these two ladies watching. After looks around and realizes he's the only Somali people can tell Somalis. Look different and a Somali with a backpack on on a public bus. He knows what people are thinking. They're watching my hands. They're thinking like when is putting his hand into that bag and start over. These ladies started killing the driver house. You met sure there's no bombing that back. I fight back. I say listen lady wait a minute we're using I am you know No there's no bum here. I'm not one of those people standing on carrying my books. It's quite embarrassing. And at some time I feel here because if what in their so had very cautious is on Kenya because people don't trust the police mobs will take justice into their own hands for example if a shopkeeper yells thief on the street strangers might grab the person beat them and it's not unheard of for people to die this way Eh. A man in the back of the bus chimes in why is he there. He shouts kick him out. I tried us. Just can't calm them down and they were ignoring ignoring me. And then the driver turns his head and tells me by step out of my car or call the police. And you know we weren't in little Mogadishu we wear in downtown. We were in the middle and in the middle. Where I'm in in the middle is exactly coban? Janet police station. This is the police station Somali terrorist bomb two weeks earlier. What do you think they kick me out there with a bag standing there near the police station? What's going to happen? They can shoot me today as the driver. Wait a minute you WanNa know what's in here and then I had to and my bedroom bring everything out the books folks. The papers showed him depend the dissident eighty everything brought up and then I had the back upside down and showed him use anything in there. The driver was gone satisfied and he drove the car a lunatic cluster. Four days days later may sixteen sixty seven days to the interview. al-shabaab blows up two buses. It's a big deal. They were in a central market at least twelve dead more than seventy injured after shore. The police will be out in force. Hunker down Hey what's up. How's it going? Leo's good how are you. Yeah not too bad tool. Could you tell me the date yeah. It's Mason team to win. Fourteen on last night after that explosion there was a massive abrasion little Mogadishu diff- knocked the our house. It was like to last night. We have an open. They just can't Aachen those income. Nobody here and they have moved so hang on so they kind of if they just don't get any answer then they they think it's empty. Yes did think is that. It's not like before now. There are no more people at all eighty percent of ground. That's what I think percents before. Now it's eighty percent. Most buildings are empty so these days when they keep knocking on. Nobody's opening they thinking like the people here have lost. So yes. That's what we did last night. We just none of US Open. There was no lack in our house because these guys listening to the movements there watching if there's any movement on the windows they are seen if there's a lie or something just something like that choose them. There's a live here. So that's what we do. We don't show their select it's totally blackouts. Hey Abdul how are you. I'm good I'm good. How are you good? I'm pleased to hear it. I know that you had a tough Very difficult evening do you want to say what the data's and tell me what happened. May Nineteen now. Did I miss eight foot fire. All I can say that I. They haven't slept for the last. Say that you hours or more because the police raid as a gift the difficult on tickets so many people from our neighborhood and we have realized that these this is no the ordinary police have changed something. These guys do negotiate cash. Everything has changed. They're not going into any negotiation at all. They throw you in the battle trucks and drive away soul money so many refugees. And how this out how you. How'd you know this? I told you already a that girl She's my girlfriend now But she has an a Kenyan national. ID The text message. She sent me here. It says hey to have been with me for like fifteen minutes where she was asleep being parole and one of them said you're not supposed to be as molly you're a king and so you can be my wife. That's one of the policemen. What one of the police myself when she showed? Oh Damn hard okay and nationally. I'm taking all the Somalis so you'll be lonely here. Just come on. You'll be safe. You live with me. Thank she said. Please leave me alone. Everyone else in the compound worship leaves who had Jaggi Duluth L. Girls the allegation of don't have national. ID's they forced the girls. They are finally forced the guns. I tried to confirm this with his girlfriend but that she didn't want to talk to me about it at says. The police took her roommate's that night but left her behind so what she's alone now. What what's the situation? She is Salaam. Yes so Leo. Yes that last night has an. I didn't know what to call. We could hear all the sounds the novel for gate they shout the deep Pulitzer that were being fired into the doors of people of what moment I will thinking like go under your bed and then a moment I was thinking they find you here. They're GONNA kill you. I was like I don't know. Never been just to restful situation so you would say look outside the building right now. What would you see Leo to be honest Nice? I know I know it's dangerous but what just helped me imagine if I just look through my window there's nothing that I compelling well there's not All the lights are off. Even there's no street light here now. It's totally totally DART. There's only disliked from coming from up. You have to build lots of things on the on the windows that they cannot even see. That's what I'm doing right now so that they could not even see the light from My Laptop but Leo. I don't know I I don't know why the midnight ways that was owned us go sleep white. Why do they come during the day? Asia will come the same time to steady Tuesday and that's exactly when Somali women on children are all asleep on the these guys are coming. They kicked off in telling you wake up to workout wisely. Being coming back every night will has slowdown but at least if they do not know patient come whoa Taman finished The whole things you know the cling as the US by fury in this situation it must be easy for Al Shabaab get supporters. I guess people who have some maybe a little bit of sympathy with Ideas did you read or did you hear about the young men who were deported from Kenya Somalia have already joined up no I I didn't see that coming from the border already. Attacking king as revenge because the Kenyans have relate mistreated so many women and children on in so many young man king is giving a very good unity to these guys. Because they're getting what they want to get in the end of the looking for. Yeah well I wish I could say more but I think there's nothing more I can say right now. An all I need is some sleep. I don't know if you remember that I can hear you feel very distressed. At how have you get some sleep and keep safe as well as safe as you can with your good luck. I mean reluctant. Two days go by Abdin Harrison. Do their best. To keep their spirits up entertain themselves. They read books they watch was lost in walking. Dead is one of the Weird Quirks Veasley that even if food run short you can still have good broadband Internet. They even build makeshift barbells out of milk. Can't they filled with sand and stones and start working out and they do one of these favorite things you want me to go and get a Yes. Listen to music it back in Somalia if Al Shabaab call with MP MP threes on your phone they would flock you or they could even kill you for it. They believe most music is simple afterwards. Took a risk. He kept his music collection on. The Secret Sim card hidden under the mattress. This song called Is that cartilage. Whisper gives me some good memories because in Somalia Somalia we really had very few Western songs and There was one time that they got this song and made into Somali they translated. Oh Oh yeah. Yeah the I lost to blaze that. I don't know if it's let me think where we can gaze. Yeah doc be very honest I have So many songs on my phone but most of them have very very all alien. Because I remember my father on beautiful days in Somalia east to play the songs this if he had this big radio I'm talking about the ninety three thousand pretty young guy and my father used to these leaning against the wall. His big radio is right next to him and next to him is our flask. Full of hot tea with his cat and the cat is small. Leaves that Somalis eat. You Still Moan next to him is also a bowl full of milk all my but my father when he has old that stop using hated. He's as Miley. He gets his finger on the tape and he makes us quite busy during this Abdi did leave the house. Sometimes but only for a very specific reason either go to an important classy. Couldn't couldn't miss or to go to the police headquarters and try his luck again. Getting the certificate he needs interview then on May twenty ninth with fifty four days and counting. Counting APP descends this recording. This I have a great great news to declare settled. Let me just absolutely. Oh my God. I'm Um really different today. My please clearance is done. Let me say that again. My police clearance is done. I'm looking at my hand fingers. Their all black. Because I'm still wearing a the black ink for brains and I'm not sorry about it. I smell the. US VISA is smelly. I smell it I see July twenty to come in the only problem I dealt with it. It's done at this point Abdi's it's almost hard to believe after all the obstacles but he calls pulls up. The embassy talks all the paperwork and they tell him he's good to go and they'll see him on the twenty second and his tune on nightly phone calls totally changes from this my Hafbro. I'm feeling like okay. I'm not you're going to make it to this now. I'm in love with American Carter. I'm in love with dirt. Beautiful curled streets houses. I'm in love with everything every been in the United States. That's going on. Do you sometimes worry that. Maybe you'll so enough with this place that it might disappoint you when you reach. Their many people reach America. Have a very tough tough time No I don't worry about that because they know whatever I've been through they've never be through. I've been refuge have been hiding from beliefs I've been hiding from above. I'd be ready for so many armed groups. I have had enough trouble. I have had enough disappointment. America's opportunity so. I'll take my chances an America's an opportunity not just for Apti but his whole family. My mother's in Somalia She's Mogadishu most dangerous city in the world. And so if recall. That's coming from Mogadishu pick up really with the shaky hands after. He hasn't seen his mother in more than three years. is she lives in a tiny rundown shack made of corrugated tin and she doesn't always have access to enough food or clean water. If Abdo gets to America he hopes she can make some money and even if he contacted from violence he can at least help to get a better place with clean water and three meals. A day is booked. My mother is Dave name she asked boy. When are you going out of that country and I said mom I got feeds? Today's fifty today's new praise. And she said Oh my God. He's got fifty two days. I'm praying for you and I know like I am right now. She's counting today's. It's going to be something that'll make up. Browde those who make our survive. She's really sending all hype race. Ace towards me. The older brother has done is also applied for the visa lottery like Apti. He's worked for years on his English. He came to Kenya years before empty. Now he's getting ready to live alone again. Hassan is the part of you. That thinks you know just a little part of you. That is a bit jealous about not abdicate because you both worked hard An apt you've got this not through hard work but by luck actually Levi till you. I don't have the list at all. If we get to a fuss fees to get out of here it will even be but if someone told me right now it is a one. Caesar which one of you will take out setup because he's new to this country and I know how we are so fearful at night and I know how can sleep at night for him to get. Visa might be splash. Yeah there's lack there can be fair June fourth forty eight days and counting Abdi goes into into the stairwell to use the bathroom and find police officers standing there who call so backup. The opposite doesn't ask for a bribe. Let's Abdeal go. After he has no idea why forty four days to go after tells me apparently the police have started rating during the day which is a change. He avoided them because because he was at class June fifteenth thirty seven days to go after here is on the radio that dozens of masked Al Shabaab gunmen. Bombed the police. The station stole its weapons and went on a rampage in town on the coast killing at least forty eight people at the Hasaan brace for more police rates July seven. Fifteen days to go Leo. I'm telling you they have chased me with Shakey's with his taunts at the you kidding. Only AH yeah. It was only two hours ago when I speak. He shaking up. He says he just tried to visit the mosque for the first time in weeks. It's right down the block only ten steps away from my house and then there's this like fifty. RV Hangman there were armed with machetes on with Rox Rox in their hands and they started throwing those storms and then I started riding worst mosque. The mall was a bunch of Kenyans attacking Somalis at rounded under on the streets. They could they were beaten. These guys couldn't do back. I threw myself. I threw myself into Moss. And then somebody close to the gate on De Klerk. He was like please calm down. These people went to kill us. We will go. We'll all go to heaven because Los as we've done the mosque. That's going straight to the heaven. Did you expect to die. I did July seventeenth five days to go the woman sending him money from America. Wise cash resented fee three hundred twenty dollars and then finally July twenty first one day to go. It's actually an A. Days. It's now hours left to my interview. Ten hours and fifty three minutes to be precise precise. It's seven thirty tomorrow morning. I'm not going to bed anymore. I'm not going to sleep. I'm sure by that tomorrow is going to change my life. It's going to change my life to be. The happiest person is going to change my love to be the the most devastated man on earth. So so it's these two tomorrow night coming back to this breaking. Everything's smashing everything right here. Because I'm happy or am. I agree in both situations outbreak. These things I just gave a bunch into my laptop I have to say APP. The I'm I'm I'm really excited for you I'm just wishing you good luck You know with all my heart you. I'm GonNa leave you and let you prepare a- and can't wait to speak tomorrow I wish out of the smiling bad guys that you will be smiling. That's where I expect. Thank you okay so while I was brushing my teeth this morning I got a text message and it was from empty high very bad news. They gave me a red paper said visa rejected. And Yeah we we text message back and forwards and He the last message he sent to me. She's few hours ago was This is my worst day on earth ooh I couldn't get hold of Apti for a day when I finally did talk to him. He walked me through what happened at the arrived hours early. The waiting room room was filled with other lottery winners. One by one they were called in and one by one empty says they came out. Grinning then APP these numbers cold. This was a window nine on this American lady. She was black American. It'd be honest else really happy because somebody already. He told me that the ladies are good than the meant. So if lady interviews you you get the visas I was thinking like all right man you could you got so the first thing shed whilst please please. Can you raise your right hand. Swear that everything that you will say is the truth. Had He did the answer a few simple questions and then she was she was busy writing. Something on on her computer. Could feel that. My legs were shivering So this the moment man is the woman you have been waiting for and then she said so. Tell me where did you go to high school. I said or did issue so Malia. Where'd you go to College College? She asked he told her his university in Nairobi. But she said the truth to that. You have here. That's not. How the signature did you know that? One of viscous transcripts didn't have a signature. She took out a pink piece of paper. And on the Bolton Road to words missing transcript. She handed it to Abbvie Abdeel and said sorry. I can't give you the visa. I was looking into her eyes like please compared to say hey. I've changed my mind. Please please got. I need your had any lately. But the lady didn't change her mind she picked up a microphone and cold the next number Dazed Abdi walked outside and sat alone under a tree outside the embassy. They needed to come myself. I'm putting together. I said they're holding my head gone looking the whole world as the as the worst place leaf. I told myself. Hey you reject it. Is this really. You are dreaming. I said it was like we can do. The embassy told him he could send them a sign transcript if he wanted but they told him not to come back to the embassy they'd been touch. Maybe maybe APP descend the transcript. Even though he was sure he missed his chance Hello this is up to nor is the The first of August two thousand fifteen and e mail got into my inbox it. It was immigrant Visa Department of the. US Embassy Andy Tense me from our records your dopamine has been received and your your visa would be censored by tomorrow. Oh my God. His email made me jump off from my bed and hit my head onto onto the silly. It's issued to got. I just looked at it again. Issued they held go issued in this big smile on my face I've never ever had you're never ever ever ever Oh my God I you recording dispersed. I please before you say. Don't say anything. Please be recording. Okay great how does it feel to be the owner of A. US Visa What was the question again? Three different planet. Oh aw what does it feel like to be drinker Halder It feels like like the dream has just become real. I don't know what it feels like. I M not all. There's another refugee that was hiding from please. And there was one thing about the approval of Abdi's visa that made us wonder the day Abdi's visa was issued before before you heard the news I actually called the. US Embassy in Nairobi. Said I was a reporter doing a story about Abdeal and that I was curious about how long their decision Susan would take because of my deadline. The woman I spoke to said he didn't know for nine days after hadn't heard anything two hours after my Cole. He got the good news. We also State Department. If my phone call influence their decision about Abdi's visa and they told us quote the journalists call played no role in the timing of the visa issuance any visa process coinciding with pressing. Quarry is merely a coincidence. aecom prove anything but that is at odds with what the woman on the phone told me back when I initially called the embassy. She said that now that they knew I was doing a story about Apti. They'll try and expedite the process. Even though I told her that wasn't why was calling and that I was only asking for information. We spoke with eight immigration laws. All experience with the diversity visa lottery Tori and they all said my call probably bumped Abdi's application to the top of the pile at day and with the lottery because they give out a finite number of visas by hard a deadline that can be different in making the US on also Hornak he's now at the Times of London was the executive producer of the papers. New Daily News podcast called stories of our times. The show Ganges next month on August eleventh. Two thousand fourteen assigned took object to Nairobi. Airport and I'll be food or America. God given a small town in Maine the woman who'd been Sporting Ati put him up with your family. He looked for work for a while. Family job installing installation lived in an apartment with three other smaller guys matches on the floor at a book about his life Homey American and then three weeks ago all the candidates it would remain standing where stand if raise your right hand. IBM forty-five others in a sunshine filled room and main raise the right hands the tears. Here's in his eyes and repeat after me. I hereby declare I hereby declare on oath on oath that I absolutely and entirely that absolutely and entirely renounce an obscure renounce on your all allegiance and fidelity all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince twenty four and prince potentate potentate state or sovereignty. Okay jumping ahead here that I will support and defend that I will support and defend the constitution of the United States Constitution of the United States against all enemies against all enemies foreign and domestic foreign into most jumping ahead again. It takes less than two minutes so help me God so help me congratulations. You're all United States. Citizens Mark from Senator Angus King who are immigrants or descendants of immigrants fire scenes leads everybody in the pledge of allegiance until the republic for which stunts and afterwards. I get a chance to talk to him. MM-HMM I think every every second today was was very very moving on. I feel the transformation happening. I feel the change and Chabany. It's interesting you actually feel different now. I feel different. Yes it really. I feel different. I mean I don't I am not that the Abdeal from yesterday I feel like I can sense. That you know is is the differences that you feel safe. The difference is that I feel safe but I also feel empowered empowered able to vote able to do anything any citizen can do able able to bring his mother over from Somalia. He's no longer worried that he'd be banned coming. In and out of the country the trump administration start to deport green card holders like him somehow finally said his childhood nickname. I'll do the American. His matched by nationality. Villes good. Who Else I all these years? You know my life would be based on fighting for survival on getting out of the war and being threatened under you know It felt felt like I didn't have any rights all displaced versus a refugee even as a green card holder auto resident in the United United States. But now I feel like it's like restarting when you play video games. It's something happening. You have to correct or was killed. You just have the power right to go back and Redo everything. When things are so curious to ask about was he had idolized allies America? So much before you got here in Kenya. Used to say he loved America so it was it like for him to actually live here is like no place could possibly live up to the way he founded in the United States said. Yeah for the safety and opportunity and freedom to speak and protests that he appreciates here. There were things about America that he was not prepared for for his first job here. Installing installation guys on the cruise stole his hard hat and his tools and his winter coat treated him like an outsider and in a bigger way the America that like seeing on television when he was growing up an idealistic United America. That's what he had expected defined but that America's not on the TV anymore. It's such a scary place so divided More like the Somali tribes. It some things that have been here really reminded me what what they started. The Somali civil war people were were not happy with each other. You know how how we hated each other's tribe on you know power and all that and then were studied in one thousand nine hundred seventy thirty years old now so I I can't. I can't awards America. Go that path you know I can't So the only thing that I can do is sort of Not to not break my heart. So America's is such confusing place. Things are going well for him though. You Got Certification as an interpreter nets as job nowadays. His brother Assan has made to Toronto with his wife and kids kids and obviously tend in college. Time thing politics doesn't just WANNA use his right to vote now that he's he wants to run for office someday. It was it would be life was a man one piece today by Brian. Really Zoe Chase. Sean Co Stephanie. Few WanNa jump Wallet Nikki Meek. Jonathan are semi ship Julia. Snyder Nancy Updike at anyhow out for today's show from Joel Volvo production nor Gill Catherine made Mondo Giusto Nelson tyranny. Thanks to BBC radio current affairs. You Levinson and Bridget Harney. BBC's crossing Continents Radio Show where version of Leo Story First Aired Special. Thanks to asked her. Sung the National Immigration Law Center also appear is the world really always a producer our website this American Life Dot Org this American life is to go to public radio stations by PR X.. The public radio exchange for this American life comes from indeed with its skill tests. Yes vote for employers. Want to see a deeper sense of the person behind the resume or more at indeed dot com slash higher thanks as always programs co CO founder Mr Tourmalet TA. Give me a ride home last night and I reached that to the radio. Which of course was playing our station and before I could even touch? The tuner is so hardcore public radio he screeches the car over to the curb and tells me of Mica. Alright America glass back next week with more stories so this American life life is a breeze next week in the podcast of this American life growing up black in Russia. Elena always dreamed about who she might Mary. She came to America. One day down. He'll be tall and black. Who saw was that? I wonder if your principal come and then one day she visits to Marika. That's next podcast on your local public radio station
"Mr Rogers was beloved TV icon who taught a generation of children how to cope with their thoughts and feelings. Those children are now adults but the words and ideas. He is introduced to them by Mr Rogers irrelevant today. More than ever the podcast finding Fred reintroduces US Fred. Rogers during chaotic times his voice is a clear reminder that our emotions are more relevant than anything else host Carville. Wallace speaks to people whose lives were changed by Mr Rogers and people like myself off and when episode I tell the story of the time Mr Rogers surprised me by actually coming home in Moscow when I was seven. It's experiences stayed with me my entire life. Finding Fred is a production of iheartradio and fatherly and produced in partnership with transmitter media a series reconnects adults with a true American legend. That was fred. Rogers mean new episodes air on Tuesdays. Listen on the iheartradio APP or wherever you get podcasts. Previously on American Jihadi like there were two camps al-shabaab go Danny's was the more ruthless and the more brutal. They blew up innocent people in coffee places and hotels in weddings. Hami Hamami found himself on the side of Al Shabaab that started to call for some moderation. What happened was he just became part of my my daily life life and the people I talk to every day how many times I'd be like? Oh Man. I think this guy is suffering too and he's just in his own way suffering. Because you see the person as somebody what do you know. Now I'm still married but I think getting divorced six years. No kids tweet there for anyone who wanted to see it. Read just been shot in neck by Shibata Sassan on April twenty fifth two thousand thousand thirteen Omar posted a photo of himself on twitter bleeding from the throat. He said he'd been shot by shebab assassin. I messaged him to call me a sap. He wrote back a few minutes later that the bullet wound made it hard for him to talk later. He tweeted that armed. Men were coming from multiple directions and that the leader of Al Shabaab op de Ghedini had gone mad then. Almost twitter feed went silent. Two days later I got a voicemail. Yeah man just got the bullet to the nick we got some fighting to them. died so then on the run so be ready to call me. Omar had called me from up in a tree after fleeing into the forest. It took me two more days to get him on the phone. Hey man so you're fuck man so you're alive for the entire are year. Since Omar had I reached out to me he'd been insisting that there were people now Shebab who wanted to kill him. It seemed all of a sudden. His dire predictions were coming true How's your neck? Your neck shot. You're you're okay. Oh you wounded. I'm Chris Daum Bustle. This is the American jihadi episodes seven. The Chase uh well your parents are going to be very happy. They were so scared man. Your father called me and he was crying he thought it was all over. So tell me what happened. I pieced together Omar story over the course of two phone calls. uh-huh mark he'd been sitting in a teashop a few nights before when someone fired three shots from behind him. One of the bullets grazed his neck. Jesus man okay. Well mark got away away and made his way back to the house where he stain. He spent the night hiding out in a trench behind the house. With a couple of other foreign fighters Shabaab found them the next morning and ordered Omar and the other men to drop their weapons and come with him to court they tried to. They tried to shoot you and then they they tried to kill you and then some court like the next day while you have to shoot in the hundred court would plead out. Kind of microcosm of Omar's entire feud with Al Shabaab Omar insisting on proving that he was right the powers that be insisting Omar just do what they say. I have a right to tell because they couldn't agree on whether Omar could keep his gun with him. Bob Said court was over. It would give Omar Head Start and then they were going to come and kill them. US US refused to coach Omar in the men who were with him at it into the forest on after thirty minutes they they heard the three men who were hunting room after that whole Marceta trap rigging up a timed explosive device using TNT when the three men got close enough Komar opened fire. A hell on y'all got a shooting the T. exploded then everything went. Silent Omar left the bodies in the woods. One more time he had managed to survive but he seemed increasingly aware that his luck wouldn't last forever in June. Omar called me from the forest. Where you've been hiding out for two months? He told me that Ogden as men had assassinated two important al-shabaab dissidents. That's when I mentioned I thought I'd finish the article. I was reading about him by September. Yes issue. He told me he'd be dead by September. What Omar didn't tell me but may have already known is that the next set of assassins probably wouldn't be amateurs there'd be from Gdansk elite unit of spies? The Omni they hit squad within the group. You'll in the most the amniotic because they're always there gathering intelligence executing people they are everywhere and within the group they know if they cross any line. The consequence very lethal mollica. Dollar was a spokesman for the Somali government in two thousand thirteen. He says that if the Omnion we're after Omar Omar would have known enough to be terrified. They're very professional and what they're doing and you don't know who's part of it. That's the problem. It could be somebody within your team could be a driver. It could be the shopkeeper. It could be day Mamata mosque. It could be anyone you don't know who's bottle of that group. They are very sophisticated and the way they operate even in the forest it would have been difficult for her to hide he would have been in pretty dire straits whether it was the heat or the thirst or just running into to someone security expert math Brydon as familiar million with the southern Bay region where Omar was believed to be you cannot move unobserved throughout southern Somalia as a foreigner. There's always you know a kid herding herding goats coming out from behind a rock or nomadic family within a stone's throw you can't know who's who until you meet them and you can't know how they're gonNA react back to you. According to the reporting of Somali journalist Haroon Maruf Omar decided that things had finally gotten so bad that he needed to leave Somalia. A smuggler uglier agreed to transport him from Kenya through South Sudan and then to Libya in late August of two thousand thirteen Omar and five companions began heading southwest on September third about one hundred miles from the Kenyan border. Omar came to an area where he was able to get a satellite signal. He couldn't resist taking one last public public jab at optic Donnay so he arranged a radio interview with Maruf on Voice of America. You seem to have a problem with a little al-shabaab what's the cost of the problem. uh-huh causing the problem is that basically. He's left the principles of Iranian. And he's trying to show up into an organization that oppresses prices. Every single Muslim. We had to bow to some time back that he tried to kill you. was that true. Exempted what happened. He's starting to kill me because I know enough about his organization to know that he doesn't abide by the principles of Islam and I get one I picked out to be. The public is unclear. What happened next whether Omar angered Gediminas so much that he demanded ended retribution? Or if the phone interview revealed Omar's location or even if the plan to smuggle Omar out of the country had been a trap along according to Maruf sources Omar and his five companions continued south a week after the radio interview they stopped for water at a reservoir near village called Abbott Bul. Oh they paid the man who owned it and they asked him not to tell anyone from the Shabaab that they had been. There wasn't long before men from Gediminas. Hit Squad Omnia. Learn that Omar was there. They gathered more men to flood the area and waited early the next morning. Omar walked into their ambush. There was a firefight. Omar was killed along with two other men from his group. Their bodies were buried in unmarked graves near the banks of the Juba River. You the saying New Year new you. It's a saying that gets thrown around a lot but it can be a great motivator. 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American Jihadi listeners. Get Ten percent off your first month at better help dot com slash American. That's better help. H. E. L. P. dot com slash American. Hey guys this Assani Sammy managing producer. un-american Jihadi is today's episode making you work up a sweat try native. It's aluminum free. Deodorant made with zero parabens. No talk it's made from ingredients found in nature like coconut oil and Shea Butter. Exactly what you're putting in your body and making the switch to pretty odorant doesn't mean you have to sacrifice on performance mm-hmm. I recently went on a sober trip and I know it sounds cold but things really are getting toasty under all those layers but native work through it and kept me feeling fresh and dry and if you you don't believe me native has over nine thousand five star reviews to prove it. I have the coconut sent but native comes at a ton of other cents both men and women in which we return things changes in the US. US There's no risk to try it out for twenty percent off your first purchase visit native children DOT COM and use Promo Code A. J. During checkout that's native deodorant dot com Tom Slash A. J. for twenty percent off your first purchase. Moore's mother Deborah was at home in Alabama when she got the call seven o'clock in the morning and the phone rang Ryan and I thought well maybe somebody calling from school you know and I picked up the phone and I think it was some embassy or somewhere in London or something and he was like. Have you heard your son has been killed and I don't really think get Richard with me so I talked for a few minutes and she fakes it. He's dead he's dead. They say he's dead and I was in in so much shock or denial she fakes or you go into school today. Not might sure I'm going onto work. Get close at in the car and I got about probably ten or fifteen minutes. It's from here and I got at a stoplight. And all at once distress shirt a membrane Anada started screaming and screaming. No no no and just crying and crying. Deborah called me and told me the news that same morning. I was lying on a half inflated air mattress on the floor of my new apartment. I felt a surge of heat and my chest. My hand started to shake. My immediate reaction was to work. I put together a new story about Omar and then rushed to the airport. I just started a new job. That week is reporter for Al Jazeera America and I wanted to present the piece from the main studio in Washington. DC but my flight was canceled so our producer ended up reading my report on the air. In two thousand six Omar Emami twenty-three-year-old American born and bred in Alabama left his family and his friends who joined the Islamic holy war and Somalia. Because I never made it to D. C.. Three and a half years of my life were boiled down to four minutes of copy read by somebody else to the end. Mommy was resigned to his fate and unrepentant about his his calls determined not surrender as a journalist. I'd always prided myself on getting in with so called bad guys. Hit men and skinheads and Omar. I was good at withholding judgement allowing intimacy to develop between me and my subjects. So they would feel comfortable enough to reveal to me what they might not tell anyone else Omar. It had gone further. He'd become human to me in a way that made his death confusing. I felt the loss of him He wasn't a friend but he was a person. I'd spent years trying to understand. Still I knew he had done terrible things. nomo person. It will have done what he has done. There must be something else pushing him to to go to that place and joined a group show Bob. They are pure evil. MOLLICA Abdullah had lived through decades of war in Somalia and lost dozens of friends to terrorist terrorist attacks. He made the case against Omar in very plain terms. I mean do real true Islam is the only Allah knows about Paradise in Holland. And were you gonNa go and for him to say he was gonNA be Maurier and it's just fantasies that he had this just crazy easy. Just shows you how crazy was whole thing of fighting for religion or killing on behalf of God you know Scott in until you to kill people my effort to keep Omar talking I sometimes compartmentalized the details of the violence. He had done in the name of his faith. I promised myself that that I'd come back to those details when it was finally time to report them. Now that Omar is dead though. It all jumbled together in my mind. There's this this one recording of a phone call between Omar and me like the right to do Derek that person in the call. I'm asking Omar about an execution. He said he'd been a part of what other detail question that I have from my writing we described when you had when you had to execute that guy according to sharia law. It's excruciating listen to both for what he says and for the way. I keep up this facade. That what we're talking about is somehow normal. How did you did you do it with a knife? How did you do it exactly? Yeah like on like you slightest pettus throat like how does that. How does that work I? I'm not familiar with the law nor like how one would actually go about killing one so give me if you can. You can give me a little detail helpful. We make sure that your knife is fish today. That you don't put some guy threw some crazy pain and then Make sure that tied nicely. So that like you also don't have to worry about like around in like vein and what have you so if the guy properly in and blindfolded and then The United is sharp. Didn't the guy keeps not really gonNA Knicks early. Okay realizes that like you get right right air act. It's one of those one of talk much in England to do it if it's done properly did he but he he didn't know that he knew it was coming. No I don't know if you calm about the whole thing and then You you know I think we were just GonNa like filming them right. Let him go or something. I don't know I I'm not saying but you didn't feel in the night I didn't squatter day. Two saw we had a camera minivan. Okay then he's like. They know that that the film it. What did you think when you watched it? Why called difficult on the Guy Pretty thought how people ooh Ooh Ooh the day Omar died after my story about him ran on the nightly news his parents called? They thanked me for my reporting mm-hmm they asked how I was feeling and their voices. I could hear mixture of relief and pain towards the end of the call Schiff. He told me that I would always be welcome in their home. After fifteen minutes. We got off the phone. I had no idea how I was supposed to make sense of Omar Staff. ooh I was alone in New York City in an empty apartment. I didn't know what I was supposed to do so the next morning. I got on a plane Alabama American Jihadi is produced by endeavor audio and to to to productions it's hosted and executive produced by me Christoph puzzle of Hindu or media. Our our producers are Julia Potato and Zach Hirsch with help from policy cut him Osu and Ashley. Our senior producer is Brenner. Now our editor is Keith. Romer are managing mm producer is Samantha. Alison this episode was mixed by Hannah's Brown with sound design by Hannah's Brown and Zach Hirsch Business Affairs Shoshana Jack Above fact checking walking by Laura Bullard executive producers. Include Adam Levine Josh Gomersall and Adam Harrison of to to do productions Dave Eastern of Endeavor Audio and Jonathan Hirsch of Neon home media. Coming up on the last episode of American Jihadi when you came to the door Kristof is going to fall apart. But he didn't. He came in and stay talking to us. And we're sharing us and trying to I think comfort us and maybe bring a little happiness in particular about so many like things that seemed insignificant like like the pants rolling and how many inches it was from. Mm Your ankles like why would you not follow the teachings when it's something big like someone's life Eh Pod Save America Co host. Tommy Tommy Vitor thought. Foreign Policy was boring and complicated until he worked. For President Obama's National Security Council is weekly. PODCAST Pod Save the world brings you behind the scenes into White House situation room meetings and secret negotiations through conversations with the people who were there every week. He's joined by former deputy national security adviser. Ben Rhodes as as well as a variety of other foreign policy experts. New pod save the world episodes drop every Wednesday. Subscribe now on Apple podcasts. Stitcher or wherever you listen.
"This season starting new monthly routined upgrade your style with a box of awesome from bespoke post. They send you a monthly box full of awesome stuff. You'll actually use like close rose grooming products outdoor gear and more. I recently got my first box from bespoke post and I love that. I got a super cool flannel and winter hat which I desperately needed get twenty. Percents off off your first monthly box when you sign up at box awesome dot com and enter the code. AJ At checkout. That's box of awesome dot com code. Aj for twenty percent off your first box previously on American Jihadi in Tacoma. Try to his me vehicles as we can and kills me. Neither candidate care too much the minute we heard the boys and we need that. It was a guy that went. Noses Meridi I noticed Omar Jimenez this Gateway Grope with I record today because I feel that my life may be endangered. What went wrong? We're smart kid and I still believe the incredibly smart. Do you really believe all this stuff because part of me doesn't I think that he does. That's what I need to find out. There was a way the story about Omar Hamami got told. US prosecutors say this is the new face of terror in the story was a kind of riddle on the one hand he was totally normal American kid a US citizen. From Daphne Alabama where he wants attended a Baptist Church school and played on the soccer team. The privileged life of an American child school pageants sports teams prompt. But on the other hand he was a terrorist before converting to a radical form of Islam and and began in his words pointing sword at the United States without enough hard information to solve the riddle Omar posed most coverage kept circling back to the same small collection collection of details about his life and to maybe the most bizarre part of his story the fact that Omar wasn't just a kid from Alabama waging jihad but that he is wrapping about it from the front lines. Mammy who uses Internet video sales and rap songs tracked and recruits young terrorists with propaganda began to video and hip hop music. You realize this Lomb can't be beat wall in Orlando not even think about peace. He loved to slaughter Crusader and me's Catch him in an ambush. Watch them freeze G. and against As propaganda for al-shabaab Omar made would I can only describe as jihadist music Zik videos fighters running slow motion holding AK47's and grenade launchers right at the front of the line his camouflage cap backwards his fatigues tucked induce. WHO's combat boots is Omar Blow by blow crime by crime only going to add to my engines rhymes invasion invasion attacked back? I tried once before to tell Omar story when I made my documentary about him but now I had something that no journalist had ever had before direct access to Omar himself for the first time there was a chance that someone could make all the confusing pieces of Omar story fit together into a single picture. Something that went past a portrait of the rapping Jihadi excuses. I was excited that the world was finally going to hear that version of the story and that I was going to be the one to tell it flow by flow. I love you Muslim. Umbro Celtics left for this happiness tomorrow. I'm Christoph Puzzle. This is American can Jihadi episode to the exclusive leaning Now that we were under encryption Omar emailed me several times as a day he had also sent me one hundred twenty seven page autobiography. He had written the story of an American Jihadi in both. He painted a very different picture of his life. And I'll Shabaab than the one. He glorified in his wrapping. This is my producer Brent Renault reading from March book brothers were left to fend for themselves having no maps no money no source of food it in no source of water. Some brothers were forced to drink urine and eat the roots of plants. Some were forced to eat maggots and snails. The first forty pages news of his book till the part of Omar story mostly already knew his childhood in Daphne Alabama and then at nineteen to Canada then to Egypt and finally to Somalia as a twenty twenty one year old what was new was description of his life once he got to Somalia. I reported there myself shortly before Omar arrived in two thousand six. I was making a a documentary about a new. Islamic government had taken power after fifteen years of anarchy. I filmed the first to land in Somalia's capital Mogadishu after they reopened opened the airport years going back incredible. It was a single runway served served by a small terminal badly damaged by the war. It was here that Omar landed three months after I left. I walked up to the immigration booth and I smiled and I gave them my passport. Our when I saw the man's beard I half expected him to hug me and shoot some bullets in the air instead. He told me they can only accept people with visa. My heart dropped. The new Islamic government had done more than set up immigration controls. They'd also succeeded in bringing the first real order to Mogadishu after more than a decade of civil war but while the fighting and finally stopped the establishment of Islamic government was seen as a potential threat by the US and especially by Somalia's predominantly Christian neighbor Ethiopia so with American backing the theun military began preparing to invade Somalia in the classical interpretation of the Koran Jihad is defined as the obligation of Muslim men to defend Islam against attack by nonbelievers that was Omar had come to Somalia to do what he saw as his duty duty to fight to protect the Islamic government. He managed to talk his way past the immigration officials and in short order to the group that would become al-shabaab. We got on the trucks and we pulled out of Mogadishu to the sound of all off bar which was being chanted by us and even by the normal people we were passing on the roads as we left the city In Omar's telling smalley at first was exactly what he was looking for. We would lie there staring at the stars while one of the brothers saying now sheets other times is we would explain our stories of making history and how we were so blessed to leave the land of the disbelievers in short. It was the dream of any Muslim. Who has the love of the religion region earning in his heart almost immediately Omar was handed an AK47? I felt like I just been given atomic bomb. That might blow at any second. I had no idea how to use the thing. Training was brutal. There was glass on the ground and we were told to walk on our fists while someone held our feet in the air like a wheelbarrow wheelbarrow. A lot of Shabaab fighters. Were poor teenagers without better options. al-shabaab means the youth in Arabic. The Ragtag militia served as the military wing of Somalia's. There's Islamic government. They're so purpose to defend against the Ethiopian invasion and other rival factions within the country. Everyone was ordered to prepare to go to the front to help the brothers who had begun the battle of Dali the Ethiopians quickly ousted. Somalia's Islamic government. But Al Shabaab kept fighting. Omar Omar Story of his life in Somalia is full of the chaos and confusion of war. A man appeared on the road in front of me. He was to be the first of a trickle that turned into a flood. God some were injured some in shock. Some had just become zombies. That kept up a steady stagger back to Jilib almost book. Also made clear that connection between Al Kaieda and Al Shabaab and even between Al Qaeda and Omar during this short stay in Djelib. Puzzle appeared along with almost everyone one else from the Shabaab. Zule was physicial. Muhammad the head of al Qaeda in East Africa and the alleged mastermind of the bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania nine hundred ninety eight. The State Department had put a five million dollar bounty on him. According to Omar's autobiography Zule had made a point to question the young American when he first landed landed in Mogadishu though Omar had known who he was at the time when he saw me he remembered are encounter in the airport and said through a big smile. So you're still here. ooh And the years since that meeting with visual something clearly gone very wrong for Omar where once he had been al-shabaab spokesman in prize recruit now. He was almost completely isolated in his e mails to me. He described how he was now in hiding right now. I live in an empty house with Internet. I don't leave except on rare occasions occasions when the streets are dead to go use the phone. No one sees me but the brother I trust to bring me bread beans and sugar and his messages to me. Omar kept insisting that for people who knew how to read it. His autobiography would be a bombshell. The reports that would hint at a huge rift with Al Shabaab and he seemed to hope that calling attention to it might help keep them alive. His emails kept coming back to that idea. Let's put it this way if people start conveniently disappearing but no one ever talks about it. Wouldn't it continue. Let's say someone looks deeper into things and comes out with it. Wouldn't it be an obstacle to continue happening. I believed Omar when he said he was in danger of being killed. But I couldn't make any sense of the clues. He said his book contained and no matter how many times I asked him to explain he never everwood. Don't ask me anything about the current situation or anything indicating a rift between me and the Shabaab. I don't intend to blast them about anything. But I may give hints in my own way. A part of me wondered if the real reason Omar reached out to me was about trying to find a way to escape whatever situation. He was in Somalia. I asked him if he was thinking about turning earning himself into US authorities. Of course not I might consider it after my heart stops pumping and my lungs stop breathing. I didn't leave America for a thrill real ride with the hopes of finding a get out of jail free card at the end of the boardwalk. Why would I trade my life of honor with my weapons by my side for a life of humiliation and torture? I remember thinking how his answer was wasted because he wrote in an e mail instead of saying it while camera was recording. I was a TV reporter order for me to tell the story I wanted about. Omar can usually get off the computer and actually go back to Somalia to the empty house where he was hiding to interview him face to face. But but Omar said that was impossible. I really think you have a death. Wish it's either that or you're incredibly naive about the shop. I can't even travel without being hassled. Sold and I'm supposed to be the poster boy Omar's worries were at least as much about himself as they were about me me meeting with. You wouldn't look good in the current situation. People are looking for excuses to get me out of the way to kill him. He meant I asked if I would you escape interview now. If he could record video of himself off answering questions no audio now the youtube video he'd put out saying his life was endangered. Might have bought some time but it also pissed off al-shabaab and Omar didn't WanNa fan the flames anything audio or video in nature. We'll be viewed as political escalation. You just going to have to trust me the more info I give you the more possibilities for more danger. Sorry man. But let's make the best of it. Omar knew how to keep me on the hook though so long as I can stay alive. We'll be able to do more things in the future. Even you coming if things become suitable on the ground for now. Omar wanted to focus on figuring out how to get his autobiography the most possible full attention. I need the full thing to go online. There are subtle nuances that I included in the bio as a kind of riddle. I can't say them openly because of the backlash but I don't want the hints to be lost. Omar didn't really want me to report. On his autobiography he just wanted me to publish it. So that someone somewhere could crack the code. This is the proposed plan of action that you may review you. Put the document with relevant clips from your documentary at the appropriate places. You mentioned that this is an exclusive exclusive of vanguard and he wanted me to fast. Let's get this show on the road. What is our action plan? And how soon can this thing get out. I told Omar that current TV wasn't in the publishing business business especially since on top of the ethical issues it raised putting up his book ourselves could be considered aiding and abetting the Patriot Act had made it a felony to provide material support to a terrorist terrorist so Omar floated a different plan. He'd post his book online himself. And simply tip me off as to when and where so I could have the exclusive. And maybe I could make another there tripped Daphne Alabama to fill his parents reacting to it in real time if you get my mom on TV that would be something new even if you got my sister you could get them to read passages ages the bio in their own voices. It wasn't exactly sitting down with Omar but I had been trying to interview his parents for years. So I got ready for one more trip. Alabama I would tell you to kiss my mom for me but that might be abetting terrorist. These days our attention is pulled in so many different directions. 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Native has a variety of sense for men and women they also make unscented and Baking Soda Free Formula Camila for people that have sensitive skin native is safe to use and never tested on animals and with free returns and exchanges in the US. There's no risk to try it out for twenty ninety percent off your first purchase visit native deodorant dot com use Promo Code. Aj during checkout. That's native deodorant. Dot Com Promo Code. Aj for twenty percent off. I purchase I flew from La in Mobile Alabama and then made the short drive to Omar's Mars. Hometown of Daphne. It had been two years since the trickier when Omar's dad kicked me off their porch. All right so I'm on my way right now to Omar's parents home here in Daphne Alabama. And I'm going to let them know that I've been communicating with their son. The past couple weeks on a daily basis. This Omar's parents hadn't heard from him in six years. He cut off contact because he didn't want to get them in trouble with the authorities. I assumed their phones were tapped by the FBI. So I hadn't told them I was coming until after I landed. I call them once for my hotel then again on the drive to their house hi she pickets Kristof. I'm I'm on my way over. I should be there in about ten minutes. All right Omar's father. Shafique met me at the door. His beard was dark brown turning white. He looked like he hasn't slept isotopic. It's a I took my place on the Sofa. Across Omar's parents sitting in their matching recliners. His mother Deborah had a warm round face frame by short brown hair. She wore blue cardigan and around her neck a thin chain with a silver pendant that Omar had given her at first shifted most of the talking since he left this country in two thousand six. I was not able to get any information about him. Except what I hear or read in the media the makes it very very difficult every day. Deborah and Shafique went online to learn what they could about Omar situation this month for the third time they read reports that he had been killed went through last year with him in her saying that he had died in. My family came and brought food in. You know we went through that and and we'll come out you know what Nabet the body to bury talk to my brother's like we'll just get picture and we'll be reimbursed back pop up at Terry God would just tack it one day at a time and then were so low then once it's like he's alive. He's so far is he's not it. It has like this kind of like a roller oh coaster but for half hour. I sat with his parents feeling the weight of their grief waiting for the exact time. Omar told me he posted biography online. Finally his post when life magazine. He's describing his his life up until going to Somalia and then his life in Somalia but a lot of this I think will look very familiar because you know him so you can scroll here page numbers in put on like this or click on different pages. Would you mind reading. The second paragraph fell around one thing. My father told me that really stuck and shape shape who I am is to be a person of virtue and honour. He wants told me Omar you have nothing in this life but not roared. Remember that I've always held that advice very high and try not to be seen as a liar on someone one who portrays his word and principles. My Dad was big on principles. Do you remember the Amortization Asian is I do I always told them to just be a man of honor stick to his principles while Shafique Red Deborah stood over his shoulder. Her eyes glued to the screen sometimes smiling sometimes sometimes crying sometimes mouthing the words it was as if I had handed them an old t-shirt Omar slept in that they could hold their noses and breathe in his smell. Would you want US allowed. Read this thou. You're sure I left the land for the sake of AL on her that the date is accept it from me what I would like though is to have a three day visit to say my mom my dad and my sister. I like to make a round of the restaurants and get some Chinese feed some hot wings. Some Nestle's ice cream as gourmet coffee. I think for the whole three days would probably freak out just seeing pave raids and riding around without having to hold on for dear life hours think about hem mom used fixable for our education and how that would always come to our soccer games and take cus out for the movies have to wonder fourth. The how experiences them How's it for you? I'm just so three hundred still remembers that good stuff we we did. I knew that legally couldn't pass them any messages from Omar but after sitting with them for an hour was a struggle not to tell them something of what I knew. I can't show you that it earned actions I can't show you specifics. Specifics but have I did ask him if he had any plans to surrender turn himself into authorities authorities and he said he does not seem to be looking for to wave the white flag and try to Somehow surrender come back Rask. Graham Misty He's not planning to do it. Sorry to report Shafique asked if I saw any hope for Omar I mean that you can surmise any light done for him. He doesn't know and I know I keep talking for more than a minute like I said. The details of his situation is currently not something he's been very forthcoming about But I didn't have an answer for what Omar parents really wanted to know. Will our son survive. So He's a savvy guy but I don't think he would have reached out to me if it wasn't serious that's my interpretation. I think that He's got something in the back of his mind. Does that give you any reassurance. How can Deborah to file my story from a TV studio near Mobile? How how did Omar Hamami a kid raised in Alabama surrounded by McDonald's and chick-fil-a become an Islamic terrorist had a spot that night and one of current? TV's new shows viewpoint with Eliot Spitzer documentarian kristoff puzzle was contacted recently by Hamami. Who now now goes by the name Abu on Ricky and fears for his life? Hi Elliot you know. It's a very bizarre twist in the tale that currents been covering for the past two years. I sat down with his parents. This morning and I don't know how many people saw the story that night but I know this somewhere in an empty house in Somalia Omar found clip online. He emailed me that night. So I saw the highlight of my mom reading and I couldn't stop crying for a good five minutes. Oh it wasn't material support to terrorist but gradually dawned on me that I had done everything. Omar wanted maybe. I hadn't published his autobiography myself. But I'd certainly brought it attention. And by following his plan I let him maneuver newer me into creating the closest thing. He was going to get to a reunion with his parents. My Dad looks like my grandfather now. They became so old and they look so tired of all this I pray God makes them firm and guides them. Did you cry A my dad. He looked pissed but inwardly moved. My Dad doesn't isn't show emotions well. Omar went on to praise me for how I had talked about him. You answered well on the Spitzer show despite his attempts to direct you into a box and start Dr Railing on me as a terrorist. He did very well as a matter of fact now is happy with all what a good job I had done getting his story out there. I'd say it's an overall success. How well the bargain he and I had made with each other was working out for both of us? Tons of people. NBC or something like that along with lots of blogs are asking for interviews. I told them. Omar only communicates with puzzle American Jihadi is produced by endeavor audio and to to to productions it's hosted hosted and executive produced by me Christoph puzzle of hidden door media. Our producers are Julia Tara and Zach Hirsch without from povey cut him Osu and Ashley Click. Our senior producer. Is Brenner now. Our editor is Keith. Romer are managing producer Samantha Alison. This episode was mixed by Hannah's Brown with sound design by Hannah's Brown Zach Kersh Business Affairs Shoshana Jacob of fact checking by Laura executive producers. Include Adam Levine Josh Gomersall and Adam Harrison of to to do productions actions Dave Eastern of Endeavor Audio and Jonathan Hirsch of Neon hunk. Coming up on American Jihadi. You couldn't like t's have because because he would get mad easily. He had to have that recognition that he excelled above everybody. The inquisitive visited Omar was asking questions. He started struggling enduringly themselves. Do you think think I'm some wicked bloodthirsty madman or some naive lost little boy. Josh Horowitz from Dateline. Do you need your true crime. Fix on the go. They line episodes are now available in podcasts mysteries mysteries with a twist from dateline. Subscribe now. So you don't miss an episode.
Kenya's Leader Rules Out Approving US Drone Strikes
"Listening to the news on Africa Business Radio. Can you express rental hurricane yet says he won't approve us drone strikes on our shabab militants on Canadian soil. The president who is on a state visit to France said he had not yet received such a request the New York Times had last month quoted unnamed US Government sources are saying that the Congress military was seeking approval to carry out drone strikes against al-shabaab Targets in eastern Kenya the report came days before a military Court in Somalia sentence is La most militant to life in prison for his role in a deadly attack on a US base in Kenya the US often carries out airstrikes in Somalia to Target algebraic militants. That was our bulletin at this time. You can continue to listen live online at www, Africa business radio.com or via off. App. I'm really thanks for listening.
"Previously on American Jihadi. I'm they just got a bullet to the nick. Has Your neck re were shot and your wound told them to just be a man of honor and I'm stuck to his principles DNA. I really want you to look into what's going on here and follow the news. I want you to look deeper into this religion because it's possible we will never meet again in. This is life. No I need to be my neighbor in the next debate on his like his this threat you slightest cut his throat they could. What did you think when you watched it y different each other like the guy do either doing thirty eight? It was about seven o'clock doc in the morning and I picked up the phone and he was like have you heard your son has been killed nine days after Ogden as men killed Omar Hamami and Somalia Godina sent sent masked gunmen into a shopping mall in Kenya armed with grenades in AK47's shots and explosions or heard inside the busy upscale West Gate. Shopping Mall in Nairobi. Kenya panicked havoc families. Called out to one. Another as shorts echoed through the holes. The men moved from Florida floor in the mall killing at least sixty seven people and injuring around two hundred others footage of shops in the neck Matt supermarket trying to find cover among the aisles. al-shabaab live tweeted the whole thing doing in their best to control the story. The talking tonight it'll be is one of the biggest Shabas. Cut It out outside Somalia. I got called into the office that day to prepare a story about the attack on a monitor in the newsroom. I watched live reports from the scene. Can't use Red Cross says another nine bodies have be brought out from the building. al-shabaab said it carried it out the attack in what it said was retribution of justice. A wave of panic washed over me and at that moment I was overpowered by the fear that I somehow should have known that this is what Godina had been planning all along that whatever I thought I was doing with Omar event. Nothing if I wasn't able to warn the world that something like this was coming. The story of Omar didn't end when he died every time. I'll SHEBAB BOB carried out in attack every time. I read a story about Somalia every time my phone would ring in the middle of the night Omar would take over my brain. He was a ghost. I could never entirely Kylie shake free of for the people who had known Omar their whole lives for his family. The problem of how to move on from someone like Omar was infinitely more complicated I'm Kristof puzzle. This is America Jihadi episode eight epilogue the day after Omar died I had flown Alabama to see his parents parents. Deborah and Shafique. We sat together around their kitchen table looking at old photos of Omar. They told me that someone from the F. B. I.. Had contacted them to tell them that Omar was dead. The agents said a man from Al Shabaab reached out unsuccessfully to collect the five million dollar bounty. The State Department had put Omar in the weeks and months that followed the fact that Omar had been on the most wanted terrorist list made the process of grieving that much harder. That's my son. I love my son. He made bad choices. He's at an lady that way. Ruth Debra and Shafique mostly process their grief alone. I was asleep one night and I heard him. Cow May just so clearly like mom. But I think it's just maybe in your subconscious it just from time to time you wake up and you think I just wish I could talk to him for for a few minutes. You Go have coffee and then you will ask this snuggle. The worst of the worst of will humanity west of everything for Shafique. What Comfort for he could find came from his understanding of the Islamic idea of Al Cutter? Destiny sew clothing and nothing. I could have done either you or anybody else changes. That's what God wants them at that very moment to be at that very spot for someone to come and kill him so I cannot you blame his stupid actions or any decisions that rightly or wrongly when he made his preordained to unfold that way schick spent more and more time at his mosque. Deborah Debra gave herself two weeks and then she went back to her job as a substitute teacher. Teacher said already told the children. Mr Pro will probably be crying out day day so just give her hoke in big can to her that day when I came back all the teachers were land up in our hug me and Tammy has soured they were and then Abrahim. Did that came back off the scoring crime Omar. Sister Redeina wasn't close with her parents. She had moved out when she was sixteen and lived five hours away. She felt a poll to be with their family but she was anxious about how it would go. Yeah I definitely went home and I don't feel it was like immediately. It's not like there was a funeral. There was no body to Barry. Omar's remains were never returned from Somalia at the House Shafique reminded Dina that Omar had always wanted her to become Muslim to my dad. Basically said if I ever want to see my brother again but I would have to convert to Islam to like see him in heaven so that was a little raw mixed with her. Grief was real anger at her brother. He wanted to be there and wanted to stay there like this was I still like kind of a game or like a like this cool. Dina was in the middle of getting a divorce. When her brother died she had to figure out a loan how to explain to her kids? Who There Omar had been so it was hard because they're young understand like why he's not here? I told them that someone killed him him very got shot. I guess I want them to understand that it was like not a natural death or like it was difficult built. I Dunno I should probably talk about hip hip or the night. She starred in the fall of two thousand thirteen about a month. After Omar died his old high school started offering Arabic classes and a fight spilled out into the local papers one man was quoted as saying it is not just another. Their language is a language of a religion of hate. Another man said he was worried about producing another Omar Hamami for Shafique. It was painful to watch the community. The had largely welcomed him as a young Syrian immigrant hardened against his religion. He worked to raise money to add a school building local mosque again. There was opposition. Residents residents from the Ridgefield community showed up in droves today city council meeting to appeal a project that would rebuild and expand mosque and Muslim school. And they're West Mobile neighborhood. Abra Hood objections have nothing to do with religion everything to do with living in the Community Hannity. Shafique told me that people oppose the project because he was involved and they didn't want the father of a terrorist building a school in their neighborhood. 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Motion and glass break sensors Guardian side plus simplisafe can even protect you from fires water damage and carbon monoxide poisoning monitoring is only fifty cents a day Eh with zero contracts visit simplisafe dot com slash. Aj you'll get free shipping and a sixty day risk-free trial you've got nothing to lose. Go now and be sure to go to Simplisafe S. I M. P. L. I. Safe Dot com slash. Aj so they know our show sang. That's simplisafe dot com slash. Aj when we interview J. M. Burger the terrorism analyst list who had gotten involved with Omar in a similar way to me. He expressed a lot of what I felt about. Omar's life and my life would Omar. I don't think his story would. Happy Ending If he had done. And you know I don't think it probably would have been a good thing for the world if he had lived. Honored succeeded in his dreams. However much meaning tonight hope to find an Omar Story? The longer I sat with it the more I understood it as mostly a story about futility kind of made me angry that he wasted his life on unfit nothing. I mean he didn't even ultimately really achieve what he wanted to achieve as a bad guy. Maybe he could have made a difference in in the world in a good way and instead he attached himself to a closet was terrible and then not only did was the cause terrible but they turned on him and killed him. The group that Omar committed his life to and then was killed by still exists. al-shabaab leader Abdi Ghedini was killed by an American drone in two thousand fourteen but the group's ability to carry out. Horrific acts of violence remained strong two years ago. They detonated a car bomb in the centre of Mogadishu killing more than five hundred people. It was the largest terrorist attack in African history Not long after Omar was killed. I stopped working on the magazine story. I had started writing about him whenever I looked too closely at his life and the way he died. I got caught in a kind of hopelessness that I didn't know how to write my way out out of remember my editor telling me that Omar's death gave my story natural ending but that didn't sit right with me. It took me. He's six years to find an ending that I could live with I gotTa me the Academy of Faith Faith Academy last year shift took me on a tour of the school. He had helped build at his mosque. He had to get the Department of Justice involved but he ended up winning his fight with the city council. This is the fifth and sixth grade. He swelled with real pride as he showed me each classroom on cry. Every year at graduation a handout diploma's they just just bring the literacy. Those kids learning does in your life. Omar sister Dina China has gotten remarried. She lives with her two kids and spends her days working with veterans at the Va Endeavour has become a fixture in my life for the past six years about once a week. We talk on the phone leave. voicemails hacker birthday convert decade year. Stroke coming fast. You're after forty Got Remarried last year. I invited Deborah and Shafique to come meet my new wife Caroline. Chris stopped where we talk on the phone. It's usually not about anything you would have approved of High Caroline's cooking the other night she made did she made a casserole Southern style the kind of conversations you have just to let the person know you want to know about their life. Sorry say what Does she put some cheese in it. Oh lots of cheese. We kind of how gas yummy jokes that she's become my southern mom Kaffa yeah fall and tell caroline I said can eat leftovers tonight. Okay we'll do okay. Thank you Chris But the high have a good night. You Omar once told me to tell his father that if Omar was killed Shafique would need to take care service. Children are left behind seven kids from four different wives. His oldest daughter who was born in Egypt lives in Canada. Now one son is in a refugee camp happen Kenya. The five others are in Somalia. Which makes things complicated even if she could get to them? None of them have passports or birth certificates to prove they are there also isn't a US embassy or consulate in Somalia and getting them to the US is unlikely given who their father was. But Deborah and Shafique speak to them by phone or skype as often as they can. They speak mostly Somali. said they know a little Arabic so Shafei useless speaks with them. And I've learned a few view Somali words to say I love you. I think it's too hey to hey Jacquelyn Hay for difference defeat their grandkids are the last ties. They you have to the sun. They lost essay a lot of His menu systems and a lot of his Spirit and personality Artie. And smartness empty and then some of them really amazingly like him I mean especially his oldest daughter I mean I can just see almost talkin even when she. She's so much like him so I think through them it gives me how and and brings me joy because they didn't have them our bay so whilst good my kid so that's one good thing am or did. He gave me a lot of low of thirty. Grand Kit The American Jihadi is produced by endeavor audio and two two productions it's hosted and executive produced by me Christoph puzzle of hidden or media our producers are Julia Tarot Zach Hirsch with help from policy. Cut Him off soon Ashley Creek. Our senior producer is Brenton Renault. Our editor is Keith Rome and are managing producer is Samantha Alison. This episode was mixed by Hannah's Brown with sound design by Hannah's Brown and Zach Hirsch Business Affairs Shoshana Jacob fact checking by lower bullard executive producers. Include Adam Levine. Josh Gomersall an atom Harrison of to to do productions Dave Eastern of Endeavor Audio and Jonathan her show from Neon Ham media
NPR News: 01-05-2020 5PM ET
"Live from NPR news in Washington. I'm Janine herbst. The fallout from the trump administration's decision to kill Qassam Sulejmani atop guard in Iran's elite eight force continues in neighboring Iraq. The parliament voted today to expel. US troops from the country in light of the killing but secretary of state. Mike pompeo dismissed Iraqi Iraqi leaders calls for the US to leave saying it's in the shared interests of the US and Iraq continue fighting Isis together and Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif says his country will abandon limits on enriching uranium another step back from the commitments to the twenty fifteen nuclear deal with six major powers. Iran says it will still continue to cooperate the UN nuclear watch dog through says they could quickly reverse steps if sanctions are removed. Meanwhile Lebanon's Hezbollah leader and Iranian ally says the region is income for a completely new era in the wake of the assassination from Beirut and peers Deborah Amos reports Assan Nassrallah called for retaliation taliation today as thousands chanted death to America. Nasrullah mourn. The slain a runny commander speaking to thousands gathered in Beirut's southern suburbs. He recounted his last meeting a day before the fateful flight to Baghdad. Qasim Silliman's daughter urged Nassrallah to avenge her father's death in an interview broadcast on TV station linked to Hezbollah Nassrallah trump ordered this strike to boost his election prospects and to cover the US policy failures. Oh you're in Iraq. His comments come as Iraqi. Lawmakers are calling for the end of the US troop presence there Deborah Amos. NPR News Beirut in Kenya. Dan Yeah one American service member in to. US Defense Contractors were among those killed by an Islamist attack on the coast of Kenya. And here's Ava Peralta. Reports Al Shabaab militants Manila attacked a joint American and Kenyan base along the border with Somalia according to the Kenyan military the militants attack the base with rocket propelled grenades and AK47's. Okay forty-sevens Al Shabaab which is an offshoot of Al Qaeda released pictures of their fighters with burning aircraft in the background. US Africa Command says a service member and to defense contractors were killed during the attack to others were injured but they are now in stable condition. The attack comes after a year or in which the United States dropped a record number of bombs al-shabaab but the Islamist insurgents have not let up last month. The exploded a truck bomb in the middle title of Mogadishu and this is one of the group's most brazen the tax and it raises questions about the effectiveness of the US mission in Somalia it NPR News Nairobi. Disgraced movie mogul. Harvey Weinstein is scheduled to be in court tomorrow morning for a pretrial hearing that will be followed by jury selection on five sex crimes more than eighty women accuse him of sexual assault and rape. He denies all charges against him. You're listening to NPR news. Entertainment awards season kicks off tonight. As comedian Ricky Gervais S- returns to host the Golden Globes honoring the best in film and Television Russian according to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. NPR's Mandalit del Barco reports on some of the nominees. The marriage story a divorce. Drama starring Adam driver and Scarlett Johansson leads the film pack with six Golden Globes nominations following with five nominations. Each are Quentin Tarantino's nostalgic. Once upon a time in Hollywood and Martin Score says he's gangster picture the Irishman with Al Pacino. And Robert Deniro like the following orders. The right thing got rewarded leading with the most television. Nominations Cheer Noble the Crown and unbelievable with critics. Predicting big wins for the actors from fleabag. Monday then Barco. NPR News at the weekend box office the first one of the New Year your star wars the rise of skywalker remained in the top spot with an estimated thirty three million dollars in ticket sales in its third weekend. The Disney film is now closing in on a billion billion dollars worldwide gemology. The next level took second place with twenty six million dollars in its fourth weekend. The Sony films made more than six hundred million dollars around the globe in third place. Greta gerwig little women thirteen million in its second weekend the Louisa May alcott adaptation was made for forty million dollars. It's gross double that worldwide worldwide in just two weeks Disney's frozen has now reached one point three billion dollars making it. The highest grossing film ever made by a female director worldwide. This is N._p._R..
Explainer 207: What are Kenya and Somalia really fighting about?
"For obvious reasons the idea of an old fashioned cross-border dust up between two neighboring nations seems right now almost quaint and perhaps the kind of thing likely to prompt replies in the circumstances along the lines of at this point who cares or not now leads where a bit busy nevertheless despite the best efforts of covert nineteen the world will keep turning and its constituent countries will continue to but against each other from time to time in East Africa in recent days. Somalia and Kenya have gone very close to going to war with each other and may get close. Astill the battlefield is jubilant. One of Somalia's five semi autonomous states. It lies just across Somalia's border with Kenya. Kenya regards drew ballooned as a vital buffet. Between it and Al Shabaab the fanatical Islamist militia which wreaks most of its havoc in Somalia but has also been responsible for large scale outrages in Kenya including the two thousand and thirteen attack on the West Gate Shopping Mall in Nairobi and the two thousand and fifteen attack on a university campus in Garissa accordingly Kenya has cultivated friendly relations with Jubal lands regional government and with jubilant president. Ahmed Mohamed Islam known colloquially as adobe Kenya has trained Madonna obeys militia and has troops of its own stationed injury bowland as part of the multinational African Union mission in Somalia and is also believed to have many more still camped under Kenya's own flag. This is a continuation of sorts of the invasion of Somalia Kenya undertook in two thousand and eleven in order to chase al-shabaab further north. Can US troops injury ballooned are not seeing as style occupiers? However indeed President Mugabe's regional government seems to get on better with Nairobi than it does with Mogadishu. The most recent unpleasantness appears to have begun with fighting between drew balloons own forces and Somali government troops the jubilation soldiers retreated over the border into Kenya and the Somali troops followed them. At which point. Can you took an interest? The fighting appears to have centred on the town of Mandera a town wedged between the Kenya. Somali border and the Delaware River which delineates Kenya's border with Ethiopia attorney casualties on both sides left people. Each data to save bullets. Were one succumb today. A diplomatic exchanges between Kenya and Somalia. Since have been terse verging on abrupt. Kenya has jumped about an unwarranted attack on its sovereign territory by foreign soldiers and so forth. Somalia has retorted to the effect that this is a bit rich coming from a country with thousands of its soldiers parked more or less permanently on the other side of its border. Kenya's desire to put physical distance between itself. And the PESTILENTIAL MARAUDERS OF AL. Shabaab is reasonable enough but it may not be the only or even the main reason why relations between Arab and Mogadishu have deteriorated as far as they have excitingly for fans of obscure maritime territorial disputes and. Come on who isn't the two countries are also at odds of a sea border. Exactly is the area in contention the border of the two countries when it comes to the seats and the only way to explain where the disputed portion of Indian Ocean is without incurring angry correspondence from either Kenya or Somalia. Although to risk inviting saving emails from both is to say that it's either off Somalia's southern coast all of Kenya's Northern Coast. It will come as little surprise to listeners that the stretch of Ocean in question abounds with oil and gas deposits. Nineteen outbreak may focus Kenyan and Somali attention elsewhere and or it may offer a party to this argument what it perceives as cover for decisive action. There has been some suggestion. That Kenya has consented actually annexing portions of southern Somalia both to deter Al Shabaab and to further its claims on the ocean of what is presently the two countries shed coast or there may be the option of mediation by Ethiopian. Prime Minister and Nobel Peace Laureate Abby who has facilitated talks between Kenya and Somalia before I also accept this award on behalf of Africans and citizens of the world for whom the Rim of peace has often turned into a nightmare of war. Today I stand here in front of you talking about this because of fit I call them my way to pay through the dusty training so four years ago or international justice may yet prevail. Somalia has for some years been seeking an adjudication on the maritime boundary from the International Court of Justice in The Hague the I. C. J. is presently due to rule in June. But that like just about everything else may. Now be postponed for moniker. Twenty four I'm Andrew Mula.
NPR News: 09-30-2019 4PM ET
"Support for this podcast and the following message come from cohnresnick whose business of baseball and original MLB video series shares key insights on the business side of America's America's pastime for a game changing strategies to help your business visit cohnresnick dot com slash. Mlb live from NPR news is in Washington. I'm Lakshmi Sang as House Democrats launched their formal impeachment inquiry. President trump is attacking the whistle blower complaint that started it all Detroit whistle blower reports things that were incorrect trump is accused of trying to shake down the new president of Ukraine in July phone call to get dirt on political rival Joe Biden ahead of the twenty twenty election and to uncover the genesis of allegations that Russia interfered in the two thousand sixteen elections to favor trump the White House confirms. The basics of the complaint says there was no pressure imposed. No quid pro quo no wrongdoing but trump is suggesting whistle blower may be partisan. NPR's NPR's Ron elving reports on efforts underway to protect the whistle blowers identity under federal law at this point a legal agreement is in negotiation between the lawyers ears for the whistleblower the whistle blowers lawyers and these are the people who were involved in writing the complaint as the complaint is very loyally and they say that they want to be careful info about exposing the identity of the whistle blower which is protected under the law the whistleblower law and of course you saw how careful Joseph McGuire was on Thursday and Michael Atkinson. The Inspector General of the intelligence community has been quite careful about protecting this identity and at least so far. We don't know who this was. A blower is and one on suspects the president doesn't either or perhaps we'd already be hearing more specific things about the whistleblower. That's NPR's Ron elving reporting now. We've just learned a short time ago that Rudy Giuliani president trump's personal lawyer who is cited in the whistle blowers complaint is being subpoenaed by House committees for documents related to Ukraine in defiance of the NC Double A. The Governor of California has signed the first law in the nation that allows college athletes to get paid for their name image and likeness Gavin newsom mm sign legislation that enables young athletes public and private universities in California to hire agents and secure endorsements. The biggest payouts are expected to men's basketball ball and football we work the pioneer and co working spaces says it is pulling plans to sell shares to the public for the first time this comes amid criticism of its business snus and its former CEO who stepped down from that role last week here's NPR's Yuki Noguchi the company this year had hoped to become one of Wall Street's biggest IPO's our initial the public offerings earlier this year had been valued at forty seven billion dollars but the appetite among investors dried up after reading some of we works disclosures. It's business and is co founder. Adam Newman the company is burning through a lot of cash as it expands and Newman disclosed various conflicts of interest which I led to his ouster the new co-ceo said in a statement they postpone the initial public offering in order to focus on the core business of sub leasing office space to individuals and and companies Yuki Noguchi. NPR News Washington the Dow is up ninety six this is NPR police in Hong Kong long are warning the public that the anti Beijing activists who've been staging months of mass protests are becoming more aggressive and moving quote one step closer to terrorism resume. The department speaks of apparent signs at hardcore. Violence may escalate however the protesters are accusing the police of simply engaging in scare tactics. The Islamist group al-shabaab launched an attack on an American airfield in Somalia. NPR's Ava Peralta reports a US responded with two airstrikes United States Africa Command says militants tried to breach wall with a car bomb that Bell Douglas Military airfield sixty miles outside of Mogadishu American troops responded with small arms fire and called for two airstrikes the US says killed ten militants at the same time al-shabaab attack the European Union convoy with another bomb and it damaged the vehicle but the Isthmus Group did not hurt or kill any American or European troops. Al Shabaab want Western countries out of Somalia so it can an institute a radical Islamist regime over the past year. The United States has stepped up its bombing campaign but that has not stopped. Al Shabaab attacks against civilian and and military targets it brought up NPR news Nairobi recapping our top story the house intelligence committee has sent Rudy Giuliani President trump's personal lawyer a subpoena for documents related to its impeachment inquiry of President Trump. The action comes after three committee chairs consulted in sent a letter giving Giuliani until October tober fifteenth to turn over the materials. I'm Lakshmi Singh N._P._R. News in Washington.
Introducing American Jihadi
"Hey bad batch listeners. I WanNa let you know about a new podcast. Series called American Jihadi over eight episodes journalists Kristof puzzle tells the story of the complicated relationship he developed with American born she haughty Omar Hamami the FBI. Put Hamami on. Its most wanted terrorist terrorist list. Because of the years he spent fighting for Al Shabaab in his logic militant group in Somalia Amami ended up on the run hiding out from the very group he he helped put on the map then he reached out to Christopher in secret to see of Kristoff could help save his life. American Jihadi follows Kristof attempts to understand understand. How and why? A suburban kid from Daphne Alabama would transform himself into the face of terrorist group. Let him down one of the strangest this roads of his career as a journalist and pushed him to cross lines he never thought he would cross up next the first episode of American Jihadi. While while you're listening go subscribe to American Jihadi on Apple podcasts. Or wherever you're listening now there's also a link in the episode notes that will take you there. In the fall of two thousand seven. A video was broadcast on the Al Jazeera News Network. A thin man in his early twenty s sits on the ground in field somewhere in the east African country of Somalia. He's wearing camouflage. And there's a hand grenade strapped to his left front pocket. Fight those help both. He's looking directly into the camera. But his face is wrapped in a green scarf so that only his eyes and a flash of white skin showing America take into consideration the example of Somalia the man is the mouthpiece for new Islamic militant group in Somalia called Al Shabaab which means the youth in Arabic after fifteen fifteen years of chaos and oppressive rule by the American backed warlords. Your brothers stood up in order to establish peace and justice in this land. The camera cuts to dozens. Thousands of African fighters AK forty sevens and grenade launchers. Lombi video doesn't make clear is why they're spokesman appears to be a white American. The story quickly circulated online and even though the American had been careful not to reveal his identity and the small southern town of Daphne Alabama Emma they knew exactly was I came home from work one day in Varney. He was his wife as she'd what is always like mom. We need to watch this the minute we heard the boys when you did it was Mr now it all makes sense. He's over there fight he. He's not coming back. And Jason. Kao My God what is going on when it's going on the man in the video was Omar Hamami. He he would become one of the. FBI's most wanted terrorists. I would spend years chasing his story. Attract his life from Alabama where he attended a southern Baptist Church and his high school class president to frontlines of a guerrilla war in Africa. And then I heard from Omar himself over time the relationship that developed between between us would blur the lines between journalism and friendship and wreck the tidy story. I told myself about the boundary between good and evil. 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 I landed mobile and drove a half. Hour East Daphne. A small suburb mobile bay. That calls itself the Jubilee City. The streets are lined with massive. Live oaks the kind film directors put movies so that you'll think old south south. I found Omar's parents place. At the end of a cul de sac. Curtains were drawn tight but on the mailbox said in large white letters schiff economy and I got a quick glimpse of Omar's father Shafique when he looked at me through the window of his front door his glasses and a dark salt and pepper beard. I said that that I was a reporter. He told me to go away and he couldn't talk to me before flying down. I'd also reached out to Omar Sister Dean on facebook back at my rental car. I check my phone to see if she didn't back nothing on the highway fast and Applebee's in K. Mart. I pulled into the hooters because I figured maybe someone there went to high school with Omar. The bartender told me that while he didn't know Omar well in high school. He did just run into his best friend Bernie at Walmart the bartender even the street he lived on. I'm Bernie Street. There were names on all the mailboxes except for one. I asked him kids playing playing street hockey if they knew who lived in that house. You mean the Jews. One of the mast- Jews. Yeah the ones with the Star Wars outfits do you. You mean Muslims. Yeah them kid shrug. Whatever Bernie wasn't home later that night we managed to connect and he invited me over to dinner with his family? I lived with his mother. His wife and two kids dinner Thank you over. Servers Bernie was tall and slender with blonde hair and a beard. He and his family practicing Muslims Omar converted to Islam during his sophomore year and soon after inspired Bernie to convert as well. It's kind of hard for you to like envision the guys terrorists you know if you like lived with the Guy Alien. You're really good friends with the guy for so many years. You just when you see him. You don't see like the terrorist go. Hey this is my friend that I haven't seen it a couple of years but a Bernie's mother. Sharon had converted to Islam two when I met her. Her head was covered with black job added with tiny flowers for Sharon. Omar wasn't a terrorist. He was the person who started her on the path to. You're putting your life back together. She told me that before she became Muslim. She hadn't been the greatest weather to Bernie he saw me drove Kalat. which is very painful? You know had a lot of shame at felt. He didn't have a lot of guidance. He didn't have a lot of supervision. And I needed a moment I wasn't here was Mr. Sharon hadn't even harder order time than Bernie understanding how the machine Daphne became one of the. FBI's most wanted terrorists. He's the boy who helped me learn to coffee and I just can't wrap my head around thinking that he would be a part of hurting. It is a people I just I just can't I can't fathom that Bernie and I I watched the video. Omar the ambush as they entered into our ambush opening up with small ars fire. He's the guy that everybody uses omen SORTA Reiki. But I notice man Omar Jimenez Gateway Kinda like grew rope with in highschool is a kind of a normal dude. I mean kind of like a job. You'll really charismatic. Cool Guy Main. Main objective is to die as a martyr so the fact that we got to Martyrs is nothing more than other training of it. So if you mute the video and don't read the subtitles tails and just kind of like watching a little. Just like a seems like your old friend just with different very close on over the course of the next four months I spent a lot of time with Bernie. We went to their high school and the Walmart where they both worked. We even flew to Toronto to see where he and Omar had lived for about a year before moving on to Egypt Egypt. Egypt is where they separated Bernie coming back to the US Omar disappearing eventually turning up in Somalia. The in the long piece about Omar made for current TV. I try to paint a more complicated picture of him than just the American born terrorist. But I was never totally satisfied. So I was able to follow Omar's path from Alabama to candidate to Egypt and then to Somalia and Al Shabaab. I couldn't really get my head around though was why he it shows that path to answer that question or any of the others I still had. I would have needed to get to Omar somehow but not even. US intelligence seemed to be able to find them and it would take another two years to get my answer as it turned out. I had it backwards. I didn't need to find Omar. It was Omar. Who needed to find me? That was just a preview of American Jihadi to hear the rest subscribe. DESCRIBE TO AMERICAN JIHADI ON APPLE PODCASTS or using the link in the episode notes.
Iran abandons nuclear limits after US drone strike.
"Coming up on five minute news Extremists attack Kenya. Military Base. Killing three Americans Iran abandons nuclear limits after US s drone strike and the hidden environmental cost of your Christmas gift returns. It's Monday January six. I'm Anthony Davis Al Shabaab extremists overran a key military base used by. US counter terror forces in Kenya before dawn on Sunday killing killing three American Department of Defense personnel and destroying several US aircraft and vehicles before they were repelled. US and Kenyan authorities said the attack on the Mandalay Bay airfield was the al Qaeda linked groups. I attack against U. S. forces in the east African country and the military called the security security situation fluid several hours after the assault. Five attackers were killed. A Kenyan military spokesman said al-shabaab based in neighboring in Somalia claims responsibility for the assault one. US servicemen and to contract is with the US Department of Defense were killed in the fighting according according to a statement issued late on Sunday by the US. Africa Command Mandalay. Bay Airfield is utilized by. US forces whose missions include providing training meaning to African partners responding to crises and protecting US interests in these strategically important area. al-shabaab claims there was seventeen seventeen. US casualties nine. Kenyan soldiers killed and seven aircraft destroyed. Kenya is a key base for fighting Al Shabaab. One of the world's most resilient extremist organizations a large plume of black smoke rose above the airfield on Sunday and residents said a car bomb had exploded. Did Al Shabaab has launched a number of tanks inside Kenya including against civilian buses schools and shopping malls. The group has been the target of a growing number of us. Air Strikes inside Somalia during Donald Trump's administration The blowback over the US killing of a top Iranian general mounted yesterday as Iran announced. It will no longer abide by. The limits is contained in the two thousand fifteen nuclear deal and Iraq's parliament called for the expulsion of all American troops from Iraqi soil. The twin in developments could bring Iran closer to building an atomic bomb and enable the Islamic state group to stage a comeback in Iraq making the Middle East a far more dangerous and unstable place Iranian state. Television cited a statement by President Hassan Ronnie's administration saying the country would not observe serve the deals restrictions on fuel enrichment on the size of its enriched uranium stockpile and on its research and development activities in Iraq meanwhile while lawmakers voted in favor of a resolution calling for an end to the foreign military presence in the country including the estimated five thousand two hundred the US troops stationed to help fight Islamic state extremists in yet. Another sign of rising tensions and threats of retaliation over Donald Trump's deadly es strike the US led military coalition in Iraq. Said is putting the battle against. is on hold to focus on protecting its own troops and races the string of developments cap today of mass mourning over Iranian Major General Qasim Sulejmani killed in a US drone strike in Baghdad on on Friday. Hundreds of thousands of people flooded the streets in the cities of Ahvaz and Mashhad to walk alongside the casket of solar money who was the architect. Detect of Iran's proxy wars across the Middle East and was blamed for the deaths of hundreds of Americans in suicide bombings and other attacks the US State Department had no immediate comment on Iran's announcement souleyman is killing his escalated the crisis between Tehran and Washington off two months of back and forth attacks and threats that have put the wider Middle East on edge. Iran has promised harsh revenge for the US attack while trump has vowed vowed on twitter that the US will strike back at fifty two targets very fast and very hard. UH millions of Americans will head to the post office this month unwanted holiday gifts in hand but while it might convenience to return that ugly Christmas sweater that ease comes at a huge cost to the environment united parcel service predicts that it processed a record one point nine million returns on the second of January which it dubbed National Returns Day. More than half of Americans said they planned overturning unwanted holiday gifts within a month of receiving them according to a survey published by the National Retail Federation however what many shoppers purpose may not know is that shipping returned goods contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and much of what they send back ends up in landfill each each year Americans return around three and a half billion products and five billion pounds of return goods ended up in us. Landfills according to opt Oro Oro a technology company that helps retailers process returns their data shows eighty-eight percent of consumers think that returns go right back on the shelf shelf and resold to the next consumer but in reality the majority of returned items cannot be resold as new the company says the landfill landfill waste from returns alone contributes fifteen million metric tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere You can subscribe to five minute news with your preferred podcast APP. Ask Your Smart Speaker or enable five. Live Minute News as your Amazon Alexa. FLASH BRIEFING SKILL VISIT US online at five minute dot knees. Five minute. News is an independent pendant. Production covering politics inequality health and climate delivering unbiased verified and truthful World News daily.
Introducing AMERICAN JIHADI
"Hi I'm Danielle Robea. I want to let you know about a new podcast. Series called American Jihadi over eight episodes journalists Kristof puzzle tells the story of the complicated relationship he developed with American born Jihadi Omar Hamami the FBI. Put a mommy on. Its most wanted terrorist list. Because of the years he spent fighting for Al Shabaab an Islamic militant group in Somalia Amami ended up on the run hiding out from the very group. He helped put on the map then he reached out to Kristof in secret to see if Kristof could help save his life. American Jihadi follows Christopher attempts to understand how. And why a suburban kid from Daphne Alabama. We transform himself into to the face of a terrorist group. It let him down one of the strangest roads of his career as a journalist and pushed him to cross lines he never thought he would cross up next the first I episode of American Jihadi. While you're listening go subscribe to American Jihadi on Apple podcasts. Or wherever you're listening now there's also a link in the episode notes that will take you there. In the fall of two thousand seven. A video was broadcast on the Al Jazeera News Network. A thin man in his early twenty s sits on the ground field somewhere in the east African country of Somalia he's wearing camouflage and there's a hand grenades strapped to his left front pocket help both. He's looking directly into the camera. But his face is wrapped in a green scarf so that only his eyes and a flash of white skin or showing America take into consideration arisen the example of Somalia man is the mouthpiece for new Islamic militant group in Somalia called Al Shabaab which means the youth in Arabic after fifteen years years of chaos and oppressive rule by the American backed warlords. Your brothers stood up in order to establish peace and justice in this land. The camera cuts to dozens of African fighters. AK Forty Sevens and grenade launchers. Video doesn't make clear is why they're spokesman appears there's to be a white American. The story quickly circulated online and even though the American had been careful not to reveal his identity and the small southern town of Daphne Alabama they knew exactly who he was. I came home from work one day in Verney wide as she'd what is always like mom you need and watch this the minute we heard the boys when you did it was now. It all makes sense. He's over there fight. He's not coming back and we saw allow my God. What is going on when it's going on the man? In the video was Omar Hamami. He would become become one of the. FBI's most wanted terrorists. I would spend years chasing his story. Attract his life from Alabama where he attended a southern Baptist Church and his high school class president to the frontlines of guerrilla war in Africa. And then I heard from Omar himself over time the relationship that developed between us awesome would blur the lines between journalism and friendship and wreck the tidy story. I told myself about the boundary between good and evil. I'm Christoph Puzzle. This is American. Jihadi episode sued one the Matrix I. I became aware of Omar Hamami in 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. His Brown hair is long and much of his face is covered by a young man's first beard thirty points. Omar speaks directly to the cameras. He's recruiting foreigners like himself to come join Al Shabaab encourage more of your children and more of your your neighbors. Anyone around to send people like him to this would be asset leader. He appears here's to lead Al Shabaab fighters in setting an ambush in to come camping. Omar White and his accent is so clearly American 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 two thousand and among try to blow up his me vehicles as we can and kill as many of the can take care of his face cracks into a smile now as if he feels self conscious saying these things on camera picture cuts away to a shot of the Bush on the enemy approaches. I can in the. US Omar story was quickly picked up by Media Omar Hamami the US citizen born and bred in the American south south who is now a leader of a terrorist organization affiliated with Al Qaeda fighting in Somalia. Catherine what did you learn about this guy. Twenty five years old American on Jihadist circles as Abu Key or the American and I found his story fascinating. HOMER had grown up in a small town in Alabama. I'm going to a southern Baptist Church until midway through high school. His life had been almost a cliche of American normalcy. He plays Soccer Little League Baseball. Even took the prettiest. Yes 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. He believes that the reward of Dada 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 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 who by the time video started attracting attention. The situation in Somalia Malia had gotten worse than six and a half thousand people have been killed in fighting in Somalia in the last twelve months. Al Shabaab was a running gun battle with Ethiopian and African Union troops American drones fired missiles at suspected terrorists and suicide bombers were beginning to target cities who is 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 in Mogadishu still. I knew I wanted to figure out a way to tell Omar story a young American who had traded in 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 really want understand the choices he'd made all the way to reach. Omar by new family was still living in Alabama. So I got on a plane I landed mobile drove a half hour. East Daphne a small suburb. On Mobile Bay calls itself the Jubilee City. The streets are lined with massive. Live oaks the kind film directors put movies so that you'll think old south I found Omar's parents place at the end of a call to sack. The curtains were drawn tight but on the mailbox it said in large white letters schiff economy and I got a quick glimpse of Omar's father Shafique when he looked at me through the window of his front door. He had glasses and dark salt and pepper beard. I said that I was a reporter. He told me to go away. He couldn't talk to me before flying down. I'd also reached out to our sister Dean on facebook back on my rental. Oh car I check my phone to see if she'd written back nothing on the highway fast and Applebee's in K. Mart. I pulled pulled into the hooters. Because I figured maybe someone there went to high school with Omar. The bartender told me that while he didn't know Omar well in high school. He did just run into his best friend Bernie at Walmart. The bartender even knew the street he lived on Bernie Street. There were names on all the mailboxes except for one. I asked him kids playing street street hockey if they knew who lived in that house. You mean the Jews one of the mast- Jews. Yeah the ones with the Star Wars outfits. Do you mean Muslims. Yeah them kid shrug. Whatever Bernie wasn't home? Later that night we managed to connect and he invited me over to dinner with his family. Lose his mother his wife and two kids dinner Become thank you. Servers Bernie was tall and slender with blonde hair and a beard. He and his family are practicing. Muslims Omar converted to Islam during his sophomore year and soon after inspired Bernie to convert as. Well it's kind of hard for you to like envision. The guy's a terrorist. You know if you like lived with the guy and mule really good friends with the guy for so many years you just when you see them. You don't see like the terrier show I go. Hey this my friend that I haven't seen it a couple years Bernie's mother Sharon had converted to Islam too. Yeah I think when I met her her head was covered with black job added with tiny flowers for Sharon. Omar wasn't a terrorist. He was the person who started her on the path to putting her life back together. She told me that before she became Muslim. She hadn't been the greatest mother to Barney. He saw me drove a lot which is very repenting full. You know had a lot of shame felt that he didn't have a lot of guidance. He didn't have a lot of supervision. And you needed a moment. I wasn't here was Mar Sharon hadn't even harder time Bernie understanding how the Marshon Daphne became one of the FBI's most wanted terrorists. He's the boy who helped me learn to coffee. And that's just can't wrap my head around thinking that he would be a part of hurting innocent the people I just I just can't I can't fathom that Bernie and I watched the video. The ambush as they entered into ambush opening up with small arms fire black. He's the guy that everybody knows is in Ricky I noticed a Omar Jimenez Gateway. You know Kinda like grew up with in high school is a kind of a normal dude kind of like a job. You'll really charismatic. Cool guy main objective right and so the fact that we got to Martyrs is nothing more than if you music video and don't read the subtitles thousand. Just kind of like watching a little bit just like seems like your old friend just the different period close on over the course of the next four months I spent a lot of time with Bernie. We went to their high school and the Walmart where they both worked. We even flew to Toronto to see where he and Omar had lived for about a year before moving down to Egypt. Egypt is where they separated Bernie coming back to the US Omar disappearing eventually turning up in Malaya the long piece about Omar made for current TV. I try to paint a more complicated picture of him than just the American born terrorist but I was never totally satisfied. I was able to follow Omar's path from Alabama to candidate to Egypt and then to Somalia and Al Shabaab. I couldn't really get my head around though was why hit chosen the path to answer that question or any of the others. I still had. I would've needed to get to Omar somehow but not even. US intelligence seemed to be able to find them It would take another two years to get my answer as it turned out. I had it backwards. I didn't need to find Omar. It was Omar needed to find me a that was just a preview of American. She haughty to hear the rest. I subscribe to American Jihadi on Apple podcasts. Or wherever you get your podcasts.
Lancaster Spotlight, Part 2: A Refugee's Tale
"N. P. R. Stuffing Nude was born in Mogadishu Somalia in Nineteen Ninety two. His father owned and ran a few small businesses. We had an ice cream shop and we had a clothing store but the ice cream would have been there. The big moneymaker back then because someone is a very hot country but when Mustafa was eleven the Somali terrorist group. al-shabaab asked his father to provide them with funding. SPA refused multiple times. Missed office says and then one day around noon members of Al Shabaab came to missed office house and in front of Mustafa his mother and his seven younger siblings. The murdered his father in their courtyard by four PM. The family was fleeing Somalia Amalia. So we didn't have any time to Like start thinking where we should we go. We should we take Wouldn't even take any of our belongings. The only item I I just managed to grab a bitch it from my bed. That's pretty much that's all you left with stuff in. His family. Spent roughly the next decade until he was twenty two in refugee camps in Kenya until they were resettled Lancaster City Pennsylvania in two thousand fourteen and out of these tragic circumstances is just five years later. Mustafa is a small business owner. Just like his dad was refugees like him and other immigrants are a meaningful part of a complicated success story story the story of how Lancaster City and surrounding Lancaster county have prospered economically. I'm Stacey Management and I'm Cardiff Garcia. This is indicated for planet. Money when you're listening to episode to our spotlight on Lancaster County Pennsylvania on today's episode. What Lancaster success tells us about the relationship between refugees and and their local economy this message comes from? NPR sponsor state farm. Why do you need state farm renter's insurance because it helps protect stuff landlords? Don't like your furniture that gets drenched by a broken pipe. State Farm Renter's insurance find an agents or get a quote at State Farm Dot Com about two years into their stay at a Kenyan refugee camp after fleeing Somalia Mustafa Nor and his family found that they had been selected to be resettled in the US and initially they had mixed feelings so in the country select you. You're notified two years in that. Hey you know. United States has selected you and that has in the refugee camp that always comes as a great news center. Santa about bad news because Because the United States takes the longest to process innovating they have a hard process. They have hottest scrutiny. Hot above ranch aches six. And he's right. The vetting process for refugees coming to the. US is intense. There's multiple interviews and background checks and security checks by different branches of the US government. It's fingerprints tests for contagious diseases. It can take years from office family. It took a decade but eventually as with other refugees who make it through the whole process assess. The family was paired with a resettlement agency. Mustafa and his family were paired with Church World Service which has a branch in Lancaster. It's nonprofit that receives funding funding from the federal government and from private donors and it sets up refugee families with a few months of housing some counseling services food and clothing and then they tried to US find your job right away because once you around here you have to start paying your bill for the government for bringing you a lot of people. I don't know this but yes refugees payback the US government for the cost of flying here from the southwest big family. Those were not cheap flights around eleven twelve hundred per person so a family of ten ten people. You get a bill of almost ten thousand dollars. Mustafa says he found Lancaster City. Lancaster County unexpectedly welcoming to his refugee family and to other refugee families and that in fact is the city's reputation in two thousand sixteen before the trump administration started limiting. How many refugees could come to the US? The number of refugees were resettled. In Lancaster. City hit a peak of four hundred and seven as a share of the city's population. That's almost twenty three times more more refugees resettled than in the US as a whole which is why. The city was labeled the refugee capital of America by the BBC. So why is Lancaster able to resettle so many refugees. One reason is resources. For example Church World Service. The Resettlement Agency is able to partner with local organizations to provide services is beyond just the basics beyond the initial housing and food and clothes for example. There's a nonprofit that provides health care to refugees. English language tutors the school district and in universities to help with education employment programs and companies that will actively try to hire refugees and train them. She masto Prieto runs. The Lancaster Office of Church World World Service and she says that all these resources make it possible for Lancaster to accept even the hardest cases. Like when there's a huge refugee family of ten or fifteen people or when a refugee has a medical issue and can't work or if a refugee only speaks a really obscure foreign language there are no cases in this area that we that we would refuse so we do have the option when cases sent to us by our national office to say they basically. They're saying will you accept this case so we always do and it's not just tangible resources. There's something else that has given Lancaster the ability to absorb refugees. Its history starting. In the early eighteenth century entry members of the Mennonite and Amish churches were fleeing persecution in Europe and started moving to Lancaster. The county still has a huge amish mennonite population and and the value of welcoming people in need of a new home has remained Steve Noel. A professor at Elizabethtown College spoke with us at the Mennonite historical society which features exhibits exhibits about the Amish and Mennonite history of Lancaster. Well in the in the late nineteen seventies and early nineteen eighties. For example Mennonites in this area were were deeply involved in resettlement of refugees from Southeast Asia. from from Vietnam Cambodia Laos and that's that was motivated both by Christian humanitarian concerns and also concerns that as Mennonites as conscientious objectors pacifists. I am in fact Mustafa's own experience right after arriving in Lancaster reflects this my first ever job. was I worked with Amish. I used to work for a company that build moved garages and sheds so used to install windows. He did well enough at this job installing windows for these sheds that he was hired by a company called E. Impact Marketing working which provides marketing for amish companies in the area in which trained Mustafa in Web design. Mustafa would end up becoming their head web developer and then he started thinking thinking more broadly he started a company called bridge which is a website where people can sign up to have dinner in the home of a refugee family in the area. The refugee family will cook the meal and share their story and the family will also said a fever. The dinner which it gets to keep bridge charges service fee which is how it makes money. Mustafa's office original pitch for bridge. One A business plan competition which provided the funding to get started. My feature was done I was gonNA instead of instead of free training or giving refugees a new skill. Why not give them a plot from where they can on an income with what they already know and we'll have their culture under food and part one we? We explained how refugees and immigrants contribute to an economy by helping its population grow and giving new businesses more people to sell two into higher Adamo MIC. The Lancaster based economist. I says it stories. Like Mustafa's also demonstrate the more subtle ways to immigrants and refugees contribute a move into neighborhoods that others might find less desirable herbal and they start interesting businesses and they really contribute to the diversity of consumer experiences downtown and you can in downtown like stir. You can eat into Vietnamese place. You can meet on Nepalese place. There's just a huge amount of writing. Her Moustapha says his company is making money and he even has plans to expand into neighboring in York County and he adds. His story shows the symbiotic relationship between the Lancaster economy and it's refugees and it goes something like this. The success of the Economy Konami makes it possible for the city to offer resources to these refugees so that they can prosper and they're prospering feeds right back into the success of the Lancaster economy. So what happens happens is warning refugee person comes here the community. This community has done a very good job of harnessing that refugee person as a whole from employment to training to the job opportunities to internship training. So I I went through those different circles of of coming here sieving. Welcome Hi finding a stable able job and then how developing a skill. Which is the development web development using that skill to create a company? Now so it's a great circle on. It's it's a something which is very I don't WanNa say unique. What's special about Lancaster? Lancaster is now a pretty good place to get it by. This episode of the indicator was produced by Lena Sons Gary fact check by Nadia Lewis. Our Editors Paddy Hirsch in indicator is a production of NPR
The Trump Administrations Air Strikes in Somalia Are On the Rise Againand Civilians Are Paying the Price
"The, trump administration's air strikes in Somalia are on the rise again and civilians are paying the price. By Nick Tursi. In the first seven months of. The trump administration conducted more airstrikes in Somalia then were carried out during the administrations of George W Bush and Barack Obama combined this year alone U Africa. Command AFRICOM has acknowledged forty three airstrikes in Somalia compared to forty two from two, thousand, seven to two, thousand, seventeen it comes as africom embraces greater transparency issuing its second ever quarterly civilian casualty assessment on July twenty eighth the report acknowledged that a US. Air. Strike on February second twenty twenty killed a civilian woman and injured three members of her family. The finding substantiated a march report by Amnesty International that the air strikes killed in eighteen year old and injured her two younger sisters and grandmother the target of the was a member of al-shabaab an extremist group linked to al Qaeda. The strikes are part of a long running military campaign to increase security in Somalia. By degrading al-shabaab and to a lesser extent, the Islamic state the Al Qaeda aligned terrorist group has been active in Somalia. Since two thousand six maintains influence in many areas of the country and according to africom remains resilient despite billions of dollars of US military and humanitarian assistance ground operations, involving Somali forces and US advisors and five straight years of record setting numbers of airstrikes. The February second strike occurred when you. ASS attacks following an al-shabaab assault on the US. Military Base in Mandalay Bay Kenya that killed one US soldier and to Defense Department contractors being carried out at a blistering pace averaging one airstrike every two to three days we will pursue those responsible for this attack al-shabaab who seeks to harm Americans and U. S. interests africom commander General Stephen Townsend announced in January but experts say this mindset puts civilians in peril. At the time general towns and said, they were going to relentlessly pursue those who conducted the attack, and in that rush, a number of civilians were injured and killed including those in the single case which africom just admitted Brian Kastner. The senior crisis adviser for arms and military operations at Amnesty. International told Time we saw the same thing after the massive truck bombing in Somalia's capital. Mogadishu in two thousand, seventeen AFRICOM moves too fast and civilians pay the price. In the early days of the COVID nineteen pandemic UN. Secretary General Antonio Gutierrez repeatedly called for a global ceasefire. The fury of the virus illustrates the folly of war. He said in March while senior American officials endorse the universal armistice the US none the less continued attacks in the Horn of Africa and elsewhere the most recent US air strike in Somalia occurred on July twenty nine. AFRICOM was initially slow to respond to the pandemic with its heavy air campaign against Bob Continuing into mid may however we did then see a welcome seven-week pause, which was only gradually lifted from July nine said Chris Woods, director of air wars are UK based Airstrike Monitoring Group. It's worth noting he continued that al-shabaab itself continue to mount terror attacks throughout Somalia's initial lockdown. AFRICOM, did not cite calls for the armistice as a reason for the lull in strikes. However, a variety of factors weigh in to win a strike occurs including pace of partner operations identification of an opportunity to engage targets and targets. Of Opportunity AFRICOM spokesman John, Manley told Time also weather has a big impact on operations and whether we can conduct strikes. US officials have nonetheless expressed support for Gutierrez proposed global armistice. In the midst of the pandemic, it would be phenomenal if there could be a cease-fire Tibor Nagy, the State Department's top Africa policy official told Time this. While noting that some belligerence would quote be opportunistic and use the pandemic to advance their own violent agendas. Similarly a senior trump administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity echoed Gutierrez appeal and amplified it. We're hoping that people will adhere to the secretary general and other leaders call for a ceasefire. They told Time despite the fact that the administration has not only failed to adhere to the armistice from Afghanistan to Iraq but has even in the face of the pandemic exceeded the number of attacks in Somalia carried out by both previous presidents combined. Despite AFRICOM slowdown in air attacks, the US is still poised to log a record number of air strikes in Somalia for the sixth straight year. If you look at twenty nineteen strikes, the frequency is similar to this point said Manley last year the trump administration conducted sixty three air attacks Somalia an all time high. The strikes continue due to the failure of the US and it's a molly and African Union allies to defeat al-shabaab despite nearly a decade of military operations a report by the defense. Department's Inspector. General issued on July sixteenth noted that africom concedes al-shabaab maintained its capability to conduct hit and run attacks ambushes and improvised explosive device I e D operations and quote remains adaptive resilient and capable of attacking US partner interests in Somalia and East Africa AFRICOM has launched hundreds of air and Ground attacks in Somalia since two, thousand seven but the command has admitted to killing only five civilians in three separate attacks over the last thirteen years and investigation by Amnesty. International found that in just nine of those airstrikes twenty one civilians were killed and eleven others were injured according to air wars. Evidence suggests that as many as fifteen Somali civilians have been killed by US strikes in twenty twenty alone air wars who's database incorporates local and international news reports, photos, videos, social media posts. Mapping and Geo location and other data for every known US air and Ground Action in Somalia contends that between seventy two and one, hundred, forty five civilians have been killed in US attacks since two thousand seven AFRICOM is in who previously commanded Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve America's effort to defeat the Islamic state in Iraq and Syria vociferiously pushed back on allegations of civilian casualties. In that conflict, I challenge anyone to find a more precise air campaign in the history of. Warfare he wrote in foreign policy opinion piece in two thousand, seventeen that same year a New York Times magazine investigation of nearly one hundred fifty U s led coalition airstrikes targeting Isis in Iraq found that one in five of the coalition strikes resulted in civilian deaths a rate more than thirty one times acknowledged by the coalition. Our reporting moreover revealed a consistent failure by the coalition to investigate claims properly or to keep records then make it possible to investigate the claims at all journalists. Khan and Annan Gopala wrote the command has since admitted killing close to fourteen hundred civilians in that campaign air wars says, the true toll could be as high as thirteen, thousand, one, hundred, thirty, five. We work hard to prevent civilians from getting hurt or killed during these operations said Townsend on the release of africom civilian casualty, assessment on July twenty eighth we are committed to minimizing civilian casualties and will continue to thoroughly. All nations. In twenty, nineteen researchers from Columbia Law. School's Human Rights Institute, and the Center for civilians in conflict conducted a civilian casualty workshop with AFRICOM personnel. A review of the command civilian casualty assessment process revealed that between two Thousand Sixteen Twenty Nineteen Africom failed to conduct even a single interview with civilian witnesses of its airstrikes. Nothing has changed in the time since we have not interviewed any witnesses or victims Manley. Told Time. The fact that African has still at this point in time not interviewed any witnesses or survivors of it strikes is deeply disappointing said Priyanka Modem Party. Of Columbia Law School's Human Rights Institute by not interviewing those affected they've chosen not to seek out valuable information about the effects of their operations in Somalia despite the fact human rights groups have been calling on them to conduct these interviews for years. A New Pentagon report on ex-gratia payments for death injury and property damage in America's wars shows that no assistance or compensation has been provided to Somali victims of US attacks. Congress has explicitly often is the Defense Department to make payments to families for their losses and international law requires reparations if the strike was unlawful said, Daphne Atar director of the security with human rights program at Amnesty International USA. It's time for the US to develop a better and more humane response to the harm it's causing and to do more to prevent that harm. Amnesties Kastner fears that the lull in airstrikes caused by Somalia's rainy season may soon evaporate and non combatants will pay the price. The fact that civilians are still dying sometimes unlawfully and not a single family of the victims has yet been compensated means that after thirteen years, the US government still hasn't figured out how to fight a war that prioritizes the needs of the people they say they're defending he told, Time. The US government can fulfil its obligations to civilians while fighting remote war of airstrikes than it needs to reconsider its methods.