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FBI adds Alabama native to most wanted terrorists list

November 15, 2012|By Joseph Serna
  • An undated photo of Omar Shafik Hammami
An undated photo of Omar Shafik Hammami (FBI )

Alabama native Omar Shafik Hammami has been added to the FBI’s most wanted terrorists list, one of several Americans targeted by the authorities for links to terrorism.

Hammami, 28, was indicted by the U.S. attorney in Alabama in 2007, suspected of providing material support to terrorists, and was designated a terrorist in 2008. He’s been called the "rapping Jihadist" for rapping in a recruitment video for the Shabab, a militant group.

Hammami was born in Alabama and traveled to Somalia in 2006 and joined the Shabab’s front lines as a fighter a year later when Ethiopian forces invaded the country. He quickly climbed the group's ranks.

The group, affiliated with Al Qaeda, found a home in Somalia, which lacked a stable government for decades and where piracy on the open seas became a substantial source of income. Over the last year however, the African Union Mission in Somalia, a coalition of African military forces, has retaken most of the country, pushing the group from many of its strongholds.

Hammami is believed to still be in Somalia, according to the FBI.

He joins four other Americans on the list: Abdul Rahman Yasin, 52, of Bloomington, Ind.; Daniel Andreas San Diego, 34, of Berkeley; Jehad Serwan Mostafa, of Waukesha, Wis., and Adam Yahiye Gadahn, 34, of Oregon.

Two other Americans who became high-profile targets of the government were Anwar Awlaki and Samir Khan, both Al Qaeda operatives, who were killed by a U.S. drone strike in Yemen in 2011.

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Joseph.serna@latimes.com

@josephserna

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