March 20, 2012
A spokesperson for an al Qaeda-linked terror group is denying that the group "arrested" one of its own -- a high-profile American member -- just days after the American posted an online video in which he said he feared for his life.
Alabama-born Omar Hammami, also known as Abu Mansoor al-Amriki, traveled halfway around the world in 2006 to join the Somalia-based terror group al-Shabaab and has been an outspoken member and recruiter. But according to a video he uploaded Friday, he is on the outs with his fellow terrorists and is afraid they may kill him over their "differences."
"To whomever it may reach from the Muslims, from Abu [Mansoor] al-Amriki, I record this message today because I feel that my life may be endangered by [al-Shabaab] due to some differences that occurred between us regarding matters of the Shariah [Islamic law] and matters of the strategy," Hammami says.
A spokesperson for the terror group said on Twitter after the video surfaced that the group was "surprised" by Hammami's video and said that he was "not endangered... and our brother still enjoys all the privileges of brotherhood."
Then a pair of reports surfaced Monday claiming Hammami had been abducted by members of al-Shabaab -- reports that the spokesperson for the group strongly denied online.
"All reports of [Hammami's] arrest are false and intended purely for propaganda purposes," the spokesperson told ABC News over Twitter. "Beware of such inaccurate reports."
Officials at the U.S. State Department said they are aware of the reported arrest and are looking into the matter.
Hammami is one of the most high-profile Americans to join the terrorist organization and, according to the U.S. government, is "an important al-Shabaab voice on the internet." He is known within the group for producing pro-jihad rap songs in hopes of pulling young fighters to the cause.
Read the complete story at ABC News