Omar Hammami is just as comfortable in the studio as he his carrying an AK-47. Since 2009, he’s released about a half-dozen rap tracks celebrating martyrdom and condemning the United States and Israel. Now his posters will be appearing at a post office near you.
The FBI announced on Wednesday that Hammami, an American citizen and senior al-Shabaab leader, was added to its Most Wanted Terrorists List. He’s wanted for “providing material support to terrorists.”
Last year, the rumor was that Hammami, who worked as a spokesperson for al-Shabaab in Somalia, had been killed in a fight with African Union soldiers. But a month later he released two new songs, “Send Me a Cruise,” a song asking to be martyred by a cruise missile, and “Blow by Blow,” which criticized U.S. presence in Muslim countries.
Hammami was president of his sophomore high school class in Daphne, Alabama "but became radical in his views and dropped out of college in 2002,” ABC News reported last year. He’s fluent in Arabic and English and knows some Somali.
“Hammami allegedly traveled to Somalia in 2006 and joined al Shabaab’s military wing, eventually becoming a leader in the organization. In 2007, after Ethiopian forces invaded Somalia, Hammami joined the front lines as a fighter and eventually became a leader with al Shabaab,” says a press release distributed Wednesday afternoon.
image: FBI Photo