Alabama-native and designated Al-Shabaab leader, Omar Hammami, aka Abu Mansour al-Amriki, appears to be at odds with his former group, according to a video posted on YouTube Friday.
In the video, titled "urgentmessage," Hammami tells viewers in both Arabic and English that because of differences over "matters of Shariah and matters of strategy" he now feels his "life may be in danger by the Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen."
The video is simplistic—only a minute in length and lacking the usual production glitz of Hammami's previous releases. He dons a black and white keffiyeh and stands in front of a plain backdrop adorned only with an al-Qaida flag and a Kalashnikov.
The message is short and to the point. No further details are given as to the differences that have led to the current state of concern for Hammami.
If his claim is proven true (and, for instance, is not a hoax being orchestrated by Hammami in cahoots with the Somali terrorist group), it would be a stark change of fortunes for the American Shabaab leader.
Florian Flade over at Jih@d notes that just last year, Hammami had appeared at a number of rallies held by al-Shabaab and "was even holding speeches on the occasion of Osama Bin Laden's death in Pakistan in May 2011."
Flade speculates that the current situation Hammami finds himself in may be the result of increased suspicion of foreigners by core Shabaab leaders:
"Some fighters—especially from Kenya and Ethiopia—had been accused of being spies and were executed. Perhaps Hammami is now facing a similar fate."