American Al Qaeda holds rare news conference in Somalia

April 6th, 2009 - 2:45 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Apr.6 (ANI): Two young Americans who left their homes to join an Al Qaeda-linked terrorist group in Somalia held a rare “press conference” in Southern Somalia on Monday, saying they want to be killed “for the sake of God.”

According to a U.S. law enforcement official and a video posted on a Somali news Web site, at least 20 Somali-American men from the Minneapolis area and elsewhere in the United States have joined the terrorist group al-Shabaab, which has been warring with the moderate Somali government since 2006.

“We came from the U.S. with a good life and a good education, but we came to fight alongside our brothers of al-Shabaab … to be killed for the sake of God,” one man said in the video, as translated by Omar Jamal, the executive director of the Somali Justice Advocacy Center in St. Paul, Minn.

In the video, two men, identifying themselves as Abu-Muslim and Abu Yaxye, say they are “Somali youth” from the United States who are now stationed near the city of Kismayo, more than 300 miles southwest of Mogadishu, according to Jamal.

The men say they are talking to media for the first time so others can learn why they joined al-Shabaab, he said.

A spokesman from the FBI Field Office in Minneapolis, E.K. Wilson, said he is “aware of the video,” which was posted on the Web site He said the video was first brought to his office’s attention early Sunday.

Wilson would not say whether the FBI has identified the men in the video.

It was a “clear appeal to foreign youth, especially in English-speaking countries, to join the jihad in Somalia,” according to the Washington-based Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), which first provided the video to Fox News.

In the 30-minute video, featuring an anti-American hip-hop score and images of Usama bin Laden, a man dubbed “The American” purportedly leads a group of al-Shabaab militants in an ambush of Ethiopian forces, which oppose an Islamic state and have backed the new Somali government.

A law enforcement official confirmed to FOX News that the man, identified in the video as Abu Mansur al-Amriki, is originally from the United States, but said he has been in Somalia “for some time.”

The official said the man is in his late 20s or early 30s, and left the United States “many” years ago. (ANI)

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