Omar Shafik Hammami is a US citizen, a native of Alabama. He was placed on the FBI’s “Most Wanted” list.
According to the FBI, Hammami left the US for Somalia in 2006, and took a leadership position in al-Shabaab, a group the United States designated a terrorist organization four years ago. He has since been indicted in the US on charges of providing material support to terrorists.
WBNS-10TV found numerous videos of him online, including one where he discusses an ambush intended to kill Ethiopians.
The YouTube video shows Hammami saying “We’re going to set up the ambush” and “we’ll kill them all.”
Columbus has one of the largest Somali populations in the U.S. In an alert to law enforcement and local Somali leaders, the FBI said, “Hammami remains a threat, especially for his ability to recruit English speaking young men and women for the purposes of fighting in Somalia.”
“There have been indictments in Minnesota for American youth who travel overseas to fight with al-Shabaab and certainly that’s something we want to make sure doesn’t happen in Columbus or anywhere else,” Todd Lindgren, of FBI Cincinnati said.
The Bureau would not comment as to whether there have been any such cases of local Somalis recruited by terror groups, but said that it continues to partner with Columbus’s Somali Community to protect its young people from such tactics.