The al-Qaeda-allied group al-Shabaab executed US-born jihadist Omar Hammami on April 5th, according to unconfirmed Somali media reports.
Hammami, known as Abu Mansour al-Amriki, said he feared for his life from other al-Shabaab leaders because of strategic and ideological differences in a statement released last month.
According to Somalia’s Gedo Online, Hammami was the only one absent from a recent meeting attended by top al-Shabaab leaders in Baraawe.
Al-Shabaab reportedly hunted down Hammami after he left Marka in the Lower Shabelle region. He was reportedly beheaded on the spot and buried somewhere between Marka and Baraawe.
According to the report, the alleged execution angered some al-Shabaab leaders, who accused al-Shabaab leader Ahmed Abdi Godane of ordering the execution.
A group of foreign fighters and other top al-Shabaab members, including Fuad Mohamed Khalaf, also known as Fuad Shongoole, reportedly fled to the Galgala Mountains following the news of the execution.
Other leaders who left upon hearing the news include Hassan Dahir Aweys and Mukhtar Robow, Gedo Online reported.
Aweys recently accused other al-Shabaab leaders, including Godane, of shedding the blood of Muslims and murdering innocent civilians in the name of Islam. He described the actions of al-Shabaab’s leaders as far removed from Islam.
Somali analysts say the al-Qaeda affiliated al-Shabaab group is on the verge of splintering due to deepening internal divisions exacerbated by recent military setbacks.