When I last posted about Omar Hammami in Somalia, he had just tweeted that he had been shot in the throat by a Shabaab assassin. As I had mentioned,
If there is going to be a war inside Shabaab, I’m guessing it will happen soon.
Well, Omar went quiet on Twitter for a little while and from what I gather (could be a bit off on this since I don’t speak Somali), a Shabaab contingent surrounded the Rahanweyn village Omar was hiding in and turned off the cell tower to cut off communications around the area. A few days later, Omar popped back up with a few new tweets describing the stand off between he and Shabaab and his run into the forest to escape Shabaab’s manhunt. Again, Omar went quiet for a while before firing off these two tweets on May 3 and April 30.
Omar suggests that Shabaab has lost the initiative, that the people of Somalia are on his side and that the Shabaab militias of Gedo and Jubba aren’t really interested in going into Rahanweyn territory and stirring up a ruckus.
Since May 3, no word from Omar. So…
- What happened to Omar? Did he escape Shabaab’s grasp yet again or are Omar’s tweets really just his hopes for protection, redemption and survival?
- Are Shabaab’s militias really disobeying Godane? Shabaab has launched a couple of suicide bombing attacks on Mogadishu over the past few weeks but these have mostly killed civilians from what I gathered. Is Shabaab’s indiscriminate killing of civilians and their hunting of Omar finally eroding Godane’s power? Omar claimed in another tweet that many key Shabaab leaders are against Godane. But how would we know if this is true?
I guess only time will tell…or maybe it won’t. The Twittersphere has been quiet. Will we hear from Omar again?