Yesterday, there were reports of VOA-Somalia interviewing Omar Hammami and today, sure enough, Omar may be back online.
First, this morning, what I initially thought was a middle school computer science project appeared on YouTube – a tribute to Omar Hammami with some sort of Somali language behind old Omar footage. At first I didn’t get it, but then I got to wondering if this audio was some new announcement by Omar in Somali – which I unfortunately can’t speak so don’t have a clue what is being said. But I think its Omar babbling about something in Somali.
Second, the YouTube video label points to a media outlet I’ve never really heard of, Rasminews.com, which had some sort of article this morning about Omar Hammami and seems to be relatively new.
What’s been strange about the recent spike in Omar activity is that its been in Somali language. Omar started his media campaign in Arabic trying to reach out to al Qaeda supporters and the Arab world. He didn’t get much of a response. So then, he started tweeting in English and gained quite a following from CT pundits and Westerners along with some serious pushback from Shabaab supporters. However, getting the word out in English and in the West doesn’t do you much good when you are in Somalia. The interview with VOA-Somalia, the Rasminews website and Omar’s bad Somali dubbing suggest now he’s not trying to win over the Arab world, al Qaeda supporters or Westerners. No, I think he’s focused 100% on winning over local Somalis – those that have got his back and unlike al Qaeda may be willing to go after and topple Godane.
Now, after three more months on the run, Omar Hammami again survives and uses another of his nine lives. Just a little while ago the Twitter account of Omar Hammami (@abumamerican) sent out this call.
So, what’s the deal Omar? How’s your neck? When are you going to get back at Godane?