Somali militants post tape of 'US suicide bomber'

AP News
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Posted: Oct 30, 2011 7:18 AM
Somali militants post tape of 'US suicide bomber'

An al-Qaida-linked Somali militant group on Sunday posted a tape allegedly made by an American citizen who blew himself up during an attack on an African Union base in Somalia's capital that left at least 10 people dead.

The young man, who would be at least the fourth American to become a suicide bomber in Somalia, urges other young people not to "just chill all day" and instead fight nonbelievers around the world.

The website Somalimemo.net, often used by the al-Shabab militia, said Somali-American bomber Abdisalan Taqabalahullaah had emigrated to the U.S. when he was 2 years old.

It was not possible to verify the claims and the U.S. Embassy was not able to comment. U.S. authorities estimate that at least 20 American passport holders have joined the insurgents in Somalia. At least three of them became suicide bombers.

The young man had an American accent and mixed Muslim terminology with American slang as he urged Muslims to carry out attacks against non-Muslims around the world.

"My brothers and sisters, do jihad in America, do jihad in Canada, do jihad in England, anywhere in Europe, in Asia, in Africa, in China, in Australia," the voice said. "Anywhere you find (unbelievers), fight them and be firm against them.

"Today jihad is what is most important thing for the Muslim ummah," he said, using a word for the Islamic community. "It is not important that you, you know, you you become a doctor or you become, you know, uh, some sort of engineer."

"We have to believe in Allah and die as Muslims ... Brainstorm," the youth said. "Don't, don't just sit around and, you know, be, be be a couch potato and you know, you know, just like, you know, just chill all day, you know. It doesn't, it doesn't, it will not benefit you, it will not benefit yourself, or the Muslims."

On Saturday, two suicide bombers blew themselves up in an attack on an African Union base that killed at least 10 people. The AU has not released official casualty figures but al-Shabab says dozens died.

About 9,000 AU peacekeepers supporting Somali government troops have almost pushed al-Shabab from the capital of Mogadishu. Earlier this month, Kenya opened a second front, sending hundreds of soldiers across the border into southern Somalia.

The insurgency is outgunned by both forces and has been weakened by a famine in its strongholds. But it still maintains the ability to carry off spectacular attacks, like a truck bomb that killed more than 100 people earlier this month, or Saturday's two-hour attack on the AU base.

Somalia has not had a functioning government in more than 20 years.

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Houreld contributed to this report from Nairobi, Kenya.