American arrested at Kenyan-Somali border

Does John Walker Lindh have a potential new cellmate?  Rusty at My Pet Jawa notices a Reuters dispatch on a border arrest by Kenyan authorities which prevented an American Muslim from taking a sightseeing tour of beautiful, al-Qaeda-affiliate-controlled Somalia.  Rusty suspects that Kenya has captured Omar Hammami, AKA Sheikh Abu Monsoor al-Amriki, who has appeared in prior al-Shabaab propaganda videos, but Reuters doesn’t name the suspect:

An American man has been arrested in northern Kenya while trying to enter an area of Somalia controlled by Islamist insurgents, police and residents said on Monday.

Lawless Somalia is viewed by the international community as a breeding ground for al Qaeda-linked groups which have been carrying out an insurgency against the U.N.-backed administration of President Sheikh Shariff Ahmed. …

Police thought the man’s willingness to enter the conflict-torn nation where foreigners are routinely kidnapped for huge ransoms was puzzling, the witness added. The area he wanted to go to is controlled by the al Shabaab rebel group which the United States says is al Qaeda’s proxy in Somalia.

The suspect told police that he was a Muslim but had no connections to terrorists.  The police, needless to say, remain skeptical of the latter claim.  There seems to be little reason to enter Somalia, especially while avoiding border security, except to either join the al-Qaeda terrorists or the pirates on the coast.  The US will find either option very, very interesting, as well as any connections the suspect may have.

Who exactly is Hammami, or Abu Mansoor al-Amriki?  Think of him as a cut-rate Adam Gadahn, who is himself a cut-rate, more repulsive version of Lord Haw Haw.  Hammami makes English-language propaganda videos for al-Shabaab, and Fox News reported last month that the US wants to get its hands on him.  He faces at least one indictment for providing material support to terrorists.  He began working for the Islamic Courts Union after 9/11 and disappeared to Somalia shortly thereafter.

But is this the man Kenya captured?  It could also be one of the Minneapolis Somalis that began disappearing last year, whom the FBI want to track.  We’ll know more soon, but probably not as soon as we’d like.

Update: Rusty told me earlier this evening that he didn’t think it was necessarily Hammami; he just used the graphic for his post.  Still, Hammami is out there, and it’s a good opportunity to familiarize ourselves with another apparent American traitor.

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