Private investigator Bill Warner says Daphne Ala. terror suspect Omar hammami aka Abu Mansour al-Amriki linked to jihadist Web site of Al-Shabaab http://www.kataaib.net/ , ABC News confirms al-Amriki is head of propaganda for Al-Shabaab.
Thursday, September 10, 2009, By BRENDAN KIRBY, Staff Reporter..NEWS-REGISTER Daphne Ala.
A Web site used by a Somali jihadist group that has been tied to a suspected terrorist from Daphne was hosted by an Internet company based in the United States, according to a private investigator.
Bill Warner, an investigator from Sarasota, Fla., who tried to shut down a number of Web sites linked to extremist groups, said he first targeted an al-Shabaab Web site in May 2008 after the U.S. government labeled it a terrorist organization. Dotster Inc. of Vancouver, Wash., took the Web site http://www.kataaib.net/ down in January, Warner said, after an order from the federal government.
Warner said he has run a detective agency for 15 years and has been trying to shut down terrorist Web sites — on his own time without pay — since 2003. When watching an April 2007 al-Shabaab Web posting, he said, he was particularly intrigued by one of the men on the Web site, a fair-skinned man, who stood apart from the Somali fighters.
That man went by the name Abu Mansour al-Amriki. Fox News reported last week that his true identity is Omar Hammami and that he faces a secret indictment in Mobile's federal court on a charge of providing material support to terrorists (the al-shabaab website).
Hammami, 25, attended Daphne High School and the University of South Alabama. Warner said news reports of Hammami's past as a computer science student confirmed his suspicions that al-Amriki had provided technical assistance to al-Shabaab. "At that time, I suspected he was involved with setting up the Web site," he said. "It appears Omar, with his background, is the perfect guy to set this up for them."
Rick Schwein, the assistant special agent in charge of counter-terrorism efforts at the Mobile office of the FBI, said he could not comment on a specific case. In general, he said, the bureau works within the constraints of the law to take down Web sites that lure recruits and coordinate terrorist activity. "It's something that is of great concern to us," he said.
Warner said federal investigators often do not want to tip their hand by moving on a Web site before they have mined it for intelligence. Foreign terrorist groups prefer to use American Web-hosting companies because the larger bandwidth they use allows higher-quality video postings.
Newspapers in Phoenix and Tampa, Fla., reported that Web hosting companies in their cities took down jihadist Web sites after Warner pointed them out in early 2008. But officials at Dotster, which hosted the al-Shabaab site at http://www.kataaib.net/ , initially resisted Warner's efforts, he said.
Dotster representatives could not be reached for comment Wednesday. The company told the (Columbian) newspaper in Vancouver last year that its passes along all complaints to law enforcement agencies but does not censor customers' content. "We are not in a position to judge and be a jury on what content may be legal or acceptable," Brian Unruh, the firm's chief financial officer, told the newspaper.
Warner said the al-Shabaab site clearly crossed the line. And while the message was in Somali, he said, a mirror site run by a man in the United Kingdom had an English-language version. "It was blatantly recruiting suicide bombers," he said.
ABC News verifies that Omar Hammami aka Abu Mansoor al-Amriki is head of propaganda for Al-Shabaab and followed Adam Gadahn, American Jihadist Attacks Obama in Extremist Audio Tape, Abu Mansoor al-Amriki Calls For American Muslims to Leave U.S., Join Jihad
By MATTHEW COLE...ABC NEWS
An American jihadist tied to Al Qaeda has released an extremist audiotape attacking President Obama, calling for American Muslims to leave the U.S. and join the armed Islamic struggle around the world. Abu Mansoor al-Amriki, an apparent American citizen, is a member of the Somalia-based Islamist militant group al-Shabaab and speaks in English with a flat American accent addressing American Muslims.
Titled "A Response to Barack Obama: The Beginning of the End," the tape is a belated reply to Obama's speech in Egypt addressed to the Muslim world. In it, Abu Mansoor praises Osama bin Laden and refutes various points Obama made during his speech from Cairo.
Abu Mansoor al-Amriki (the American) has raised his profile in recent months, and followed in the footsteps of the better known Adam Gadahn, an American al Qaeda operative based in Pakistan. Gadahn is wanted by the FBI, and the State Department has offered a $1 million reward for his capture. Abu Mansoor has not risen to that level of infamy yet, but appears to be making efforts to land on the notorious Rewards for Justice list. Abu Mansoor first appeared in a September 2007 video that aired on al-Jazeera. Near the end of the message, Gadahn and three other apparent Americans jihadists are shown.
In recent months, Abu Mansoor has released tapes that included American rap lyrics in the background. According to Ben Venzke, president of IntelCenter, a Washington-based firm that tracks and analyzes al Qaeda propaganda videos, Mansoor and al Shabaab have released a "steady, yet rapid, escalation in the overall video production quality of their material."
U.S. government officials have been concerned about the growing attraction for American citizens of Somali decent heading to Somalia to join that country's continuing civil war and insurgency. Last year, FBI officials acknowledged that as many as 20 Somali-American teenagers disappeared from their Minneapolis community, headed to fight with the al-Qaeda-linked group al Shabaab.