Omar Hamami – better known as Abu Mansoor Al-Amriki – gave the warning in an undated video posted on several Somali websites and YouTube on Saturday.
“To whomever it may reach from the Muslims, from Abu Mansoor al-Amriki, I record this message today because I feel that my life may be endangered by Harakat Alshabab Al-Mujahideen due to some differences that occurred between us regarding matters of the Shari’ah [Islamic law] and matters of the strategy,” he said, speaking in English.
“We assure our Muslim brothers that Al-Amriki is not endangered by the Mujahideen & our brother still enjoys all the privileges of brotherhood,” the group’s press office said on its Twitter page, adding that an investigation was under way and that it was verifying the video’s authenticity.
In a separate Arabic-language statement, the Shabaab said it was “surprised” by Amriki’s video, according to SITE, a US-based monitoring group that tracks extremist websites.
“Until the investigations regarding the meaning and motives behind this video are completed, the Shabaab al-Mujahideen Movement assures that everything stated in this video it is not true at all, and that the life of the brother is not threatened by the Shabaab al-Mujahideen Movement,” it said.
Hammami grew up in the middle-class town of Daphne, Alabama, before joining the militants in 2006. He is the most visible foreigner in the ranks of the Alshabab, which is trying to topple the country’s weak U.N.-backed government.