Omar Hammami, an Alabama native, became one of Somalia's most notorious Islamic rebels, known as Abu Mansoor Al-Amriki, or "the American."
Hammami built a following as an English-language propagandist producing jihadist rap videos for western militants.
After months on the run, the former al-Shabab fighter was reportedly ambushed Thursday in a "raid by the Emir of the Shabaab al-Mujahideen Movement and his followers in Islamic Bay and Bakool province after clashes that lasted for several hours."
"I'm pretty sure it's true," said American terrorism expert John Berger, who has tracked Hammami and recently communicated with him online. The U.S. government is still trying to confirm reports.
In a March 2012 video, Hammami claimed al-Shabab members were trying to assassinate him over "some differences that occurred between us regarding matters of the sharia and matters of strategy."
He alleged that al-Shabaab leaders lived in luxury on the taxes imposed on Somalis, treated foreign fighters poorly and lacked the will to fight Jihad globally.
Hammami's father is from Syria and his mother is American. Though he was raised in a suburb of Mobile, Alabama, his family moved to Egypt in 2006. From there, Hammami then left with a friend to join Al-Shabaab in Somalia. He was subsequently indicted in terrorism charges in U.S. federal court and had a $5 million U.S. bounty on his head.