Americans fighting for al-Shabaab?

WASHINGTON, Sept. 13 (UPI) -- An insurgent found dead after the latest round of fighting between al-Shabaab and Somali forces carried American identification papers, Somali officials said.

The militant group al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for an attack on the airport Thursday in Mogadishu. The attack killed nine people including two members of the African Union Mission in Somalia.


Somali officials told ABC News that one of the dead fighters, Dahir Gurey Sheik Ali Guled, had documents on him that suggested he was an American. U.S. officials told the news agency they believed the man was an American who traveled to Somalia early this year, though they warned that accounts have yet to be verified.

Omar Hammami, an Alabama native, is believed to be one of the highest ranking members of al-Shabaab. The U.S. Justice Department announced in August the indictment of 14 U.S. nationals accused of supporting al-Shabaab.

The Somali militant group declared its allegiance to Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network in February.

Al-Shabaab waged an offensive that coincided with Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting that ended during the weekend. In the past two weeks more than 230 people were killed, including several Somali lawmakers.


The Western-backed Somali government controls only a small portion of the country, which hasn't had a functioning government in years.

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