MOGADISHU, SOMALIA — In response to the recent US designation of former soldier Henry Dean as an Al Qaeda combatant, members of Somalia's Al Qaeda branch angrily told the Duffel Blog that the self-identified 'American Al Qaeda' had actually spent his entire jihad in Somalia making phone calls home and watching movies.
Dean, an Army food service specialist with the rank of Private First Class, deserted from his base at Fort Drum, New York, in April and made his way to Somalia sometime in May, where he publicly proclaimed his allegiance to Al Qaeda’s local affiliate, known as Al-Shabaab.
Previously he had done a year-long tour in Afghanistan at Kandahar Air Field with the US Army in 2009.
"We were so excited when he first showed up," said al-Shabaab founder Ahmed Abdi aw-Mohamed. "We were hoping he would show us all the American counter-IED tactics, or intelligence methods, or maybe even participate in a suicide bombing for us."
"Within an hour he had his laptop out and was watching porn!"
Al-Shabaab member Ibrahim Haji Jama was similarly unimpressed with the American, and described Dean as a classic POS, or "Person Other than Shahid".
"These POSers are usually rich Saudi kids who want to come here, fire off a few rounds at a government checkpoint, then jet back home to get drunk and laid, sometimes in the same day. This American has somehow found a new level of laziness."
"He went through so much trouble to get here,” Jama complained, “and now he does absolutely nothing! Except of course run down my phone's battery making constant calls to his family about how lonely he is and how it's really dangerous out here. Like he would know!"
Fuad Mohamed Khalaf, Dean's team leader, complained that Dean spends most of his time playing "Modern Warfare 3" under the name "Abu Koombala".
"Honestly, who comes all the way to Somalia just to play games all day long? I have killed four government soldiers, one with just my shovel, but he walks around bragging about all these ‘cool kills’ he has."
In addition, according to Khalaf, Dean is constantly making up excuses to avoid going on missions, has shown no desire to learn how to participate in weapons training, and doesn't even clean the AK-47 he was issued.
"Do you know how embarrassing it is to have a jihadi whose AK-47 is too dirty to fire?" Khalaf asked in exasperation.
Abdi aw-Mohamed said the worst part was not knowing what to do with Dean.
"Maybe we can just cut our losses, claim he was a CIA agent, and make a video of us sawing his head off. But since the FBI's already designated him as 'The Most Dangerous Terrorist in Africa', we'd probably look like a bunch of jackasses."
"I suppose we could always write a fake letter about how awesome he is, promote him, and then send him to Pakistan. Then he can be [Al Qaeda leader] Ayman al Zawahiri's problem instead."