Today was a big day for Adam Gadahn known in terror-land Azzam the American. Gadahn is an American-born senior operative, cultural interpreter, spokesman and media adviser for al-Qaeda, and is believed to be a close associate of Osama bin Laden.
This morning al-Qaeda’s media arm released the latest propaganda video made by Gadahn (seen in the picture above) and later in the day it was announced that the American Traitor was arrested by the government of Pakistan. (I am not sure what he is doing in the photo but it looks like he is auditioning for a role in Fiddler on the Roof–“Anetevka, Anetevka“)
Gadahn begins the video with praise of the Detroit and Khost attacks, both in late December 2009, which he collectively characterized as “a series of moral and material blows” to the Crusader West. He moves on quickly though to the topic of Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan, whom he describes in glowing terms (“a pioneer, a trailblazer and a role model who has opened a door, lit a path, and shown the way forward for every Muslim who finds himself among the unbelievers…”). Gadahn holds up Nidal Hasan as an exemplary figure for his loyalty to Islam and Muslims in defiance of his unbeliever commanders, and for having struck at a sensitive target in the heart of America.
Gadahn then uses the example of Nidal Hasan to call on other Muslims in the “Crusader West,” and especially in the U.S., Britain, and Israel, to undertake lone wolf attacks. He advises his listeners in particular to focus on targets that will do serious economic damage to these countries, and uses the example of the 9/11 attacks to show that such attacks need not necessarily employ conventional firearms.
The video also mentions “Muslim-only concentration camps in Illinois,Bagram, and elsewhere” – apparently a reference to the proposed transfer of Guantanamo Bay prisoners to the Thomson Correctional Center in Illinois.The latest line of defense will go into service in the weeks ahead, part of a push by the Obama administration to improve airport security. NBC’s Jay Gray reports.
But for the big news, Gadahn was arrested today in Pakistan. The English language website of the Pakistan Newspaper Dawn posted this picture of Gadahn doing his Islamic “Perp Walk”
Pakistani intelligence officers say they have arrested Adam Gadahn, the American-born spokesman for al-Qaida.
Adam Gadhan, the treasonous Californian Al Qaeda leader who has long been on Washington’s Most Wanted list, was nabbed in Pakistan Sunday – a huge victory in the battle against the terror network.
After some confusion in the intial reports, the Associated Press quoted Pakistani officials confirming the arrest of Osama bin Laden’s mouthpiece.
The Dawn, Karachi’s English-language newspaper, broke the news with a photo of a man being taken away with a bag on his head.
Gadahn was bagged just hours after releasing a new internet video urging American Muslims to go on shooting sprees like Maj. Nidal Hasan’s at Fort Hood last year.
He is the first American to be charged with treason since World War II.
If convicted, he faces the death penalty.
The arrest was the latest in a series of successes in the new partnership between Pakistan’s once-balky intelligence services and the CIA.
Known in Al Qaeda videos as “Azzam the American” or Azzam al-Amereeki, Gadahn was born in Oregon to a Jewish family.
His hippie father converted to Christianity before his son was born, changing the family name from Pearlman to Gadahn.
Adam Gadhan was homeschooled in southern California. He converted to Islam at 17 and moved to Pakistan in 1998 at 20.
Intelligence officials say he joined up with al Qaeda after 9/11 and attended terrorist training camps in Afghanistan.
By 2004, he was a senior Al Qaeda operative and became bin Laden’s top propagandist, appearing in numerous internet videos calling for the destruction of America.
Charged with treason in 2006, he is believed to report directly to bin Laden’s right-hand man, Ayman al Zawahri.
There was a $1 million reward on his head but he proved elusive, avoiding several major attempts to capture him.
UPDATE: Not Gadahn? CBS Reports Now, CBS News’ Farhan Bokhari in Islamabad writes that earlier reports the detained individual was Gadahn proved false. According to a Pakistan security official who spoke with CBS News on condition of anonymity, the arrested individual is in fact “a Taliban militant leader who is known as Abu Yahya.”
The official said evidence compiled from an interrogation of the suspect and information exchanged with U.S. officials verified the man’s identify.
The reassessment only added to the confusion surrounding the arrest of a man earlier described by other unnamed Pakistani security officials as Gadahn.