Adam Gadahn: Al Qaeda's American Voice
Posted: January 6, 2008
Updated: June 9, 2011
Adam Yahiye Gadahn, an American Muslim convert who joined Al Qaeda in the late 1990s, has been featured in several videos produced by the terrorist group's media wing, Al Sahab, since 2004. His video appearances, which are mostly in English and geared toward Western audiences, demonstrate his anti-Semitic and anti-Christian views and are marked by threats against America and its allies.
In a video released on June 2, 2011, Gadahn (a.k.a. "Azzam the American") calls on Americans to launch attacks on U.S. soil, noting that "America is absolutely awash with easily obtainable firearms" and that listeners can "go down to a gun show at the local convention center and come away with a fully automatic assault rifle without a background check.."
In a video released on March 7, 2010, and titled "A Call to Arms," Gadahn similarly encouraged Americans and other Westerners to carry out attacks against the West. "I am calling on every honest and vigilant Muslim in the countries of the Zionist-Crusader alliance in general and America, Britain and Israel in particular to prepare to play his due role in responding to and repelling the aggression of the enemies of Islam." He also called on Muslims in the West to follow in the footsteps of Nidal Malik Hasan, who allegedly killed 13 people at the Fort Hood army base in November 2009.
Photo From FBI Web Site.
In another video, released on June 13, 2009, and titled "Let's Continue our Jihad and Sacrifice," Gadahn urged Muslims to attack Jewish and American interests, informing them that "Zio-Crusader interests everywhere are legitimate targets for us." He also encouraged Muslims to "continue to back your Jihad with funds and men," and notified his followers, "know that your brothers the Mujahideen are with you, not just with our hearts, no! But with our weapons, funds and Jihad against the Jews and their allies everywhere."
Ayman al-Zawahiri, Al Qaeda's second in command, has urged followers to listen to Gadahn. In a video titled "An invitation to Islam," which was released in September 2006, Zawahiri referred to Gadahn as a brother who "wants to lead his people out of darkness and into the light."
Several Americans charged with terror-related offenses have been influenced by Gadahn's statements and recordings. Two Americans who allegedly planned to kill U.S. troops who they thought would soon be deployed to Somalia watched Al Sahab's "A Call to Arms" video three months before their June 2010 arrests. In the video, Gadahn encouraged followers to carry out attacks against high-value targets in America and the West to "further our global agenda and long-range strategic objectives."
Gadahn, who converted to Islam at the age of 17, was reportedly radicalized by two members of his mosque in Orange County, California. In the late 1990s, Gadahn traveled to Pakistan and later Afghanistan, where he attended an Al Qaeda training camp and established relationships with Al Qaeda leaders. He is believed to be hiding in Pakistan today.
Gadahn was indicted by a federal grand jury in Santa Ana, California, in 2006, on charges of treason and providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization "for making a series of propaganda videotapes for Al Qaeda," according to Department of Justice. He is the first American in over fifty years to be charged with treason and is on the FBI's most wanted list.