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American Al Qaeda Spokesman Calls on Americans to Attack at Home

Posted: June 9, 2011

Adam Yahiye Gadahn, an American Muslim convert from California who has appeared in Al Qaeda propaganda videos for nearly a decade, has called on Americans to launch attacks on U.S. soil.


Gadahn, who appears in a 100 minute video entitled, "You Are Only Responsible for Yourself," says that "Muslims in the West have to remember that they are perfectly placed to play an important and decisive part in the jihad against the Zionists and Crusaders and to do major damage to the enemies of Islam." 


In the video, which was released on June 2, 2011, Gadahn notes 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 and most likely without having to show an identification card."  He concludes with, "So what are you waiting for?"


Gadahn suggests targeting institutions and leaders. "It's important," Gadahn says, "that we weaken our cowardly enemy's will to fight by targeting influential public figures in Crusader and Zionist government, industry and media."


Gadahn's call echos those by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Al Qaeda's affiliate in Yemen and Saudi Arabia. Since July 2010, AQAP has released five issues of its online English-language magazine Inspire, which employs accessible Western references and instructs readers to "fight jihad on U.S. soil." The fifth issue of Inspire, directs a reader to "focus on planning out attacks in the West… the mujahidin leadership are today asking the brothers in the West specifically to attack Western interests in the West instead of coming here to Yemen...."


In addition to the statements made by Gadahn, the video carried messages from a number of Al Qaeda leaders, including Ayman al-Zawhiri, Anwar al-Awlaki, Abu Layth al-Libi, and Attiya Allah.


The video, which calls for a cyber attacks against U.S. interests including infrastructure and economic systems, also provides a history of significant terror attacks – from the assassination of Meir Kahane to the Fort Hood shooting by Nidal Hasan – as well as ideological religious justification. It also includes conspiratorial depictions of Israeli and Jewish influence on American policy, in particular the influence of American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

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