Adam Yehiye Gadahn
Azzam the American, aka Azzam Al-Amriki
Watch latest al-Qaeda video:
Adam Yehiye Gadahn,
aka Azzam the American:
Al-Qaeda's "Ultimate Demands"
to George W. Bush
"You Will Go Down in History… as the President who Sent the United States Off on its Death March Towards its Breakdown and Disintegration"
Adam Gadahn: "All praise is due to Allah, Creator of the heavens and the earth, and prayers and peace be upon the messenger of Allah and his companions, family, and followers until the Day of Judgment. Bush, you thought you would be remembered by history as the president who waged a series of successful crusades against the Muslims. Instead, you will go down in history not only as the president who embroiled his nation in a series of un-winnable and bloody conflicts in the Islamic world, but as the president who sent the United States off on its death march towards its breakdown and disintegration.
"You and Your Mercenary Hirelings, and Loyal But Stupid Allies, are Easy Prey for Our Martyrdom Seekers"
"You may or may not be aware of it, but today, nearly four years after you hastily declared victory in Iraq, and more than five and a half years after you fell into the Afghanistan trap, things aren't going too well for your Crusader coalition. In fact, things are going really bad. From Kunduz to Diyala, you and your mercenary hirelings and loyal but stupid allies are easy prey for our martyrdom seekers. In East Africa, where many of the war's opening battles were fought years ago, the blood of your Ethiopian proxies is making the sand run red from Mogadishu to Ogadin, and from the Levant, Egypt, and Sudan to the Islamic Maghreb and Nigeria, new fronts are being opened and old fronts are being reinvigorated, and you and yours are feeling the heat. And, as confirmed by a new poll of Muslims in four major regional countries, conducted by the Center for International and Security Studies at the University of Maryland, Muslims continue to support and defend the goals, efforts, and sacrifices of their brothers and sisters the mujahideen and continue to demonstrate broad awareness of the evil nature of America and the threat posed by it. This, despite your worst efforts to distort our image in the eyes of Muslims and camouflage your true intentions. In other words, you're losing on all fronts and losing big time.
"There [is] No Way To Undo What You Have Done… [But] There Are… Steps You Can Take to Curtail Your Losses"
"Bush, the die has been cast, and the blood has been spilled, and there was no way to undo what you have done. There are, however, some steps you can take to curtail your losses and prevent the number of American casualties at home and abroad from rising even higher. The champions of Islam, defending their faith and brethren against your evil doing, have repeatedly made clear these steps, but because I know that you live in a cocoon of your own making, and prefer to remain ignorant of what goes on in the world, I shall summarize them here. I strongly suggest you heed and implement them for your own good and the good of your people.
"One: Pull every last one of your soldiers, spies, security advisors, trainers, attachés , and so on out of every Muslim land from Afghanistan to Zanzibar. Should so much as one single American soldier or spy remain on Islamic soil, it shall be considered sufficient justification for us to continue our defensive jihad against your nation and people.
"Two: Stop all support and aid, military, political, economic, or otherwise, to the 56-plus apostate regimes of the Muslim world, and abandon them to their well-deserved fate at the hands of the soldiers of Islam. Should you fail to comply in full, we will deem it sufficient justification to continue to fight and kill Americans.
"Three: End all support, moral, military, economic, political, or otherwise, to the bastard state of Israel, and ban your citizens, Zionist Jews, Zionist Christians, and the rest from traveling to occupied Palestine or settling there. Even one penny of aid will be considered sufficient justification to continue the fight.
"Four: Cease all interference in the religion, society, politics, and governance of the Muslim world. And leave us alone to establish the Islamic shura state, which will unite the Muslims of [the] earth in truth and justice. A single word of American protest shall be silenced by a thousand Islamic bombs.
"Five: Put an end to all forms of interference in the education curricula and information media of the Islamic world, and impose a blanket ban on all broadcasts to our region, especially those designed to alter or destroy the faith, minds, morals, and values of our people.
"Six: Free all Muslim captives from your prisons, detention facilities, and concentration camps, regardless of whether they have been recipients of what you call a fair trial or not. Your refusal to release them will mean the continuation of our just struggle against your tyranny until the last kidnapped Muslim has been liberated.
"Let Us Be Clear: A Pullout From Iraq Alone, In The Absence Of Compliance With The Remainder of Our Legitimate Demands… Will Not Save You From Our Strikes"
"This is not a call for negotiations. We don't negotiate with baby-killers and war criminals like you. No, these are legitimate demands, which must be met, and your failure to heed our demands and the demands of reason means that you and your people will, Allah willing, experience things, which will make you forget all about the horrors of September 11, Afghanistan and Iraq, and Virginia Tech. And let us be clear: A pullout from Iraq alone, in the absence of compliance with the remainder of our legitimate demands, will get you nowhere, and will not save you from our strikes. So stop wasting your time and trying to save face with these futile farcical maneuvers on Capital Hill and start making some serious moves.
"It's your choice, Bush – cutting your losses and saving some face by getting out now with what you've still got, or continuing to count your dead and pursue a bloody fight to the very end. Your end, not ours. By the grace of Allah, and with His help and power, we've struck back hard these past several years and, with Allah's permission, we shall continue to strike back hard. This year, next year, the year after that, and so on, until the last Crusader goes home, whether waving a white flag or lying in a flag-covered casket. Our final prayer is that all praise is due to Allah, who gives victory to the believers."
The Role of Foreign Fighters
in the Iraqi Jihad
Charged with Treason
By IBNlive.com With AP inputs, October 12, 2006
WASHINGTON (AFP) - An American convert to Islam who appears in Al-Qaeda propaganda videos was indicted for treason by a US grand jury, the first person hit with the charge since the World War II era.
Adam Gadahn, also known as Azzam al-Amriki and Azzam the American, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Santa Ana, California for treason and supporting a terrorist organization, the US Justice Department announced.
"A charge of treason is exceptionally severe, and it is not one we bring lightly," said Deputy US Attorney General Paul McNulty. "But this is the right case for this charge," McNulty said. The treason charge brings a minimum five years in prison and a maximum penalty of death.
Gadahn, 28, a native of southern California, has appeared in several videotapes for Al-Qaeda since 2004, praising the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States. In October that year, he appeared on a 75-minute video threatening new terror assaults.
"Allah willing, the streets of America will run red with blood, matching drop for drop the blood of America's victims," he said on the video.
In a video that came out in September last year, he called the 2001 attacks "the blessed raids on New York and Washington" and, noting attacks carried out on Madrid and London, suggested that Los Angeles and Melbourne, Australia were future targets. In the latest tape, broadcast last month on the fifth anniversary of the September 11 attacks, Gadahn praised the men who carried out the attacks while calling on US soldiers to abandon the US army "and join the winning side".
McNulty said Gadahn's support for the "propaganda machine" of Al-Qaeda merited the treason charge, which he called "perhaps the most serious offense for which any person can be tried under our constitution."
"Terrorists create fear and intimidation through extreme violence. They want Americans to live and walk in fear. They want to demoralize us. That's why propaganda is so important to them, and why facilitating that propaganda is such an egregious crime," McNulty said. McNulty said Gadahn, whose last known address was in Orange County, California, is believed to be hiding in Pakistan.
"Adam Gadahn is a US citizen who made a choice to join and act as a propagandist for Al-Qaeda, an enemy of this country responsible for the horrific deaths of thousands of innocent Americans on September 11, 2001," he said. Senior FBI official Willie Hulon said Gadahn was added to the Federal Bureau of Investigation's list of most wanted terrorists with the release of the indictment Wednesday.
"Adam Gadahn represents a new breed of home-grown extremist, who has chosen to betray the country of his birth and align with the Al-Qaeda terrorist network," Hulon said. Meanwhile a one million dollar reward for his capture is being offered by the US State Department.
"There would be no good justification to delay this indictment when we have seen the building nature of these videos (and) the fact that we have the award now," said McNulty.
Gadahn is a native of Orange County in southern California, the son of a 1960s Jewish rock musician who converted to Christianity and became a rural goat farmer. Relatives said he was a normal teenager, a big fan of heavy metal rock music, before he announced his own conversion at 17 and began attending an Islamic center where he is believed to have come under the influence of two foreign-born Islamic radicals. "I discovered the beliefs and practices of this religion fit my personal theology and intellect as well as basic human logic," he wrote on a website. Gadahn is believed to have left California for Karachi in 1998, and gradually fell out of contact with relatives in the US.
Treason charge for U.S. Qaeda
AP, October 12, 2006
LOS ANGELES - The charge of treason was used for the first time in the war on terrorism yesterday - filed against a California man who appeared in propaganda videos for al Qaeda. Adam Yehiye Gadahn, 28, could be sentenced to death if convicted of the charge, which has been used only a few dozen times in U.S. history and not at all since the World War II era. He also was indicted on a charge of providing material support to terrorists.
Gadahn "knowingly adhered to an enemy of the United States, namely, al Qaeda, and gave al Qaeda aid and comfort," says the indictment by an Orange County grand jury. The al Qaeda operative has been sought by the FBI since 2004. There is now a $1 million reward for information leading to his arrest or Gadahn, a convert to Islam who is believed to be in or near Pakistan, attended al Qaeda training camps and served as one of its translators. His nom de guerre is Azzam al-Amriki, or "Azzam the American." Gadahn appeared last month in a 48-minute video along with al Qaeda's No. 2 leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, calling on his countrymen to convert to Islam and for U.S. soldiers to switch sides.
American appears in al-Qaeda tape
By IBNlive.com With AP inputs
Sunday September 3, 2006
Cairo, Egypt: Al-Qaeda second in command, Ayman al-Zawahiri, has released a new video tape. The video has been posted on an Islamic website, just days before the 5th anniversary of the September 11th terror attack on the World Trade Centre. The video also features
Adam Gadahn, an American convert, who is wanted by the FBI for his links with the al-Qaeda. In the tape Gadahn has urged non-Muslims - especially in the US - to convert to Islam. The video, issued by al-Qaeda's production wing Al-Sahab, had been advertised on militant websites for several days before it appeared on Saturday.
It was the second time Gadahn appeared in the same video with al-Zawahiri. In a July seven video marking the one-year anniversary of the terror attack on London commuters, Gadahn appeared briefly, saying no Muslim should ‘shed tears’ for Westerners killed by al-Qaeda attacks.
But Saturday's video - and the length of Gadahn's speech - suggested al-Qaeda has found in him someone it believes can communicate effectively with Americans. Gadahn spoke for nearly the entire video, wearing a white robe and a white turban, sitting in front of a desk with a computer and Islamic religious books in a room with a white wall.
The video included no direct threats of terror attacks.
Gadahn delivered a lecture on Islam and the ‘errors’ in Christianity and Judaism. He also said the US is losing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and told US soldiers they are fighting President George W Bush's ''crusades.''
''Instead of killing yourself for Bush ... why not surrender to the truth (of Islam), escape from the unbelieving army and join the winning side. Time is running out so make the right choice before it's too late,'' he said.
Al-Zawahiri gave only a brief introduction to the video, calling on Americans to convert to Islam.
''To the American people and the people of the West in general ... God sent his Prophet Muhammad with guidance and the religion of truth ... and sent him as a herald,'' he said.
The CIA said it had conducted a technical review on the videotape and concluded the voice is al-Zawahri's. A CIA spokeswoman said the agency is not authorized to conduct such analysis on US citizens such as Gadahn.
White House spokeswoman Christie Parell said the message reflects al-Qaeda's ''continued attempts to subjugate the world under its twisted view of Islam, which labels as enemies and infidels those who do not have the same beliefs.''
Little is known about Gadahn's role in al-Qaeda. A Californian who converted to Islam, he disappeared soon after the September 11 attacks. In 2004, the FBI announced it was seeking Gadahn in connection with possible terrorist threats against the US, but adding it did not have information linking him to any specific terror activities.
New Al Qaeda Video More CIA Black Op Propaganda
Pathetic pretence kept up that "Al Qaeda" is still or ever was a real organized terror outfit
and not the creation of deep intelligence.
The latest cobbled together trash home video to be released and accredited to "Al Qaeda" is yet another piece of scripted propaganda that portrays a desperate attempt to give the impression that the group operates as a cohesive unit.
It is becoming tiresome to have to address these endless videos which are released whenever the Administration is feeling the pressure, something that now seems to be a permanent feature of this government.
AsKurt Nimmo so eloquently puts it, this time the tape features “Azzam the American,” aka Adam Yahiye Gadahn, born Adam Pearlman, and also going by the names Abu Suhayb al-Amriki, Abu Suhayb, and Yihya Majadin Adams (a score card is required to keep track).
“Californian Adam Gadahn, wearing a white robe and turban, introduces the message by calling on Westerners to convert,” reports CNN. “We invite all Americans and believers to Islam, whatever their role and status in Bush and Blair’s world order,” Gahahn declares. “Decide today, because today could be your last day.”
Oh the drama. FEEEEL the force of the Dark Side, you know you want to give in to it, come over to us while you still have a chance.
Gadahn is the perfect turncoat, the proof positive that we are engaged in a global turf war with the terrorists for hearts and minds.
Gadahn, who disappeared from California seven years ago, first appeared unmasked on an al Qaeda tape made public in July of this year. His past is however very sketchy and more than a little suspicious. Could he be an invention of Western intelligence?
Adam Gadahn is in fact the grandson of the late Carl K. Pearlman; a prominent Jewish urologist in Orange County. Carl Pearlman was also a member of the board of directors of the Anti-Defamation League, which was caught spying on Americans for Israel in 1993. This information today also appeared in the Jerusalem post.
The Washington Post has previously reported that “While living with his grandparents in suburban Santa Ana, he made his first trip to the nearby mosque in 1995. He introduced himself as Yahya - the Arabic name for John the Baptist, revered as a great prophet in Islam.”
So what is the grandson of a prominent Jew who lives with his grandfather doing attending a mosque? Furthermore given this context it seems suspicious that he would then assault members of the Mosque and turn to radical Islam, which is what he then did just before disappearing off to Pakistan.
Gadahn / Azzam/ Pearlman is also known for an internet essay “Becoming Muslim”, which, asLos Angeles City Beat Journalist Annette Stark has pointed out, is itself very suspicious:
“On the left, conspiracy theorists – no less energized than their right-wing counterparts – got busy, too. They thought it strange, they said, as if the government stitched the story together from scratch. Some kid who never before posted to the Internet drops a deeply personal revelation onto a USC website, a diatribe that is chock full of anti-government, anti-Christian sentiments, and then pretty much disappears from cyberspace."
It is basically written from a Zionist perspective and not the perspective of the American government in 1995. Remember there was no war on "Islamic Fascism" in 1995.
Another key indicator that Gadahn / Azzam/ Pearlman is in the employ of Western Intelligence comes from a report out of theOrange County Weekly which details how a man named Khalil Deek, a computer expert who attended the same Mosque as Gadahn and later became a "top Al Qaeda deputy", was continually protected by US authorities and allowed to go free on several occasions. Khalil Deek and Adam Gadahn were accused of organizing a terrorist cell in Anaheim in the mid to late nineties.
In the past we have highlighted numerous cases of intrinsic links between the major intelligence agencies and Al Qaeda operatives. Quite a few of these have happened to be Jewish or MOSSAD operatives.
In December 2002 the Executive Intelligence review reported that:
"the Israeli Mossad and other Israeli intelligence services have been involved in a 13-month effort to "recruit" an Israeli-run, phony "al-Qaeda cell" among Palestinians, so that Israel could achieve a frontline position in the U.S. war against terrorism and get a green light for a worldwide "revenge without borders" policy.'
The Sydney Morning Herald also reported :
"The Palestinian Authority arrested a group of collaborators who confessed they were working for Israel, posing as al-Qaeda operatives in the Palestinian territories," said the official, on condition of anonymity."
TheAP also reported the operation:
"Early last week, Rashi Abu Sba, head of the preventive security apparatus in Gaza, the equivalent of the Shin Bet, accused the Israeli security service of tricking young Palestinians into conducting missions in the name of Al-Qaida."
MOSSAD has been caught on many occasions infiltrating radical groups to further their own agendas.
There are also many examples of other intelligence agencies using Al Qaeda as a front for their activities.
“Al Qaeda,” formerly a Mujahideen database, began as a CIA-ISI contrivance, with likely more than a little help not only from Mossad, but German intelligence (BND) and NATO, the latter two teaming up during the so-called Kosovo War (see German Intelligence and the CIA supported Al Qaeda sponsored Terrorists in Yugoslavia).
Terror expert John Loftus has previously confirmed this "...back in the late 1990s, the leaders all worked for British intelligence in Kosovo. Believe it or not, British intelligence actually hired some Al-Qaeda guys to help defend the Muslim rights in Albania and in Kosovo. That's when Al-Muhajiroun got started."
We have previously revealed how former MI5 officer David Shayler has alleged, and French intel sources have corroborated, that the MI6 paid a Libyan Al Qaeda cell £100,000 in 1995 to assassinate colonel Qaddafi. The use of the group that has come to be known as "Al Qaeda" as assets by Intelligence services the world over is well documented.
The London Independent also reported 2 days before the London Bombings how MI5 has previously used so called Al Qaeda operatives as informants, allowing them to be left alone as a trade off.
This only came to light when Bisher al-Rawi was captured by the CIA and taken to the detention centre at Guantanamo Bay. The original Independent link has now mysteriously been removed.
John Loftus also spelt out on FOX TV that British Intelligence and the US dept of Justice had protected Haroon Rashid Aswat, the originally cited mastermind of the 7/7 bombings: "Back in 1999 he came to America. The Justice Department wanted to indict him in Seattle because him and his buddy were trying to set up a terrorist training school in Oregon... we've just learned that the headquarters of the US Justice Department ordered the Seattle prosecutors not to touch Aswat... , apparently Aswat was working for British intelligence"
Furthermore, before he was laid out to pasture earlier this year, presumably because it was getting ridiculous the amount of times he had already been reported captured or killed, Musab Al-Zarqawi's role was exaggerated by The Pentagon in order to subtly link Iraq and 9/11 and quell criticism of the war.
Leaked documents even admitted that the Pentagon had concocted fake Al-Zarqawi letters boasting about suicide attacks and leaked them to the New York Times. The same documents directly stated that the false promotion of Al-Zarqawi included marking the the "U.S. Home Audience" as one of the targets of a broader propaganda campaign."
This information is startling and again highlights how Al Qaeda exists as an organized body only where the intelligence services have created, funded and employed it.
What purpose does Azzam the American serve?
Of course the new evil is the Homegrown terrorist. As the recent plots in Britain and before them the London bombings have proven, Al Qaeda is now an ideology. This latest piece of scripted propaganda directly supports that notion. So it works on different levels to reinforce everything that the government is saying about the war on terror, that it is expanding and it is global, being fought on home and foreign soil.
The latest video also comes on the same day as the announcement that the number 2 of "Al Qaeda in Iraq" has been captured, whoever that is.
This latest video again features Ayman al-Zawahiri, the Al Qaeda number 2 - where's the number 1 again?
As we have exhaustedly documented, it is becoming increasingly difficult to use new material of Bin Laden because he has been dead for at least 4 years. Much like the cult sixties TV show The Prisoner, it is clear that number one doesn't actually exist and the power behind this phantom menace will never actually reveal its face.
Orange County Man Rises in Al Qaeda Ranks
'Azzam the American,' or Adam Gadahn, has moved from translator to propagandist.
By Greg Krikorian and H.G. Reza, October 8, 2006
American greases al-Qaida media machine
L.A.-born Adam Gadahn helps terrorists in bid to recruit Western operatives
By Evan Kohlmann, NBC News, July 14, 2006
Al-Qaida has dramatically increased its media presence over the last year, capped off recently by a flurry of highly polished video and audio messages from fugitive leaders Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahri. But it is the videotaped rants of a 27-year-old American terrorist named Adam Gadahn that offer the most intriguing clues about the mechanics of al-Qaida's propaganda machine and the sort of individual the shadowy terror organization is seeking to recruit.
The presence of Gadahn, also known as "Azzam the American," is the clearest indication of al-Qaida's effort to reach out beyond the typical profile of a terrorist recruit and make contact with a new breed of operative: native-born Europeans and Americans.
This recruitment can take place directly, as apparently occurred with al-Zawahri and the July 7, 2005, bombers in London. Or it can take place indirectly, with home-grown terrorist cells carrying out their own independent and deadly missions, as was the case with the March 11, 2004, train bombings in Madrid.
Who is Azzam the American, aka Azzam Al-Amriki?Officials Believe 'Azzam' Is Adam Yahiye Gadahn
Streaming video of the video clip
MPEG of the video clip
of the video clip
Source: FBI Oct 30, 2004 (in English)
We are urgently seeking information on the identity of the person pictured here, a self-proclaimed American jihadist using the alias 'Azzam the American, aka 'Azzam Al-Amriki.
He may currently be located outside the United States.
To give you as much information as possible on this person, we are attaching clips from the video interview he recently gave, and the transcript of those clips. We hope you might recognize him from his voice, his body language, or the style and content of his speech.
If you have any information that might lead to identifying and/or locating this person --or his interviewer-- please contact us immediately. Use our Submit a Tip form located on this website. In the U.S., contact the Joint Terrorism Task Force at your nearest FBI office, or contact your closest law enforcement agency. Overseas, you may contact your closest U.S. Embassy.
FBI Press statement:
Source: FBI Oct 30, 2004 (in English)
For Immediate Release
October 30, 2004 Washington D.C.
FBI National Press Office
News organizations have aired parts of a videotape of an individual who claims to be an al-Qa'ida supporter in which the speaker makes implied threats against the United States. The speaker claims the United States as his country of origin and he speaks English.
The FBI is seeking assistance from the public through its web site, www.fbi.gov, in an effort to seek any information the public may have to help identify the individual on the videotape -- by recognizing anything in the voice, body language or other style of either the subject of the video or the person asking questions off camera.
The Intelligence Community continues to analyze the tape. Questions about its origin, the speaker, and the speaker's linkage to al-Qa'ida remain unresolved. There is no information linking this video to a specific threat.
US investigates al Qaeda video tapes
Nov 01 04 (in English)
US intelligence officials are investigating two videotapes threatening to unleash more terror attacks against the United States, in hope of finding clues that could help locate the speakers, media reports said Sunday.
In a videotape broadcast by America's ABC television on Thursday, a man claiming to be an American operative of al Qaeda threatened terror attacks "at any moment." The man delivered his message in English and his face was covered with a headdress.
Video clips of the man have been posted on the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) Web site. The FBI was urgently seeking information on the person's identity and that he might be living outside the United States, the posting said.
"We hope you might recognize him from his voice, his body language, or the style and content of his speech," the FBI posting said.
The second tape - of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden - was broadcast Friday by the Qatar-based Arabic-language TV network Al-Jazeera. The tape was reportedly received by the US Embassy in Qatar before it was made public.
The videotape appeared to be authentic and recently made, according to US officials.
President Bush instructed top homeland and national security advisers Saturday to "take all actions that might be necessary" to respond to the new message from bin Laden, the White House said.
Despite of the video tapes, Homeland Security Tom Ridge said it was safe to vote Tuesday. There was no actionable intelligence in the tapes to warrant raising the threat level, he said.
"There's no specific intelligence that targets election day, polling places, and the like," he said.
FBI plea over 'Azzam the American'
Source: Agence France-Presse
via News.com (Australia) Nov 02 04 (in English)
From correspondents in Washington
November 2, 2004
THE FBI has sought public help to identify a man who appeared in a videotape with a gun and his face covered and threatened to stage attacks on the United States.
The man, known as Azzam the American, appeared on a video shown by America's ABC television last week, saying he was an American member of al-Qaeda.
"We are urgently seeking information on the identity of the person ... a self-proclaimed American jihadist using the alias Azzam the American," the Federal Bureau of Investigation said today.
"We hope you might recognise him from his voice, his body language or the style and content of his speech."
The man who appeared in the tape threatened a new wave of terrorism. He spoke in English with a trace of a foreign accent.
The FBI said the man might now be outside the United States, but appealed for help to locate or identify him.
The man appeared in the tape with only his eyes showing through a black-and-white Arab headscarf covering his face.
He was holding a rifle and wearing a vest covered with ammunition pouches.
"No, my fellow countrymen you are guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty. You are as guilty as (President George W.) Bush and (Vice President Dick) Cheney. You're as guilty as (Defence secretary Donald) Rumsfeld and (Attorney General John) Ashcroft and (Secretary of State Colin) Powell," the man said in what he called message to America.
"After decades of American tyranny and oppression, now it's our turn to die. Allah willing, the streets of America will run red with blood ... ."
Officials and experts interviewed by ABC News, which first broadcast the tape, speculated that the man might have learned English as a child in a household of non-native speakers and that English was not his first language.
A video message of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was released hours later, also threatening Americans ahead of the US presidential election.
Transcript of video clip interview
with Mujahid Azzam the American
"You are an American who has joined a movement for waging war on America and killing large numbers of Americans. Don't you in any way feel you are betraying your people and country?"
Mujahid 'Azzam, the American:
"First of all, the allegiance and loyalty of a Muslim is to Allah, his Messenger, his religion and his fellow believers before anyone and anything else. So, if there is a conflict between his religion and his nation and family, then he must choose the religion every time. In fact, to side with the unbelievers against Islam and Muslims is one of the acts that nullifies one's Islamic faith and there's a verse in the Qur'an (recites a verse from the Qur'an in Arabic) you will not find any people who believe in Allah in the last day loving, loving those who resist Allah and his Messenger.
"Even if they were their fathers or their sons, or their brothers, or their kindred or their clan. As such he has written faith in their hearts and strengthens them with spirit from himself. So, some of the early Muslims fought and killed their closest relatives during battle, prompting the revelation of this verse. And, even our Prophet Mohammed, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, er, fought, uh, and after a lot of defeat the Quraish tribe, to which he belonged. when it fought to impede Islam's propagation, sought to impede the message of Islam, rejected the message of Islam, and sought to impede its propagation. And some of the staunchest enemies of Islam were from among his closest cousins like Abu Jahl. Thus, Allah's religion takes precedence over all else: Wealth, status, family and nationality."
"OK, how do you respond to the Muslim clerics and governments around the world who say that you are a small fringe group of extremists, unrepresentative of Islam and the majority of peace-loving Muslims?"
Mujahid 'Azzam, the American:
"Well, they would say that, wouldn't they? These Crusader pawns are the ones who don't represent Islam and Muslims, despite their claims to the contrary. And they know very well that the Mujahidin stature has increased substantially among the Muslims after September 11, and the events that followed, which poses a direct threat to their continuing hold on power. This argument of theirs is especially well liked by their masters in the White House and 10 Downing Street, who apply it not just to us, but to all Muslims who reject Crusader domination. Uh, but the truth in evidence is on our side. Open the Qur'an, open the books of Sirah, the prophetic biography, and Ahadith, the prophetic teachings. Open the books of Fiqh, jurisprudence, both modern and ancient and you will find our position well supported. Jihad isn't something that al-Qa'ida made up. Ruling by Islam law wasn't started by the Taliban. Hamas didn't invent the concept of martyrdom. Uh, where we differ from these defeatists and hypocrites is that we don't believe that these divine orders and principles are open to negotiation and compromise.
"I'd like to tell these people, this is our religion. If you don't like it, that's your problem. But don't tell me that you're the true Muslim and I'm the extremist. You know, the same clerics and people who call us violent extremists and outcasts and endlessly repeat that Islam is a peaceful faith, permit or even encourage their followers to join the American and European militaries and intelligence agencies and the armies of the idle kings in the Muslim world and take part in the killing of thousands of Muslims in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. So in effect, they're saying that for the Muslim to kill unbelievers in defense of Islam and Muslims is unacceptable, and if he does so, he's an extremist. While for the same Muslim to kill fellow Muslims in the name of America and so-called freedom and the supposedly civilized world is just fine and dandy and he will be practicing moderation.
"Look at this logic. These are evil, uneducated, ignorant, backwards people who should not be speaking on behalf of Muslims, much less talking about what is true Islam and what is not and accusing others. We are defending those who have no defender. We are holding fast to genuine Islam at a time when it's under siege from all sides. And we're standing up to confront an enemy that has intimidated governments and international organizations with fear. It's only natural that the governments and individuals who stand the most to lose from the defeat of the crusaders and Zionists will seek to hide our true nature and goals from the Muslim majority that is desperately looking for a way out of the nightmare that these traitors have imposed upon them for decades.
"We have strong support from within all sectors of Muslim society and from within all Islamic groups. This is what terrifies the enemies of truth and causes them to resort to this sort of accusation. It's wishful thinking on their part. It's like they're telling themselves, 'Maybe if we repeat the lie often enough, it will come true.'"
Alleged American Al Qaeda Warns of U.S. Attacks
Ayyam the American: 'Streets of America Will Run Red With Blood'
While CIA officials say they have not been able to authenticate the 75-minute tape, an agency spokesman says it "appears to have been produced by al Qaeda's media organization, As-Sahab productions." The tape is marked with the same logo and graphics seen on previous videos released by al Qaeda.
The man on the tape is identified only as "Azzam the American." U.S. officials say they had not previously known of the nom de guerre. His face is never fully visible and he makes no reference to where in the United States he might have lived.
"No, my fellow countrymen you are guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty. You are as guilty as Bush and Cheney. You're as guilty as Rumsfeld and Ashcroft and Powell," he says in what he calls his message to America. "After decades of American tyranny and oppression, now it's your turn to die. Allah willing, the streets of America will run red with blood matching drop for drop the blood of America's victims."
Senior administration officials told ABC News tonight that copies of the tape are being provided to all 13 current and former administration figures mentioned by name in the tape, and that the tape is being shown to captured al Qaeda leaders in U.S. custody to see if they can identify the man on the tape.
"A member of al Qaeda who professes to be a U.S. citizen was always coveted and looked for by the al Qaeda," said Jack Cloonan, a former FBI agent who interviewed a number of captured al Qaeda members and is now an ABC News consultant. Cloonan said he believed the tape to be authentic.
Law enforcement officials and linguistic expert Gerald Lampe, deputy director of the National Foreign Language Center at the University of Maryland, believe English was not Azzam's first language. They speculate he may have learned English as a child in a household of non-native speakers.
U.S. officials believe there are several Americans working with al Qaeda, including Adam Gadahn, a former Southern California student who is wanted for questioning by the FBI. U.S. intelligence officials say the voice on the tape does not match Gadahn's or that of any Americans suspected of being part of al Qaeda.
Azzam makes references to several American officials, including 9/11 Commission Chairman Tom Kean, and even refers to the controversial remarks made by comedian Bill Maher about the cowardice of the United States launching cruise missiles compared with terrorist suicide attacks.
And he warned that Sept. 11 was only the beginning.
"People of America, I remind you of the weighty words of our leaders, Osama bin Laden and Dr. Ayman al-Zawahri, that what took place on Sept. 11 was but the opening salvo of the global war on America," said Azzam. "And that Allah willing, the magnitude and ferocity of what is coming your way will make you forget all about Sept. 11."
Brian Ross' full report aired Oct. 28, 2004,
on ABC's "World News Tonight with Peter Jennings."
Officials Believe 'Azzam' Is Gadahn
FOX NEWS, Friday, October 29, 2004
Garden Grove, Calif. — Multiple officials and terrorist experts suspect the man threatening vicious attacks against the United States in a purported terror tape is Adam Yahiye Gadahn, a young American who converted to Islam.
Their suspicions were echoed by the director of a California mosque, who told FOX News on Friday he also believes Gadahn is the man in the mysterious video.
Haitham Bundjaki, the Orange County imam who converted Gadahn to Islam and whom Gadahn later assaulted, said outside his mosque that it sounds like Gadahn on the tape.
The FBI believes the 25-year-old Southern Californian has possible ties to Usama bin Laden's terror network Al Qaeda.
In the video, aired Thursday night by FOX News, a man wearing dark glasses and an Arab headdress wrapped around his face claims to be an American member of Al Qaeda and promises attacks that will make the streets of America "run red with blood." From the gestures and voice, Bundjaki told FOX outside his Garden Grove Mosque where Gadahn became a Muslim, "I believe it was Adam."
Some U.S. officials had already speculated that the voice might belong to Gadahn, who also goes by the names Adam Pearlman and Abu Suhayb Al-Amriki.
In May, the FBI announced that Gadahn had ties with senior Al Qaeda lieutenant Abu Zubaydah in Pakistan, and that he had attended terrorist training camps in Afghanistan and served as a translator for the terror network.
"The magnitude and ferocity of what is coming your way will make you forget all about September 11th,” the man calling himself "Azzam the American” says on the video. “After decades of American tyranny and oppression, now it's your turn to die. Allah willing, the streets of America will run red with blood, matching drop for drop the blood of America's victims.”
Gadahn's aunt, Nancy Pearlman, told FOX News in an interview that the FBI had shown her a few minutes of the same video a couple nights ago, but she couldn't be sure whether it was her brother's son speaking or not.
"It could be him, but it might not be," Pearlman told FOX. She said the FBI told her they'd be showing the video to her brother within 24 hours.
It was hard to pinpoint the voice as Gadahn's on the video, in which the nearly fully covered, bespectacled speaker gestures animatedly and points directly at the camera, because the family hasn't seen or heard from him in years, said Pearlman. "All communication was lost with him about three years ago," she told FOX. "He stopped calling us and he stopped e-mailing us."
During the last contact, the family assumed Gadahn was in Pakistan based on things he alluded to, and believed he'd married an Afghan refugee.
According to a U.S. official, the tape was also being shown to detainees to help identify the speaker. A U.S. official told FOX News the tape is believed to be authentic. But the CIA says it has been unable to confirm the tape's authenticity and is analyzing it further.
The tape bears the logo of the As-Sahab Production Committee, which has produced previous Al Qaeda tapes. FOX News obtained the videotape independently of ABC News, which also aired portions of the video Thursday night. News broke Wednesday that ABC had the tape and had provided it to federal officials, but the network decided not to air it immediately because a preliminary CIA analysis was unable to determine if it was legitimate.
The tape was handed to the CIA and National Security Agency by ABC News three days ago, multiple government sources told FOX News. ABC is said to have received the tape last weekend from a terrorist source in Waziristan, a region in Pakistan near the Afghan border where the Taliban and Al Qaeda are believed to be holed up.
"We cannot verify the authenticity of this tape," one official said after the preliminary technical analysis presented inconclusive results. One source said the verification process had been complicated because the tape is a copy, not an original.
In the 75-minute message, the speaker praises the Sept. 11 attacks, calls Usama bin Laden and his deputy his leaders, and says a new wave of attacks could come at any moment.
The speaker claims the United States is his country of origin but does not say specifically where he lives. He speaks both Arabic and English with an international accent that is hard to characterize, an intelligence official said.
"The video content is classic Al Qaeda propaganda, in terms of anti-U.S. ideology and denunciation of the U.S.," a U.S. official told The Associated Press.
The official also said the video appears to have been made in the last several months, perhaps as recently as late summer, because of references to the conflict in Darfur, Sudan, the Sept. 11 commission and the same-sex marriage issue.
FOX News' William LaJeunesse, Catherine Donaldson-Evans, Rita Cosby and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
How a quiet Californian turned up on terror list
Muslim leader says Adam Gadahn got in with the wrong crowd at the mosque
By Amy Argetsinger, The Washington Post, December 05, 2004
Garden Grove, Calif. -- A few things struck Haitham Bundakji about the brown-eyed teenager who introduced himself as "Yahya" at the Islamic Society of Orange County nine years ago. He was shy, earnest -- and very much alone.
When he took the vows that marked his formal embrace of Islam, Yahya had to enlist Bundakji, then the mosque's chairman, along with the imam and another employee -- men he barely knew -- as his witnesses. Unlike most converts, Yahya had come to Islam through reading and research, with no close friends in his new faith to guide the way.
That quickly changed.
Within a year, Yahya -- born Adam Gadahn to parents of Jewish and Catholic heritage -- had fallen in with a group of young men who prayed regularly at the mosque but also picked ugly political squabbles with the placid, middle-class congregation from the suburbs south of Los Angeles.
Bundakji remembers the men as angry, rigidly pious, and hypercritical of any Muslim who adopted Western clothes or manners. But they were also bright, articulate and well educated. "Very convincing," Bundakji surmised, "to someone like Adam Gadahn." Now, in hindsight, the mosque leader believes he may have witnessed Gadahn's second conversion -- into a radical Islamist. This spring, more than five years after the Southern California native told his family he was moving to Pakistan, he resurfaced on an FBI list of seven alleged al-Qaida operatives wanted for possible involvement in plots against the United States. Now some intelligence sources say they believe Gadahn is the masked man seen on a videotape released just before the elections, warning that American "streets will run with blood."
Gadahn's parents, who still live on the goat farm in rural Winchester, Calif., where he grew up, say they cannot tell whether the man on the tape is their son, whom they last heard from a few months after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. But they say the FBI's depiction does not resemble the Adam they knew -- a gentle, conscientious boy who enjoyed rock guitar and classical music, who backpacked the High Sierras and traveled to Sweden with a favorite aunt.
"Adam was a very typical teenager," said his aunt, Nancy Pearlman. "There's no story about his upbringing." Pearlman said the family is declining to comment further for now, noting that FBI officials have not issued any public statement linking Gadahn to the video.
FBI investigators have not reached a firm conclusion about whether the person on the videotape is Gadahn, according to an FBI official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation. But the official said the FBI is deeply concerned about Gadahn's whereabouts and suspects that he may be involved in al-Qaida-related activities.
An intelligence official said last month that "we have some confidence, but not certainty," that the voice on the videotape given to ABC News was Gadahn's.
But Bundakji, who banned Gadahn from the Islamic Society of Orange County after the young man struck him during an outburst, said he is "100 percent" certain that Gadahn, now 25, is the man in the video whose features are hidden by a scarf and dark glasses.
"I have no doubts in my mind," Bundakji said. "It's his voice, his gestures."
Gadahn came to the Islamic Society via a circuitous path of adolescent inquiry, part of a family tradition of personal and spiritual exploration.
His father, Philip, was the son of a prominent surgeon of Jewish ancestry. Raised agnostic, he dabbled in the '60s psychedelic rock scene before embracing Christianity and changing his last name from Pearlman to Gadahn, which is derived from the biblical name Gideon. He and his wife, Jennifer, abandoned city life for a 40-acre ranch in a remote part of Riverside County, where he learned how to slaughter goats according to Muslim strictures so he could sell the meat at an Arabic market.
Adam was the oldest of their four children, all of whom were schooled at home and exposed to his parents' nondenominational Christianity. But in his teens, Adam went through a period of questioning. In a widely circulated essay that he posted on the Internet in the mid-'90s, Gadahn said he was briefly "obsessed" with heavy-metal music and then turned to Christian radio stations looking for answers. But he decided he could not believe in the Christian concept of the Holy Trinity and began exploring Islamic Web sites and discussion groups.
While living with his grandparents in suburban Santa Ana, he made his first trip to the nearby mosque in 1995. He introduced himself as Yahya -- John in Arabic. "He was here every day, all day," Bundakji recalled. "He performed the five daily prayers here."
At the time, though, Gadahn was not the center's most troublesome new member. Bundakji, a gregarious man who emigrated to California from Jordan in the late 1960s to attend business school, had grown concerned about a group of seven or eight men who had begun attending prayer services a few years before Gadahn's arrival.
The men -- all in their twenties and thirties, most from Pakistan -- would spend hours at the mosque, praying in a circle and "supposedly studying Islam together," Bundakji said. They wore turbans, long robes and long beards, and they spent a lot of time criticizing other members of the mosque. Bandakji eventually expelled the men from the mosque.
Years later, after the Sept. 11 attacks, Bundakji says he was visited by FBI agents who showed him photos of potential terrorism suspects. He recognized three of them as the former troublemakers. But he did not see or hear of the young brown-eyed man until this May, when reporters tracked him down to ask about a name he had never heard -- Adam Gadahn. He turned on the television news and recognized the photos as the man he knew as Yahya.
"He can be manipulated very easily to feel good about himself," Bundakji said. "He was pushed to do what you saw on tape."