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Adam Gadahn Arrested: Al Qaeda's American Spokesman Arrested In Pakistan

KARACHI, Pakistan — The American-born spokesman for al-Qaida has been arrested by Pakistani intelligence officers in the southern city of Karachi, two officers and a government official said Sunday as video emerged of him urging U.S. Muslims to attack their own country.

The arrest of Adam Gadahn represents a major victory in the U.S.-led battle against al-Qaida and will be taken as a sign that Pakistan, criticized in the past for being an untrustworthy ally, is cooperating more fully with Washington. It follows the recent detentions of several Afghan Taliban commanders in Karachi, including the movement's No. 2 commander.

U.S. officials did not immediately confirm Gadahn's capture.

Gadahn has appeared in more than half a dozen al-Qaida videos, taunting and threatening the West and calling for its destruction. A U.S. court charged Gadahn with treason in 2006, making him the first American to face such a charge in more than 50 years.

He was arrested in the sprawling southern metropolis of Karachi in recent days, two officers who took part in the operation said. A senior government official also confirmed the arrest, but said it happened Sunday. The discrepancy could not immediately be resolved.

They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information.

The intelligence officials said Gadahn was being interrogated by Pakistani officials. Pakistani agents and those from the CIA work closely on some operations in Pakistan, but it was not clear if any Americans were involved in the operation or questioning.

In the past, Pakistan has handed over some al-Qaida suspects arrested on its soil to the United States.

Gadahn grew up on a goat farm in Riverside County, California, and converted to Islam at a mosque in nearby Orange County.

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He moved to Pakistan in 1998, according to the FBI, and is said to have attended an al-Qaida training camp six years later, serving as a translator and consultant. He has been wanted by the FBI since 2004, and there is a $1 million reward for information leading to his arrest or conviction.

The treason charge carries the death penalty if he is convicted. He was also charged with two counts of providing material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization.

The 31-year-old is known by various aliases including Yahya Majadin Adams and Azzam al-Amriki.

His most recent video was posted Sunday, praising the U.S. Army major charged with killing 13 people in Fort Hood, Texas, as a role model for other Muslims. The video released Sunday appeared to have been made after the end of the year, but it was unclear exactly when.

"You shouldn't make the mistake of thinking that military bases are the only high-value targets in America and the West. On the contrary, there are countless other strategic places, institutions and installations which, by striking, the Muslim can do major damage," Gadahn said, an assault rifle leaning up against a wall next to him.

Pakistan joined the U.S. fight against Islamist extremists following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and several high-ranking al-Qaida and Taliban have been arrested. But critics have accused the country of not fully cracking down on militants, especially those who do not stage attacks in Pakistan, all the time while receiving billions of dollars in U.S. aid.

Osama bin Laden is believed to be hiding somewhere in the country, most likely close to the Afghan border.

Al-Qaida has used Gadahn as its chief English-speaking spokesman. In one video, he ceremoniously tore up his American passport. In another, he admitted his grandfather was Jewish, ridiculing him for his beliefs and calling for Palestinians to continue fighting Israel.

Dawud Walid, the executive director of the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Southfield, Mich., condemned Gadahn's call for violence, calling it a "desperate" attempt by Al-Qaida's spokesman to provoke bloodshed within the U.S.

Walid, a Navy veteran, said Muslims have honorably served in the American military and will be unimpressed by al-Qaida's message aimed at their ranks.

"We thoroughly repudiate and condemn his statement and what we believe are his failed attempts to incite loyal American Muslims in the military," he said.

Imad Hamad, the senior national adviser for the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, based in Dearborn, Mich., condemned al-Qaida's message and said it would have no impact on American Muslims.

"This a worthless rhetoric that is not going to have any effect on people's and minds and hearts," he said.

The last person in the U.S. convicted of treason was Tomoya Kawakita, a Japanese-American sentenced to death in 1952 for tormenting American prisoners of war during World War II. President Eisenhower later commuted his sentence to life imprisonment.

Gadahn was last known to be in Southern California in 1997 or 1998. His mother last spoke to him by phone in March 2001. At the time he was in Pakistan, working at a newspaper, and his wife was expecting a child.

Appearing in 2006, in a 48-minute video along with al-Qaida's No. 2 leader, Ayman al-Zawahri, Gadahn called on his countrymen to convert to Islam and for U.S. soldiers to switch sides in the Iraq and Afghan wars.


Associated Press Writers Patrick Quinn and Maamoun Youssef in Cairo and Rick Callahan in Indianapolis contributed to this report.

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Comment by Shallel Octavia on March 8, 2010 at 1:24pm


Adam Pearlman, al-CIA-duh Patsy
by Kurt Nimmo Another Day in the Empire
Entered into the database on Thursday, September 15th, 2005 @ 09:26:16 MST

If you listen real hard, you can hear Robert Spencer (a columnist in David Horowitz’s Scaife-funded stable) and other right-wingers salivating over the prospect of Adam Yahiye Gadahn, aka Adam Pearlman, a nice Jewish boy (Gadahn’s Jewish grandfather was a prominent surgeon) from the southern climes of California. Gadahn-Pearlman recently made headlines when he supposedly released a video promising death to infidels in the name of Osama and his CIA-trained Muslim cave-dweller crew. “The new face of Islamic terrorism is quite a departure from the spacy [sic] half-smile of Osama bin Laden and the dead-eyed glare of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi; ever since the latest FBI wanted poster came out, it’s a pudgy, long-haired American kid who appears to be locked in a desperate, losing struggle to grow a beard: Adam Yahiye Gadahn, an American convert to Islam,” Spencer wrote last June.

As Spencer would have it, the mere existence of Islam guarantees “more and more disaffected youth like Adam Gadahn will end up in radical Muslim training camps—and will eventually carry their struggle back to their infidel homeland.” In short, the “new face” of Islamic terrorism is all-American. It can’t get much better for warmongering right-wingers and neocons that never saw an Arab or Muslim country they did not want to shock and awe into submission (or as Ann Coulter would have it, “invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity”). Gadahn-Pearlman is proof-positive former death metal adherents cum made-over jihadists are here and now and want to blow up gas stations (see the concentration camp lady, Michelle Malkin, on this note).

If Osama, al-Zarqawi, and the followers of al-Qaeda believe Jews are the essence of the Kafir (infidel) and Jewish Americans probably one step up from Israeli Jews on the loathsome meter, one has to wonder why the heck they would not only recruit this part Jewish American kid but allow him to deliver a message on the anniversary of nine eleven, supposedly the cornerstone of Islamic terrorism. Moreover, it appears Gadahn-Pearlman was trouble from the get-go, and thus an unlikely al-Qaeda candidate: after joining the Islamic Society of Orange County, at the tender age of seventeen, Gadahn-Pearlman was “expelled from the mosque after attacking an employee. Records show he pleaded guilty to assault and battery charges on June 11, 1997 and was sentenced to two days in Orange County jail and 40 hours of community service,” according to Fox News. It only gets more pathetically obvious:

But according to court records, Gadahn failed to perform the community service, so a warrant is still outstanding for his arrest, according to the Los Angeles Times.

In May 1997, when he was 18, Gadahn was arrested on allegations of attacking Haitham “Danny” Bundakji, a well-known leader at the mosque in Garden Grove, the Times reported.

Some reports said police said Gadahn had been fired from his position as a security guard at the mosque after he was caught sleeping on the job.

But Muzammil Siddiqi, the society’s religious director, who described Gadahn as tense and depressed, said mosque officials finally had to ask him to leave because of a separate fight with one of the staff. The police were not involved in this altercation and it was unrelated to the other criminal charges.

Police said that he then continued to hang around the mosque and that when Bundakji confronted him, Gadahn punched him in the face and the right shoulder, according to the Times. Bundakji, who was 56 at the time, was not seriously injured.

Certainly a perfect recruit for al-CIA-duh. As Webster Griffin Tarpley writes in 9/11 Synthetic Terror: Made in USA, “patsies [for false-flag and fake terrorist operations] ultimately have three vital functions. The first is that they have to be noticed. They must attract lots and lots of attention. They may issue raving statements on videotape, or doubles can be used to issue these statements for them if they are not up to it. They need to get in to fights with passersby, as Mohammed Atta is said to have done concerning a parking space at the airport in Maine early in the morning on September 11.” (Emphasis added.)

As a blogger named Rasputin writes on the GNN site, “I have tried, without success, to find a single bombing attributed to ‘Al-Qaeda’ that hasn’t been ‘masterminded’ (according to terrorism ‘experts’ and their mouthpieces in the press) by an informant connected to some or other intelligence agency.”

This may suggest a modus operandi on the part of either Al-Qaeda, the intelligence agencies with which her members so frequently interface, or both. In the case of the CIA and Al-Qaeda, it is becoming increasingly difficult to separate the goals, strategies and even membership of these two groups, despite their alleged, bitter and mutual enmity. The convergence of personnel and the remarkable proclivity of Al-Qaeda to promote Anglo-American/Israeli business interests by blowing things up or issuing communiques just at the right time and just at the right place has led to the now popular term “Al-CIA-Duh”.

Last May Gadahn-Pearlman served his intelligence masters well. “Global intelligence and police agencies are on a worldwide hunt for terrorists with ties to places as disparate as Boston, Islamabad, and Panama City, part of a U.S. scramble to head off what officials fear could be a massive attack this summer,” CBS News reported. “The Justice Department released a list of seven people wanted for questioning [all supposedly connected to “Al Qaeda’s Network in America”] … after authorities received a stream of credible (sic) intelligence reports pointing to a terror attack of Sept. 11 proportions in the United States this summer.” Included in the list of possible evil-doers was Gadahn-Pearlman, described as “a U.S. citizen who also goes by the names Adam Pearlman and Abu Suhayb Al-Amriki. The FBI wants to question him although it has no information he is connected to any specific terrorist activity.” In other words, the only reason Gadahn-Pearlman was included in the “worldwide hunt for terrorists” was to send the appropriate message: it is entirely possible that heavy metal kid down the street may be an al-Qaeda evil-doer.

As for Gadahn-Pearlman’s latest message, it is little more than retreaded theatrics. “It’s a propaganda message. It’s an attempt to try to intimidate, to try to suggest they’re still a force to be reckoned with,” an “official” who “spoke on condition of anonymity because U.S. counterterrorism operations are classified,” told the Boston Globe. “We take these things seriously. But there’s been very little correlation in the past between an al Qaeda statement and the timing or specific location of an attack.”

No kidding. And there is a good reason for this—it is part of an on-going scare campaign of fake and bluster terrorism designed to remind Americans of the “threat” posed by al-Qaeda. It’s no mistake Gadahn-Pearlman made his appearance on nine eleven and it is also no mistake Gadahn-Pearlman is an American (and an apparently unsavory heavy metal punk with a propensity for violence). But what is sincerely comical is the seriousness right-wingers put into this obvious al-CIA-duh operative, believing the transparent and ludicrous propaganda al-Qaeda is in America, poised to attack at any moment (and thus poised—and never delivering—for more than four years). Gadahn-Pearlman is an illusory (and cartoonish) demon custom-made for right-wing paranoids who buy into the neocon “clash of civilizations” scam.
Comment by Shallel Octavia on March 8, 2010 at 1:23pm
Which Al Qaeda suspect was arrested in Pakistan? A number of news reports Sunday stated that American Adam Yahiye Gadahn, an Al Qaeda spokesman who appeared in a video this weekend calling on Muslims in the US to attack America, had been captured in a raid in Karachi, Pakistan. However, Pakistani and American officials later said they believed that it was not Gadahn who had been captured but Abu Yahya Mujahdeen al-Adam, who, according to the New York Times , was believed to have been born in Pennsylvania and involved with Al Qaeda operations in Afghanistan, though it was unclear whether or not he was an American.

Why the conflicting reports? Blame the resemblance of of al-Adam's name to one of Gadahn's aliases, according to the AP:

"The resemblance of the name initially caused confusion but now they have concluded he is not Gadahn," said an intelligence officer, who like all Pakistani intelligence agents does not allow his name to be used. "He feels proud to be a member of al-Qaida."

U.S. Embassy spokesman Rick Snelsire said the embassy had not been informed of any American being arrested.

A senior U.S military intelligence official said Monday the man arrested does not appear to be Gadahn. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive Pakistani operations.

On Sunday, two intelligence officers and a senior government official identified the detained man as Gadahn and said he was arrested in recent days. They, too, spoke on condition of anonymity. The government official said his name could not be used because of the sensitivity of the information. None of those officials were available for comment Monday.

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The U.S. has offered a $1 million reward for information leading to Gadahn's arrest. He is the first American wanted for treason in over half a century.

9:15 AM ET -- Pakistani Taliban commander may have survived airstrike. It was reported Saturday that Pakistani Taliban commander Faqir Mohammed was among the insurgents killed by a U.S. airstrike Friday in the northwest tribal region of Pakistan. However, a reporter from Reuters says that he has since spoken to Mohammed on the phone, and that Mohammed told him that reports of his death were "just propaganda" and that he was "fine." The reporter claims to have previously spoken with Mohammed, and thus was able to recognize his voice. The reporter says that the purported Mohammed told him, "I was in Bajaur, not Mohmand that day. None of our commanders were killed in the attack. We lost some fighters and women."

9:05 AM ET -- Pakistan government site attacked A suicide bomber struck a building in Lahore used by Pakistan police for interrogations of suspects, killing 12. Details on the blast from the AP:

The explosion went off outside a Punjab province police building, police official Zulfikar Hameed said. TV footage showed a huge crater in the ground where the blast originated. It appeared the suicide bomber rammed a car packed with as much as 1,300 pounds (600 kilograms) of explosives into the building's perimeter wall, officials said.

"This place was used to interrogate important suspects, but presently there was no such suspect, but more than 40 staff were manning the place," Lahore police chief Pervez Rathore said.
Comment by Shallel Octavia on March 7, 2010 at 6:27pm
Contradictory story: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/08/world/asia/08qaeda.html?src=twt&a...

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — An American Qaeda operative was arrested in the sprawling southern city of Karachi in recent days by Pakistani security officials, Pakistani officials said Sunday.

American and Pakistani officials said the man arrested was Abu Yahya Mujahdeen Al-Adam, who was described as having been born in Pennsylvania and who was thought to be affiliated with the operations division of Al Qaeda, commanding fighters in Afghanistan.

Little else was known about him, American officials said, and it was not immediately clear that American officials were involved in the arrest.

Initial reports seemed to have confused the American with Adam Gadahn, a California native who has been a spokesman for Al Qaeda and often appears on videos calling for strikes against targets in the United States.

Mr. Gadahn has been on the F.B.I.’s most wanted list since 2004 with a $1 million reward for information leading to his capture, and he is the first American charged with treason in more than half a century. He is believed to have been operating on the border area between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

In a recent video, Mr. Gadahn urged Muslims to follow the example of Major Nidal Hasan, the American soldier charged with the shooting that killed 13 people in Fort Hood, Texas, in November.

But a senior Obama administration official in Washington said Sunday that he could not confirm reports that Mr. Gadahn had been captured.

While the importance of the arrest of the other American was not clear, it builds on the capture of several senior Afghan Taliban leaders in recent weeks, including Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the No. 2 official in the Afghan Taliban leadership.

The senior Obama administration official said that Pakistani authorities have Mullah Baradar in custody and are still allowing American interrogators to question him regularly.

“He’s talking to us but we’re still in the trust-building phase,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the interrogation results are confidential. “He’s not giving us any actionable intelligence.”

The official said that Pakistani authorities are likely to have more leverage over Mr. Baradar than American officials, because of the longstanding relationship between the Taliban and Pakistan’s main spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate. American officials also assume that the I.S.I. tends to some of Mr. Baradar’s family members.

The officials discounted the likelihood that Pakistani authorities are using harsh interrogation tactics against Mr. Baradar. “They know what he knows,” the official said.

The arrest of Mr. Baradar and some half dozen other senior Afghan Taliban leaders in Pakistan in recent weeks have prompted some analysts to declare that the Pakistani intelligence service has committed itself to a new path to work against the Afghan Taliban, its long-time proxy against Indian interests in Afghanistan.

But the senior administration official voiced skepticism that there had been any strategic shift by the highest levels of the Pakistan spy agency.

“It’s still not clear what’s going on, but we haven’t concluded there’s some major shift,” the official said. “One theory is that this was a confluence of tactical operations.”

Another theory, he said, is that Mr. Baradar and the other captured Taliban leaders were purged by hardliners in the Afghan Taliban leadership, who grew distrustful of them.

A Pakistani high court ruled this month that Mr. Baradar could not be transferred to the Afghan government, despite efforts by the Afghans to seek his extradition. Moving Mr. Baradar or any other Taliban or Qaeda figure from Pakistani custody to Afghanistan would be tantamount to a handover to the United States, American officials said.

Eric Schmitt reported from Washington; Mark Mazzetti contributed reporting from New York.

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