Adam Gadahn resurfaces in new al Qaeda tape

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Adam Gadahn, al Qaeda’s American spokesman, from his latest tape.

Adam Gadahn, al Qaeda’s American spokesman, has resurfaced in a newly released videotape, squashing the rumors that he died in a US airstrike earlier this year. Gadahn was rumored to have been killed in a January 2008 airstrike in North Waziristan that killed Abu Laith al Libi, a senior al Qaeda commander in Afghanistan.

In the tape, titled “The Believer Isn’t Stung From The Same Hole Hole Twice,” Gadahn appeals to Muslims Pakistan to unite under al Qaeda’s banner and end the feuds between various ethnic and tribal groups.

“It’s time for you to put aside tribal, ethnic, and territorial differences and petty worldly disputes not just for now but forever and unite to restore the glories of your forefathers and hasten, Allah willing, the defeat of the Zionist-Crusader enemy and the establishment of the Islamic state, the Ummah, the so eagerly anticipated,” Gadahn said, according to a partial translation provided by Laura Mansfield.

He called on Muslims in Pakistan to “fight the Crusaders and their agents wherever they are and don’t be intimidate by their weak and futile plots.” Gadahn also mentioned the US “economic meltdown,” proving he is aware of the current crisis and the tape is not a remix of old information.

Gadahn, who is also known as Azzam al Amriki or Azzam the American, is the first American to be charged with treason since 1952. He was indicted in a US federal court under charges of treason and providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization for making al Qaeda propaganda videos. “By aligning himself with al Qaeda, by moving overseas to be closer to al Qaeda’s base and leadership, and by joining in advocating al Qaeda’s terrorist agenda, an agenda that includes the overthrow of the United States government and the murder of American citizens, Adam Gadahn has committed treason against the United States of America,” said US Attorney Debra Wong Yang.

The US has a $1 million reward out for information leading to his capture.

Rumors of Gadahn’s death spread in early February and continued in March, but his death was never confirmed. He was said to have been killed in the Jan. 28 airstrike in North Waziristan that killed Abu Laith al Libi, al Qaeda’s chief commander in Afghanistan, the leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, and a chief spokesman for the terror group. Gadahn was thought to have been attending a strategy meeting of senior al Qaeda commanders in North Waziristan.

At the time, senior US intelligence officials told The Long War Journal there was no evidence that Gadahn was killed, and in fact they believed he was alive. Al Qaeda never released a martyrdom video to celebrate his death.

Gadahn death rumors peaked after the seventh anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks on the US. He did not appear on the al Qaeda’s Sept. 11 tape, as he had every year since 2004.

Previous reports on Adam Gadahn rumors:

Gadahn death rumors continue to surface

March 6, 2008

Adam Gadahn rumored killed in North Waziristan strike

February 8, 2008

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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10 Comments

  • C. Jordan says:

    If Adam Gadahn can penetrate AQ, then why can’t the CIA…
    Unless, Gadahn is CIA.
    I’m just putting the thought out there, Surly AQ has thought of this.

  • Kidartbai says:

    C. Jordan, because you would need to be in truly deep cover to understand the inner aspects of the jihadist movement and ideology. And if you’re that much into it, you would most likely have to agree with the ideology yourself. If Adam Gadahn was ever a CIA agent, he’s probably not anymore.

  • C. Jordan says:

    Kidartbai,
    I see your point, and thank you for your thoughts.
    I’ve always wondered this possibility for Ghadan, yet never heard of anyone openly discuss why he wouldn’t be CIA.
    Personally I doubt he is, though I can never get rid of the suspicion. I’m sure AQ have made him display his loyalty by beheading some poor chap.

  • Kidartbai says:

    C. Jordan, you’re right. It’s the beheadings that would separate the real jihadis from the wannabes. I’m a practicing Muslim and could never see bringing myself to do that to another human being, even to Osama or Zawahiri, if I infiltrated AQ or Taliban.
    I guess that’s what separates us (normal people) from them.

  • Pete Poirier says:

    I watched the whole video. I believe he is trying to rally the native fanatics to fight. Some of the tribes that have not been infiltrated by intermarrying foreign jihadis have declared war on the foreign fighters. Al Qaeda and Ghadan are probably getting a little concerned about “wearing out their wel-
    come” with the locals as they did in Iraq. Also there were no native Pakistanis featured in the video.

  • KW64 says:

    I am not sure how much impact killing this guy would actually have militarily but it may bring a moral boost; so:
    If at first you don’t succeed try try again.

  • Neo says:

    The CIA doesn’t just go plant spies into the leadeership of an organization like the Taliban. It’s a ridiculous notion that they would even be able too do that. Some people have been reading too many cheap spy novels. Most of your informants are going to be disgruntled locals that are paid off. Most of the conduits and handlers are probably local too. I imagine that there are plenty of Pakistani ISI guys on the CIA payroll. The only Americans you will usually find are probably Pakistani expatriates working fairly far removed from the action, as handlers.
    Getting too someone at the command level of an organization almost never happens. If we ever did get so lucky you would see people dropping like flies. The only place I’ve suspected that is in Northern Iraq in the summer of 2007. For a few months US forces were really raking them in. I find it difficult to believe the US could simultaneously take down so many AQI cells without having turned someone at a very high level.
    The US has plenty of eyes in Western Pakistan but I don’t see any indication they have significantly penetrated the Taliban.

  • ehunter says:

    In my opinion Gadahn is simply the fat boy loser he appears to be. He was embraced by Al Queda
    because of his propaganda value. Adam, of course was over joyed to be for once in his life a big shot
    international terrorist, rather than the loser video store clerk he really is. But once Adam got on the tiger he couldnt get off. He must make more and more outrageous anti USA statements to please his AQ masters. Yet nothing Adam does will ever alleviate the suspicions his masters have of him.
    All it would take would be the slightest suspicion that Adam really is a CIA agent or equivalent. The CIA, of course, should provide those hints and then its a AQ bullet in Adams empty head and happy ending for everyone involved.

  • The title of the tape comes from a work out of Chechnya by Shamil Basaev (Abdallah Shamil Abu Idris)…now deceased.
    His work is titled “Book of a Mujahiddeen” and can be purchased from the Chechnya rebel site as an E book. I have read it and used it for my own writing.
    LCDR Tammy Swofford, USNR, NC

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