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Adam Gadahn May Not Be In U.S. Custody

First Posted: 03- 7-10 01:32 PM   |   Updated: 03- 8-10 07:40 PM

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Adam Gadahn Arrested Al Qaeda Spokesman

UPDATE: Adam Gadahn was not the Al Qaeda operative captured in Pakistan, the New York Times reports. Senior U.S. officials told the Times that Pakistani security forces actually caught Abu Yahya Mujahdeen al-Adam, allegedly a Pennsylvania native linked to Al Qaeda's Afghan combat operations. But they could not confirm that the suspect in custody is actually an American, since U.S. forces did not take part in the arrest.

KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) -- Two Pakistani officers and a government official said Sunday that an American charged with treason for working with al-Qaida had been captured, a development that could deliver another significant blow in the U.S.-led battle against the terror network.

U.S. defense, intelligence and law enforcement officials could not immediately verify the reported detention of Adam Gadahn, a 31-year-old spokesman for al-Qaida who has appeared on videos threatening the West, including one that emerged earlier Sunday.

The reported arrest of Gadahn follows the recent detention of several Afghan Taliban commanders in Karachi, including the group's No. 2. Those detentions have been seen as a sign that Pakistan, which has been criticized as an untrustworthy ally, was cooperating more fully with Washington.

Some observers were cautious about giving credence to the claim that Gadahn was in custody as reports emerged that the man arrested might instead be a Taliban militant leader. There was no way of independently verifying the arrest or identity, and detentions of terror suspects in Pakistan are often surrounded by conflicting reports.

"If this is him, it's a big capture and a morale-booster," said Patrick Rowan, the former top anti-terrorism official in the Bush Justice Department.

Gadahn, the first American to face treason charges in more than 50 years, has appeared in more than half a dozen al-Qaida videos, taunting the West and calling for its destruction. The video that surfaced Sunday showed him urging American Muslims to attack their own country.

Story continues below

"It's a blow to al-Qaida and a boost to the U.S. when a guy that has been taunting the U.S. for years has been captured," Rowan said.

Gadahn 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.

If the man in custody is indeed Gadahn and authorities can get him to talk, he could offer valuable intelligence about al-Qaida's second in command Ayman al-Zawahiri and maybe even Osama bin Laden, Rowan said.

Gadahn has been on the FBI's most wanted list since 2004 and there is a $1 million reward for information leading to his arrest. He was charged with treason in 2006 and faces the death penalty if convicted. He was also charged with two counts of providing material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization.

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

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 is known by various aliases, including Yahya Majadin Adams and Azzam al-Amriki.

In the video posted Sunday, he praised the U.S. Army major charged with killing 13 people in Fort Hood, Texas, as a role model for other Muslims. It 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 Islamic extremists following the Sept. 11 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, 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, Michigan, 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 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, Michigan, 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.

A leader of the Southern California mosque where Gadahn once worshipped said he was relieved to hear about the possible arrest.

"We are grateful to God that one less headache is off our hands," said Haitham Bundakji, vice chairman of the Islamic Society of Orange County. "The less troublemakers there are at large, the less troubles there are for us at home."

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 Dwight D. Eisenhower later commuted his sentence to life imprisonment.

___

Associated Press Writers Patrick Quinn and Maamoun Youssef in Cairo, Rick Callahan in Indianapolis, Devlin Barrett in Washington and Andrew Dalton in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

The reported arrest of Gadahn follows the recent detention of several Afghan Taliban commanders in Karachi, including the group's No. 2. Those detentions have been seen as a sign that Pakistan, which has been criticized as an untrustworthy ally, was cooperating more fully with Washington.

Some observers were cautious about giving credence to the claim that Gadahn was in custody as reports emerged that the man arrested might instead be a Taliban militant leader. There was no way of independently verifying the arrest or identity, and detentions of terror suspects in Pakistan are often surrounded by conflicting reports.

"If this is him, it's a big capture and a morale-booster," said Patrick Rowan, the former top anti-terrorism official in the Bush Justice Department.

Gadahn, the first American to face treason charges in more than 50 years, has appeared in more than half a dozen al-Qaida videos, taunting the West and calling for its destruction. The video that surfaced Sunday showed him urging American Muslims to attack their own country.

"It's a blow to al-Qaida and a boost to the U.S. when a guy that has been taunting the U.S. for years has been captured," Rowan said.

Gadahn 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.

If the man in custody is indeed Gadahn and authorities can get him to talk, he could offer valuable intelligence about al-Qaida's second in command Ayman al-Zawahiri and maybe even Osama bin Laden, Rowan said.

Gadahn has been on the FBI's most wanted list since 2004 and there is a $1 million reward for information leading to his arrest. He was charged with treason in 2006 and faces the death penalty if convicted. He was also charged with two counts of providing material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization.

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

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 is known by various aliases, including Yahya Majadin Adams and Azzam al-Amriki.

In the video posted Sunday, he praised the U.S. Army major charged with killing 13 people in Fort Hood, Texas, as a role model for other Muslims. It 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 Islamic extremists following the Sept. 11 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, 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, Michigan, 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 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, Michigan, 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.

A leader of the Southern California mosque where Gadahn once worshipped said he was relieved to hear about the possible arrest.

"We are grateful to God that one less headache is off our hands," said Haitham Bundakji, vice chairman of the Islamic Society of Orange County. "The less troublemakers there are at large, the less troubles there are for us at home."

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 Dwight D. Eisenhower later commuted his sentence to life imprisonment.

___

Associated Press Writers Patrick Quinn and Maamoun Youssef in Cairo, Rick Callahan in Indianapolis, Devlin Barrett in Washington and Andrew Dalton in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

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UPDATE: Adam Gadahn was not the Al Qaeda operative captured in Pakistan, the New York Times reports. Senior U.S. officials told the Times that Pakistani security forces actually caught Abu Yahya Mujah...
UPDATE: Adam Gadahn was not the Al Qaeda operative captured in Pakistan, the New York Times reports. Senior U.S. officials told the Times that Pakistani security forces actually caught Abu Yahya Mujah...
Filed by Alexander Belenky  |  Report Corrections
 
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- zbowling I'm a Fan of zbowling 60 fans permalink
photo

His Name is Adam Pearlman, and if he's not in custody anymore Israel might have got him out. He's part of the the tribe.

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 05:07 AM on 3/09/2010
- Ilmatik I'm a Fan of Ilmatik permalink

I swear to Dawkins, I wanna fight so many of the fools on here who make a hobby of expounding ridiculous remarks. That FogBelter character is a goddamn fool!

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 08:26 PM on 3/08/2010
- hibeam I'm a Fan of hibeam 19 fans permalink

Why isn't Allah protecting these dudes? Every time one of these guys sticks his head out of his mole hole he gets blowed up by a drone.

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 04:15 PM on 3/08/2010

Because Allah,like all other gods,does not exist.

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 06:00 PM on 3/08/2010
- norahmd I'm a Fan of norahmd permalink
photo

Pakistani intelligence agents say they have captured an American al-Qaida operative, but they have reversed their initial assertion that he is Adam Gadahn, who is wanted in the United States on a treason charge.
They said the similarity of the name with those sometimes used by Adam Gadahn initially caused some confusion.

Uh-oh.. Not again! OPinions: http://bit.ly/adam-gadahn-compiled-details

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 02:23 PM on 3/08/2010
- fromdnorth I'm a Fan of fromdnorth 43 fans permalink
photo

... a lesson for us all...

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 10:25 AM on 3/08/2010
- CarolinaDem I'm a Fan of CarolinaDem 101 fans permalink
photo

Just think--our guys shoot missiles with 'intel' of about this quality, too.

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 09:54 AM on 3/08/2010
- algomajoker I'm a Fan of algomajoker 6 fans permalink
photo

Isn't that the original drummer from Molly Hatchet?

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 09:38 AM on 3/08/2010
- den1953 I'm a Fan of den1953 101 fans permalink
photo

Maybe this guy is a brother from another mother?

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 09:18 AM on 3/08/2010
- exhale09 I'm a Fan of exhale09 113 fans permalink
photo

"Conclusion Jumping" is the biggest sport in America

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 09:12 AM on 3/08/2010
- totaldisbelief I'm a Fan of totaldisbelief 65 fans permalink

It's the same guy.

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 09:36 AM on 3/08/2010
- patsydecline I'm a Fan of patsydecline 261 fans permalink
photo

if the u.s. is worried about threats to the u.s. and catching the real bad guys...
just go to d cheneys house...

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 09:05 AM on 3/08/2010
- Free2Speak I'm a Fan of Free2Speak 9 fans permalink
photo

Look this guy will never be taken alive it doesn't matter how much intelligence we could get from.We have to keep the focus on people of color as our enemy.Pakistan know US don't want this guy we need the under bomber photo to sell this war on terror.

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 08:56 AM on 3/08/2010
- totaldisbelief I'm a Fan of totaldisbelief 65 fans permalink

he's probably making those videos from a basement in California....between playing video games and munching pizzas.

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 09:11 AM on 3/08/2010
- Aerows I'm a Fan of Aerows 149 fans permalink
photo

Neck beard.

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 08:51 AM on 3/08/2010
- jedonspring I'm a Fan of jedonspring 4 fans permalink

Those 2 pics definitely look like the same person.

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 08:45 AM on 3/08/2010
- Aerows I'm a Fan of Aerows 149 fans permalink
photo

The neck beard gives it away - his facial hair, including his eyebrows, grow the same way.

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 08:55 AM on 3/08/2010
- totaldisbelief I'm a Fan of totaldisbelief 65 fans permalink

they are the same guy.

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 09:11 AM on 3/08/2010
- JanPoore I'm a Fan of JanPoore 330 fans permalink
photo

Thyy are both photos ofr Adam Gadhan from the article yesterday. Not meant to be 2 different people.

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 09:39 AM on 3/08/2010
- Wide Stance I'm a Fan of Wide Stance 55 fans permalink
photo

Here's the explanation for this phenomenon: both pics are of Gadahn. Weird huh?

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 03:33 PM on 3/08/2010
- TXfemmom I'm a Fan of TXfemmom 288 fans permalink

Thos two pictures could be of the same man, at very different weights. However, the Pakistanis are always ready, able and willing to make claims which aren't true.

Were Pakisan to really use the information which could be available to them because of their previous contacts and knowlege of the Talibam and Al Qaeda operations within the tribal areas and Afghanistan, they could probably round up virtually everyone we want and practically squash them. However, they are still playing off their duplicity which has always been their way of dealing with this.

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 08:43 AM on 3/08/2010
photo

Way to go CBS, sounds like a another Dan Rather story. You verify your sources. At least the US didn't fall for that one.

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 08:34 AM on 3/08/2010

Except Dan Rather was essentially correct. In fact by the FOX standards Dan Rather would be gospel.

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 08:53 AM on 3/08/2010
- totaldisbelief I'm a Fan of totaldisbelief 65 fans permalink

this Adam guy is a false flag...those two photos are the same guy....
He probably will disappear off the map to avoid any embarrassment to any "special interest"group.

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 09:39 AM on 3/08/2010
- zbowling I'm a Fan of zbowling 60 fans permalink
photo

His real name is Adam Pearlman and he's jewish. It may not mean anything, but Israel might get him out of custody if it's him.
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2009/06/american-al-qaeda-adam-gadahn-talks-about-jewish-southern-california-roots-in-new-video.html

Possible Fake Video, says ABC. Video editing is what Adam Pearlman supposedly did for Ossama.
http://blogs.abcnews.com/theblotter/2007/08/al-qaeda-videos.html

I think it's likely a false flag. How often do you see a fat mujahid? The rest of them are skinny as hell.

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 05:15 AM on 3/09/2010
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