Al-Qaeda spokesman Adam Gadahn in a new videotape released Sunday declared: “I am calling on every honest and vigilant Muslim in the countries of the Zionist-Crusader alliance in general and America, Britain and Israel in particular to prepare to play his due role in responding to and repelling the aggression of the enemies of Islam.” He called upon Muslims to be imaginative in their choice of jihad targets: “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, who is known in jihadist circles as “Azzam the American,” is the first U.S. citizen to be indicted for treason since World War II. His new video shows that the charge is entirely justified.
In it, he held up 9/11 as a model for jihad attacks: “As the blessed operations of September 11th showed, a little imagination and planning and a limited budget can turn almost anything into a deadly, effective and convenient weapon.” He exhorted Muslims to sow mayhem in the U.S. and elsewhere in the West “by killing or capturing people in government, industry and the media.”
As surprising as it may be to hear an American fantasizing about mass murders in his native land, it is no surprise coming from Gadahn, who in a September 11, 2006 message called America “enemy soil.” And in his new communiqué, the pudgy Al-Qaeda operative even praised Nidal Hasan, the Islamic jihadist who murdered thirteen people at Fort Hood in November 2009, as “the ideal role-model for every repentant Muslim in the armies of the unbelievers and apostate regimes,” and as a “pioneer, a trailblazer and a role-model who has opened a door, lit a path and shown the way forward for every Muslim who finds himself among the unbelievers.”
Earlier videotapes show that mass murders on American military bases, such as the one eventually committed by Hasan, were long the stuff of Gadahn’s dreams. In July 2006, while engaging in an extended exercise in grievance theatre over alleged murders of children by American troops in Iraq, he said: “It’s hard to imagine that any compassionate person could see pictures, just pictures, of what the Crusaders did to those children, and not want to go on a shooting spree at the Marines’ housing facilities at Camp Pendleton.” He was anxious to demonstrate his own bloodlust, declaring: “We love nothing better than the heat of battle, the echo of explosions, and slitting the throats of the infidels.”
And therein lies the core of the problem. Gadahn has become a traitor who plots violence against Americans because of his allegiance to Islam, and his concomitant belief that he has a responsibility before the supreme deity to kill Infidels whom he believes to be at war with Islam. Yet aside from vague and loophole-laden condemnations of terrorism, Muslim groups in America have done nothing to counter the appeal of jihad recruiters to young men like Gadahn. We know from the recent flow of Somali immigrants in Minneapolis back to their homeland to wage jihad that jihad recruitment is continuing on American soil; and the people who converted Adam Gadahn to Islam and convinced him that God was pleased when he murdered people are still active, still spreading Islam among unsuspecting and alienated young Americans.
Reports Sunday that Gadahn had been captured just as his videotape was released turned out to be false. In fact, another American convert to Islam who is active in Al-Qaeda was the one who was captured – which shows anew that officials have ignored the conversion of rootless young Americans and their recruitment for the jihad to our great detriment. Gadahn himself, in any case, is still at large — and while American forces should continue to hunt for him in Pakistan and Afghanistan, law enforcement officials stateside should be on the lookout for an even greater threat emanating from those Muslims in this country who have taken his words, and the words of those who inspired and influenced him, to heart.