Is OC's Most Notorious Terrorist Dead?
Here's an update from Counterterrorism Blog:
This afternoon, Al-Qaida's As-Sahab Media Foundation has released the second audio recording of Usama Bin Laden in the space of only three days--this time, openly addressed "to the Islamic nation." But, perhaps what is most interesting about Bin Laden's latest set of audio recordings is not what they contain--but rather, what they inexplicably lack: the English-language subtitles and matching transcript that have, until recently, been a customary feature of professional-quality As-Sahab videos. An analysis of the history of As-Sahab recordings and their evolution over time would seem to indicate that the responsibility for creating these English-language products fell largely on the shoulders of one man alone: Adam Gadahn (a.k.a. "Azzam al-Amriki"), the California native who was recruited by Al-Qaida computer specialists living in Garden Grove in the late 1990s, and who later traveled on to Pakistan seeking to join his new hero Usama Bin Laden. Gadahn's voice and, more recently, his face have been an integral part of As-Sahab releases since their first video production in 2001, "The Destruction of the U.S.S. Cole" (a.k.a. "State of the Ummah"). He has frequently appeared as a freely identified commentator in As-Sahab videos, with clips of him speaking in English juxtaposed amid footage of Usama Bin Laden and Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri.Let's hope it's true, and that Gadahn awoke on the other side of this mortal veil only to discover that he should have stuck with his family's Jewish religion and morals. No virgins, no paradise for Azzam al-Amriki. (Yes, I also hope and pray that at the last moment, Gadahn shook off his Islamic chains and accepted Christ -- but what are the chances of that?)
In January 2008, the U.S. military used a Predator drone to launch an airstrike on a house in Mir Ali, Pakistan, which was suspected to be hiding several high-ranking Al-Qaida leaders and operatives. Within days, Al-Qaida issued a series of statements and video recordings acknowledging that the airstrike had caused serious casualties, including Abu al-Laith al-Liby--a senior Al-Qaida leader considered to be the "Field Commander" in charge of foreign mujahideen military operations across large swaths of southern Afghanistan. But according to NEFA Foundation sources inside Pakistan, the legendary Abu al-Laith was not the only loss suffered in the strike at Mir Ali. These sources indicated that a host of other less-senior-but-still-significant Al-Qaida members were also inside the house at the time, including Abu al-Laith's deputy, a Somali holding Australian or U.S. nationality, two Kuwaiti jihadis, and--most interesting of all--none other than Adam Gadahn himself. Al-Qaida has never confirmed nor denied reports of Adam Gadahn's death, and that has only added to the growing mystery surrounding his whereabouts. (more here)
Still, if it is true that he's met his well-deserved fate, there is a family here that mourns him. For their story, read my posts summarizing an OC Register three-parter on the Gadahn family that I've linked to several times before:
From Liberal Jew To Al Qaeda In Two Generations
Flower Child Dad, Al Qaeda Son
"If You're A Good Believer, You'll Kill Your Parents."