White House officials announced on Thursday that the American mouthpiece of al-Qaeda was killed in January during an American counterterrorism operation. Adam Gadahn constantly spoke against his country on behalf of a terrorist organization that’s hell-bent on attacking it. The public first met Gadahn in 2004 under the name Azzam the American in an Al Qaeda video Q&A. Gadahn was originally a Jew raised on a California goat farm before converting to Islam and becoming one of the most prominent members of the group of Americans in the terror group. Americans had been present in the group since the days of its founding, frequently in senior operational roles.
White House officials confirm that Gadahn was not specifically targeted during the operation. American citizen Warren Weinstein who was abducted by Al Qaeda in 2011, died with fellow hostage Italian Italian Giovanni Lo Porto, in the attack that killed Farouq, according to the White House. While he wasn’t one of al Qaeda’s top leaders, Gadahn was one of its most prominent members, given his many statements on behalf of the organization. Gadahn had joined Al Qaeda not long before 9/11, working as a translator at first, but eventually playing a much more substantial role in its media division. Under his tutelage, or at least with his collaboration, Al Qaeda began experimenting with digital distribution and modern styles of discourse.
Gadahn narrated a film resembling a History Channel production about the September 11 attacks entitled “The 19 Martyrs.” Eventually, he became a significant representative in his own right, issuing threats against the American president while sitting at a desk with a coffee mug emblazoned with the logo of as-Sahab, Al Qaeda’s media production company. Many of the techniques and approaches he pioneered have today been co-opted by the Islamic State, which has developed these ideas far more aggressively than Al Qaeda ever did.
A federal grand jury in California indicted Gadahn in 2006 for treason and material support to al Qaeda, charges related to his alleged involvement in terrorist activities that included “providing aid and comfort” and other services to al Qaeda, the FBI said. He was among the FBI’s “Most Wanted Terrorists.” In 2007, he appeared on another al Qaeda video in which he warned America to end its involvement in the affairs of predominantly Muslim countries. Your failure to heed our demands … means that you and your people will … experience things which will make you forget about the horrors of September 11, Afghanistan and Iraq and Virginia Tech,” he said, the last reference being to the mass shooting at the Virginia University in 2007.
Gadahn over the years have criticized both President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama, which he called “a devious, evasive and serpentine American president with a Muslim name.” He addressed his Jewish past and tore up his U.S. passport on camera. He called upon Muslims in the United States to stage lone-wolf attacks. “America is absolutely awash with easily obtainable firearms,” he said. “You can go down to a gun show at the local convention center and come away with a fully automatic assault rifle without a background check and most likely without having to show an identification card. So what are you waiting for?”
He publicly called Fort Hood Army officer “the ideal role model for every repentant Muslim in the armies of the unbelievers and apostate regimes.” He also praised the Benghazi attack, which killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens. It was reported that Gadahn was married to a Muslim woman from Afghanistan and had one child. Speaking to reporters Thursday afternoon, Earnest said Obama has no regrets over the killing of the two American militants.