Sources: American al Qaeda Faces Treason - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Sources: American al Qaeda Faces Treason

Adam Gadahn was seen in a September al Qaeda video inviting Americans to join Islam "because this could be your last day." Adam Gadahn was seen in a September al Qaeda video inviting Americans to join Islam "because this could be your last day."

American al Qaeda spokesman Adam Yahiye Gadahn is to face treason charges, federal sources told CNN on Wednesday.

The 28-year-old California native who has appeared in five al Qaeda videos will also be charged with offering material support for terrorism, the two sources said.

His indictment was to be returned in Los Angeles and will be announced at 4 p.m. ET in Washington by the Justice Department, one of the sources said.

Gadahn, known as "Azzam the American," is not in U.S. custody and his location is unknown.

FBI Director Robert Mueller, referring last month to Gadahn's importance in al Qaeda, said: "It's significant in terms of his being a spokesperson for al Qaeda. ... I mean he has been on television. People have seen his face. It's going to be very difficult for him to become an operative. But he is a contributor. He's certainly supporting al Qaeda and [is] somebody who we would very much like to arrest and prosecute."

Gadahn has appeared in several al Qaeda messages speaking English.

In a recording released in September, he called for the world to convert to Islam, and in a videotape posted on the Internet, he hailed the 9/11 hijackers: "All the brothers who took part in the raids on America were dedicated, strong-willed, highly motivated individuals with a burning concern for Islam and Muslims, and they had to be chosen for such a difficult mission. They were definitely not failures looking for a way out."

The FBI first put out an alert on Gadahn in 2004, saying he was "being sought in connection with possible terrorist threats against the United States," although the agency said it had "no information indicating this individual is connected to any specific terrorist activities."

California roots

Gadahn grew up in Riverside County, California, on a goat farm. His father was a rock guitarist before starting the farm with his wife.

Gadahn left when he was a teenager, according to his father. After a heavy-metal rock phase, he turned to Islam in 1995 and wrote about it on the Internet.

"As I began reading English translations of the Koran, I became more and more convinced of the truth and authenticity of Allah's teachings contained in those 114 chapters."

In the September video, Gadahn once again alluded to his time as a Muslim convert living in California.

"I can't forget the day, as I was praying a prescribed prayer with one of the brothers in a shopping center parking lot in suburban America. A man sped by in his sports utility vehicle shouting from his open window 'Worship Jesus, your Lord,' " Gadahn said on the tape.

Gadahn's call on Americans to convert came with an explicit warning of what would happen if his call went unheeded.

"Anyone who pays any attention to the messages of the leaders of the jihad, like Sheik Osama bin Laden and Sheik Ayman al-Zawahiri, may God protect them, will know that they have been consistent in inviting the Americans and other unbelievers to Islam and in pressing upon them that they want the best for them. And making it clear to all that we have no choice but to fight those who fight us," Gadahn said.

Gadahn's family had no comment about the latest tape. In the past, his father has said Gadahn moved to Pakistan in 1998 and that the family lost touch with him in 2002.

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