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Tape: American al Qaeda member renounces citizenship

  • Story Highlights
  • Adam Gadahn in videotape tears up U.S. passport, speaks in Arabic and English
  • Tape was released by As Sahab, al Qaeda's video production wing
  • Originally from California, Gadahn talks about Bush's upcoming trip to Middle East
  • Gadahn is on the FBI's Most Wanted List with $1 million reward for information
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(CNN) -- On a videotape released Sunday, American al Qaeda member Adam Yahiye Gadahn renounces his U.S. citizenship, destroys his passport and cites U.S. President Bush's upcoming trip to the Middle East.

"American jihadist" Adam Gadahn, originally from California, in a video released in September 2006.

The 50-minute tape -- titled "An Invitation to Reflection and Repentance" -- was released by As Sahab, al Qaeda's video production wing and was provided to CNN by, a Web site that analyzes terrorism.

In it, Gadahn renounces his citizenship to protest the imprisonment of Sheikh Omar Abdul Rahman, a blind Egyptian Muslim leader serving a life sentence for his role in the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center; and John Walker Lindh, the American Taliban who was arrested in Afghanistan in 2001, and others.

Gadahn displays his passport to the camera, rips it in half and says, "Don't get too excited -- I don't need it to travel anyway."

Though Gadahn speaks mostly in English, he references Bush -- who is to travel this week to the Middle East -- only in Arabic.

"We raise an urgent appeal to our mujahedin brothers in the Muslim Palestine, the Arabian Peninsula in particular, and the region in general, to be prepared to receive the crusader butcher Bush on his visit to Muslim Palestine and the occupied peninsula at the beginning of January," he said. "They should receive him not with roses and applause, but with bombs and booby-traps."

The video also refers to the Annapolis Conference, indicating it was produced after last November 27, when the conference was held.

National Security Council Spokesman Gordon Johndroe said the U.S. president would not be deterred.

"His comments are indicative of an al Qaeda ideology that offers nothing but death and violence," Johndroe told CNN in a written statement.

"President Bush will travel to the region to stand with the mainstream governments who want liberty and justice for their people."

The self-proclaimed American jihadist, also known as Azzam the American, is on the FBI's Most Wanted List, with a reward of up to $1 million for information leading to his capture.

Gadahn was indicted in 2006 on charges of treason and offering material support for terrorism, the first American charged with treason since World War II.

Gadahn, who grew up in rural California, embraced Islam in the mid-1990s and moved to Pakistan. Since October 2004 he has appeared in at least eight al Qaeda videos in which he speaks in English and praises the terrorist network. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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