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Adam Gadahn, al Qaeda's U.S.-born spokesman, calls for attacks on U.S. diplomats

By Leslie Bentz, CNN
updated 3:23 PM EDT, Mon August 19, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • He urges wealthy Muslims to offer militants rewards
  • He posted his statement on jihadist websites
  • He has a $1 million bounty on his head

Washington (CNN) -- American-born al Qaeda spokesman Adam Gadahn is calling for attacks on U.S. ambassadors around the world.

In a 39-minute video, Gadahn praised the death of Libya's U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens on September 11 last year -- and urged wealthy Muslims to offer militants rewards so they can kill others, according to SITE, a jihadist monitoring group.

Specifically, he referenced a bounty set for the death of U.S. Ambassador to Yemen, Gerald Feierstein.

"These prizes have a great effect in instilling fear in the hearts of our cowardly enemies," Gadahn who has a $1 million dollar bounty on his head, says in the video. "They also encourage hesitant individuals to carry out important and great deeds in the path of Allah."

The California-raised Islamic convert, also known as Azzam the American, spoke entirely in Arabic throughout the video, "The Exploits of Muslims and Infamies of the Criminals." It was produced by al-Qaeda's as-Sahab Media Foundation and posted to jihadi websites.

"The dead American ambassador Christopher Stevens wasn't a friend of Libya" Gadahn asserts, saying instead he was "representative of the empire of evil and corruption, America".

Multiple American embassies across North Africa and the Middle East were closed earlier this month in light of intelligence information suggesting a possible attack. All have reopened.

But an administration official, asked whether the closures were linked to the Gadahn video, told CNN that while al Qaeda's general intentions were a factor in the closures, "this video was not specifically a factor."

Gadahn has made similar videos in the past.

In 2007, he also called for attacks on U.S. diplomats, vowing that al Qaeda would target American diplomats and embassies in retaliation for the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.

CNN's Brian Todd contricuted to this report.

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