Tuesday, September 12, 2006
'Azzam the American' to face more terror charges


In a recently released al Qaeda video, Californian Adam Gadahn, 28, invites Americans to convert to Islam.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A U.S. citizen turned al Qaeda spokesman will face more charges in the wake of recent videotapes featuring him released by the terror organization, two sources familiar with the investigation tell CNN.

Adam Gadahn -- who grew up in rural California, rebelled against his parents' Christianity and converted to Islam in the mid-90s and is now referred to as "Azzam the American" by al Qaeda -- has appeared in several messages speaking English. In a long recording released a week ago, for instance, he urged people worldwide to convert to Islam. (Column: Tracking Terror)

And in a videotape posted on the Internet Friday, he hailed the September 11, 2001, hijackers, saying, "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." (Full story)

Gadahn is already facing a sealed indictment charging him with material support to terrorism, and one source said prosecutors are debating whether to charge him with treason. A final decision has not been made on details on an updated indictment. The FBI first issued an alert on Gadahn in 2004, saying he was "being sought in connection with possible terrorist threats against the United States."

"People have seen his face [so] it's going to be very difficult for him to become an operative," FBI Director Robert Mueller told CNN last week. "But he is a contributor. He's certainly supporting al Qaeda and [is] somebody who we would very much like to arrest and prosecute."
Posted By Kevin Bohn and Kelli Arena, CNN America Bureau: 9/12/2006 12:09:00 PM ET | Permalink
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