Monday, March 8, 2010
Is The News of the Arrest of U.S. Born Al Qaeda Member Adam Gadahn Incorrect or Not?
There has been quite a bit of confusion as to whether the reported arrest of Adam Gadahn is correct, or not?
As reported by CBS News:
Two Pakistani officers and a government official said Sunday that an American charged with treason for working with al Qaeda had been captured, a development that could deliver another significant blow in the U.S.-led battle against the terror network.
U.S. defense, intelligence and law enforcement officials could not immediately verify the reported detention of Adam Gadahn, a 31-year-old spokesman for al Qaeda who has appeared on videos threatening the West, including one that emerged earlier Sunday.
The reported arrest of Gadahn follows the recent detention of several Afghan Taliban commanders in Karachi, including the group's No. 2. Those detentions have been seen as a sign that Pakistan, which has been criticized as an untrustworthy ally, was cooperating more fully with Washington.
Some observers were cautious about giving credence to the claim that Gadahn was in custody as reports emerged that the man arrested might instead be a Taliban militant leader. There was no way of independently verifying the arrest or identity, and detentions of terror suspects in Pakistan are often surrounded by conflicting reports.
CBS News was told by sources in the Pakistan government that it was Gadahn, even after U.S. officials refused to confirm it was the California native for whom a $1 million reward has been posted.
Later, CBS News' Farhan Bokhari in Islamabad reported that earlier reports the detained individual was Gadahn proved false. According to a Pakistan security official who spoke with CBS News on condition of anonymity, the arrested individual is in fact "a Taliban militant leader who is known as Abu Yahya."
The official said evidence compiled from an interrogation of the suspect and information exchanged with U.S. officials verified the man's identify.
The reassessment only added to the confusion surrounding the arrest of a man earlier described by other unnamed Pakistani security officials as Gadahn.
"In the light of our latest information, I can say, this is not looking like Gadahn. But it is still the arrest of an important Taliban militant," said the Pakistani security official who spoke to CBS News late Sunday.
Western diplomats in Islamabad, responding to the latest twist to this increasingly confusing saga, said the arrest is not insignificant. "Even if this is not Adam Gadahn, it is still not an unimportant development. But let's hold our breath before we come to a final conclusion. We may be groping in the dark 'til someone, especially the Pakistanis who are holding this man, agree to present him publicly," said one western diplomat in Islamabad who spoke to CBS News on condition of anonymity.
Gadahn, who is also known by various aliases (including Yahya Majadin Adams and Azzam al-Amriki), has posted videos and messages calling for the destruction of the West and for strikes against targets in the United States, the most recent surfacing today, in which he praised the U.S. Army major charged with killing 13 people in Fort Hood, Texas and urged other U.S. Muslims to use him as a role model.
Gadahn grew up on a goat farm in Riverside County, Calif., and converted to Islam at a mosque in nearby Orange County, before moving to Pakistan in 1998, where he is believed to have attended an al Qaeda training camp, and served as a translator and consultant for the group,
Gadahn was arrested in the sprawling southern metropolis of Karachi in recent days, two officers who took part in the operation said. A senior government official also confirmed the arrest, but said it happened Sunday. The discrepancy could not immediately be resolved.
They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information.
The intelligence officials said Gadahn was being interrogated by Pakistani officials. Pakistani agents and those from the CIA work closely on some operations in Pakistan, but it was not clear if any Americans were involved in the operation or questioning.
In the past, Pakistan has handed over some al Qaeda suspects arrested on its soil to the United States.
If the man in custody is indeed Gadahn and authorities can get him to talk, he could offer valuable intelligence about al Qaeda's second in command Ayman al-Zawahiri and maybe even Osama bin Laden, Rowan said.
Gadahn has been on the FBI's most wanted list since 2004 and there is a $1 million reward for information leading to his arrest. He was charged with treason in 2006 and faces the death penalty if convicted. He was also charged with two counts of providing material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization.
There has been quite a bit of confusion since it was reported yesterday that an American Al-Qaeda member was captured in Pakistan. Both the AP and Reuters posted stories early on that the terrorist captured was Adam Gadahn. But, there has been no confirmation as to actually who was captured in Pakistan. We have heard that whoever it was that was captured within Al-Qaeda that it is not an insignificant capture. Regardless of who this turns out to be, this is a big catch in the War on Terror.
In recent months, Pakistan has ratcheted up its efforts to stop the terrorists in Pakistan and specifically on the Afghan-Pakistan border, where high-value Al-Qeada members are/were thought to be hiding. Pakistan has made a number of arrests and have killed some Al-Qaeda members as well. Pakistan should be commended for their actions in fighting, capturing, and killing terrorists.
We will just have to wait and see if in fact this is Adam Gadahn or not?
H/T goes to Memeorandum