October 12th, 2006 11:25 EST
American Charged With Treason 28-year-old California man
A 28-year-old California man has been indicted on federal charges of treason and providing material support to a terrorist group for making a series of propaganda videotapes for al Qaeda, including one in which he praised the hijackers involved in the 9/11 attacks and referred to the U.S. as "enemy soil."
The charges filed in the Central District of California say Adam Gadahn, also known as Azzam the American, "gave al Qaeda aid and comfort " with intent to betray the United States." Gadahn is the first person to be charged with treason against the U.S. since the World War II era.
The FBI added Gadahn to the Most Wanted Terrorists list and the U.S. Department of State is offering a reward of up to $1 million for information leading to Gadahn`s arrest.
"Adam Gadahn represents a new breed of home-grown extremist, who has chosen to betray the country of his birth," FBI Executive Assistant Director Willie Hulon said during a press conference Wednesday in Washington, D.C.
Gadahn, a former resident of Orange County, appeared in a series of videotaped segments that were broadcast between October 2004 and September 11, 2006. In the first tape, Gadahn is wearing black sunglasses and a headdress wrapped around his face. He identified himself as Azzam the American and announced his relationship with al Qaeda. "The streets of America shall run red with blood," Gadahn said on the 2004 broadcast.
In a broadcast in 2005, around the fourth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Gadahn called the attacks "blessed raids" and discussed the "jihad against America." Earlier this summer, Gadahn appeared in a videotape that also contained statements from al Qaeda leaders Usama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri. More recent propaganda broadcasts aired Sept. 2 and on the fifth anniversary of 9/11.
Gadahn was among seven individuals singled out in 2004 by Director Robert Mueller and the Attorney General as posing a danger to U.S. interests around the world. As a result, Gadahn was added to the FBI`s Seeking Information list "in connection with possible terrorist threats against the United States."
Deputy Director Pistole said Gadahn`s indictment for treason and material support for terrorism prompted his elevation to the Most Wanted Terrorists list. "Gadahn is considered a high value target, which puts him high on the FBI`s radar screen," Hulon said. "This intense exposure limits Gadahn`s operational ability, but he still poses a different kind of threat as a communicator for al-Qaeda."
Gadahn, who is believed to be overseas, is 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighs about 210 pounds. He has brown hair, hazel eyes, and scars on his chest and right forearm. He should be considered armed and dangerous.
If you have any information concerning Adam Gadahn, please contact your local FBI office or the nearest American embassy or consulate. To submit a tip, visit our anonymous tip line.