Sunday, June 20, 2010

American Al-Qa'ida Central Member Adam Gadahn Featured in New Video: "Legitimate Demands 2: Barack's Dilemma"

Adam Gadahn ('Azzam al-Amriki, "The American"), Al-Qa'ida Central's (AQC) most public American face, is featured in a new video message produced by the group's media outlet, the Al-Sahab (The Clouds) Media Foundation and just released today. The video message is entitled, "Legitimate Demands 2: Barack's Dilemma" and it is, as the title suggests, in the form of a lecture or "advice" to the president of the United States, Barack Obama.

The video also features, as does the advertising GIF, a clip of the Jordanian doctor Humam (sometimes transliterated as "Hamam") al-Balawi, the double-agent who carried out a kamikaze bombing on December 30, 2009 inside a U.S. military base in Khost, Afghanistan which killed seven U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operatives and a Jordanian intelligence officer who was also a member of that country's royal family, the Hashemites. The clip is taken from a lengthy video produced by 'Umar Studio, the media outlet of Tehrik-i Taliban Pakistan (TTP; Taliban Movement of Pakistan). Al-Balawi, who is usually called by his jihadi-takfiri magazine pen-name, Abu Dujana al-Khurasani (Khorasani), sits alongside TTP leader Hakimullah (Hakeemullah) Mehsud (on the left). The part of the video used in the Gadahn video is al-Balawi's statement, made in English, that the "mujahideen" (warriors of faith) will "never forget" their prisoners, such as the convicted Pakistani-American Aafia Siddiqui.

Gadahn's list of demands follows familiar patterns in his past videos: withdrawal of U.S. military forces from the Muslim world, halting political and financial support of the autocracies in the Arab and Muslim worlds, halting the U.S.' biased position in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and the halting of providing "development aid" and assistance programs such as USAID and the Peace Corps in the Arab and Muslim worlds, and the release of "mujahideen" prisoners.

He, correctly, points out to "Barack," as he refers to the U.S. president throughout the video, that the U.S. is not facing simply a single organization or even a set of organizations. Rather, it is facing a movement, an idea that has been adopted by individuals who do not belong to AQC or "any other Islamic group," according to Gadahn. He points to Major Nidal Malik Hasan, the Fort Hood shooter. He calls for Obama to make "real changes," saying that his "pretty words" will never "belie his ugly actions."

Gadahn mocks Obama's speech in Cairo last year. He smugly asks the U.S. president how he will "keep out" the "mujahideen" from "an entire continent" when he cannot even keep out intruders from the White House, referring to Tareq and Michaele Salahi. The American AQC member also discusses Obama's fall from grace, which he says is exemplified by the Democratic Party's loss of the former U.S. Senate seat held by Ted Kennedy in Massachusetts. The health care debate is also referenced, though the recent New York City Times Square attempted bombing is not, suggesting that the video was made before the latter occurred. He unintentionally hinders the U.S. president's most partisan ideological critics by confirming that Obama has kept one promise, that of engaging AQC and its allies and affiliates.

Gadahn, who is infamous for his wooden delivery and horrible skills (lack thereof) as an orator, is still as inspiring as a frozen Codfish. In reality, the Codfish is more inspiring.

Gadahn, a convert to Islam from a Christian family (his father converted from Judaism), adopted a radical and militant interpretation of the religion. He first appeared, with his face covered, in an AQC video in 2004 and was added to the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) Most Wanted Terrorists list the same year.

A good but dated journalistic profile of Gadahn was published in 2007 in The New Yorker magazine.

A mobile-quality version of the video is embedded below. Medium-quality versions were all Real Media files, which (for some reason) cannot be uploaded to BlipTv, where I have an account for blogging use. A transcript is available via my Scribd account HERE.

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