New Zawahri Video Features American
Al Qaeda number two Ayman al-Zawahri released a new video today calling for Americans to convert to Islam. Joining him was an American member of the group, Adam Yehiye Gadahn.
Al-Qaida’s deputy leader Ayman al-Zawahri issued a new videotape Saturday along with a man identified as an American member of the terror network, inviting Americans to convert to Islam. The 41-minute video, posted on an Islamic militant Web site nine days before the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks, had footage of al-Zawahri and a man the video identified as Adam Yehiye Gadahn, an American who the FBI believes attended al-Qaida training camps in Pakistan and served as an al-Qaida translator.
Gadahn and al-Zawahri did not appear together in the footage but were each featured on a split screen. Both wore white turbans and robes. It was the second time Gadahn has appeared in the same video with al-Zawahri. In a July 7 video marking the one-year anniversary of bombings against the London transit system, Gadahn said no Muslim should “shed tears” for Westerners killed by al-Qaida attacks.
“To the American people and the people of the West in general … God sent his Prophet Muhammad with guidance and the religion of truth … and sent him as a herald,” al-Zawahri said in an introduction to Saturday’s video.
Gadahn spoke with his face uncovered, resembling FBI photos, with his name and nom de guerre — “Azzam the American” — written in titles in Arabic and English next to him. “We invite all Americans and unbelievers to Islam,” Gadahn said, sporting a long, thick black beard with a computer terminal in the background.
It’s interesting that Gadahn now has a recurring role in these tapes. Perhaps they’re trying to broaden their demographic appeal.
One would think, however, that someone other than the group behind the 9/11 attacks would be a more effective messenger for presenting the “convert to Islam” message to an American audience.