heavy metal fan, who converted to Islam and became the first
American to be charged with treason in half a century, has been
fingered as the author of Osama bin Laden's latest video lecture
- which left the terror chief sounding like an anti-globalisation
leader's first video message for three years featured a bizarre
rant against America, with references to global warming, "insane
taxes", the US mortgage market meltdown and rising interest
chiefs were quick to name Adam Gadahn, the head of al-Qaeda's
English language media operations, as the author of large
sections of bin Laden's broadcast.
the 28-year-old "loner" became the first American charged with
treason since 1952, for appearing in a succession of al-Qaeda
videos under the guise of "Azzam The American", in which he
condemned globalisation and made American cultural references.
He was charged
in his absence, as he is thought to be near to bin Laden, almost
certainly in the tribal areas of Pakistan.
Gadahn, who as
teenager reviewed albums for a metal music magazine, moved to
Pakistan in 1998 and became an associate of Khalid Sheikh
Mohammed, the architect of the 9/11 attacks. In 2004, the FBI
named him as one of seven al-Qaeda operatives planning attacks
in the US.
The bin Laden
video, timed to coincide with the sixth anniversary of the 9/11
attacks, shows the terror chief, his beard dyed black,
condemning the "unjust" Iraq war and calling on Americans to
analysts was his use of the language of Left-wing protesters,
which showed detailed knowledge of the economic travails of
referred to "the reeling of many of you under the burden of
interest-related debts, insane taxes and real estate mortgage"
and blamed "global warming and its woes" on "emissions of the
factories the major corporations".
A former senior
US intelligence official said: "It has Adam Gadahn written all
over it." Mike Baker, a former CIA covert operations officer,
said the tape left bin Laden with "the title of biggest gas bag
in the terrorist world".
said voice analysis of the tape proved it was definitely bin
the election of Nicolas Sarkozy as French president, Gordon
Brown's appointment as prime minister and the anniversary of the
Hiroshima bombing on August 6 led them to conclude it was filmed
as recently as four weeks ago.
used the release of the tape to reinforce his view that Iraq is
the central front in the war on terror.
He said: "I
found it interesting that on the tape Iraq was mentioned, which
is a reminder that Iraq is a part of this war against
bothers to mention Iraq, it is because they want to achieve
their objectives in Iraq, which is to drive us out and to
develop a safe haven."
contained no direct threats, but Michael Hayden, the CIA
director, gave a speech on Friday, after he was briefed on its
contents, in which he said: "Al-Qaeda is focusing on targets
that would produce mass casualties, dramatic destruction, and
significant economic aftershocks."
officials said the US government had obtained a copy of the
video even though it had not been posted on Islamist websites -
sparking speculation that US intelligence has developed an
informant or cracked al-Qaeda's cyber security.
of the Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies in
Cairo, said bin Laden's words are proof the West cannot appease
al-Qaeda by withdrawing from Iraq. "The message is much more
threatening this time," he said. "It uses iconic language that
suggests: 'The only way to get peace is to convert to Islam.'
He's in a state of constant, unending war until he Islamises the
analysts said that the lack of specific threats is evidence that
bin Laden cannot direct specific operations from his base in the
tribal areas of Pakistan.
Peter Bergen, a
US journalist who has interviewed bin Laden, said producing the
video was a risk, as were previous audio tapes. "Every time he
releases tapes he lays himself open to detection," he said.
"They are taken
out by couriers from the tribal areas in Pakistan. If you can
trace the train of custody of these tapes you can find bin
Laden. He's keenly aware of that."
The full video
can also be downloaded here [677 MB]:
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