On Thursday, the White House announced the previously classified deaths of two hostages and two al-Qaeda leaders of American extraction, including the infamous Adam Gadahn, the terror gang’s roly-poly American propagandist.
Gadahn had been keeping a lower profile of late, until U.S. counter-terrorism forces lowered his profile permanently, Here is a reminder of who he was, courtesy of MEMRI:
Here he sings the praises of Major Nidal Hassan’s treasonous jihad attack on Fort Hood, and encourages American Muslims to follow his example:
According to Heavy.com, Gadahn’s last public address, in August 2013, was praise for the murder of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens in Benghazi.
NPR ran through Gadahn’s biography in 2010, describing him as “the plump, sometimes pedantic, star of al-Qaeda’s earliest videos.” Born in New Mexico with Yemeni heritage, he was raised by hippie parents on a Southern California goat farm, converted to Islam in the late Nineties, was swiftly befriended and radicalized by “angry, devout Muslims” at his mosque, got booted from the mosque after assaulting its chairman, and wound up at an al-Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan. He became a prolific propagandist, known to al-Qaeda as “Azzam the American.”
NPR recalls one counter-terrorism analyst comparing Gadahn and al-Qaeda guru Anwar al-Awlaki to the “PC vs. Mac” commercials once produced by Apple, with Gadahn the stodgy, geeky PC and Awlaki the hip, cool Mac.
Gadahn, who had a million-dollar price on his head, has been rumored dead before, but the White House seems confident they got him this time. Today’s statement concerns a counter-terrorist operation from January – a raid on an al-Qaeda compound in the Afghan-Pakistan border region – in which two longtime hostages were inadvertently killed, American Dr. Warren Weinstein and Italian Giovanni Lo Porto.
“We have concluded that Ahmed Farouq, an American who was an al-Qa’ida leader, was killed in the same operation that resulted in the deaths of Dr. Weinstein and Mr. Lo Porto,” says the White House statement. “We have also concluded that Adam Gadahn, an American who became a prominent member of al-Qa’ida, was killed in January, likely in a separate U.S. Government counterterrorism operation. While both Farouq and Gadahn were al-Qa’ida members, neither was specifically targeted, and we did not have information indicating their presence at the sites of these operations.”
According to the statement, U.S. intelligence had no reason to believe either of the hostages was present at the compound during the attack. President Obama takes responsibility for the operations, which he ordered declassified. “The uniquely tragic nature of the operation that resulted in the deaths of two innocent hostages is something we will do our utmost to ensure is not repeated,” said the White House. “To this end, although the operation was lawful and conducted consistent with our counterterrorism policies, we are conducting a thorough independent review to understand fully what happened and how we can prevent this type of tragic incident in the future.”