A tape delivered to ABC News in Pakistan this weekend features a masked man making terrorist threats against Los Angeles and Australia.
ABC News reported that the man is believed to be Adam Yahiye Gadahn, an American from California purported to be an al-Qaida member and wanted by the FBI. The CIA said Sunday it was aware of the report but had no immediate comment about the tape’s authenticity.
Counterterror officials believe Gadahn also may be the person on a 75-minute video given to ABC News last year in Pakistan.
The tape was aired on ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Sunday, the fourth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. The man on the tape, wearing a black turban with most of his face covered, calls the attacks of four years ago “blessed events” before making a threat against the U.S.
“Yesterday, London and Madrid. Tomorrow, Los Angeles and Melbourne, Allah willing. And this time, don’t count on us demonstrating restraint and compassion,” the man says during the 11-minute tape.
He goes on to call President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair “liars” and issues a warning.
“We love peace, but when the enemy violates that peace or prevents us from achieving it, then we love nothing better than the heat of battle, the echo of explosions, and slitting the throats of the infidels,” he says.
Investigators have said Gadahn, who grew up on a farm in California, converted to Islam as a teen, moved to Pakistan, attended al-Qaida training camps and served as a translator for the terrorist organization.
A phone listing for Gadahn’s father, Philip Gadhan, could not be found Sunday. Last year Philip Gadahn said that he was baffled by the allegation his son was an al-Qaida operative, saying he has spoken to his son only occasionally in recent years, but still can’t imagine that he would be involved with a terrorist network.
Pakistan’s Interior Minister Aftab Khan Sherpao said that authorities in his country “naturally inquire when such a tape appears, to know who delivered it or how. Asked whether Gadahn could be hiding in Pakistan, Sherpao said, “I have no information.”