Sunday, March 07, 2010

Got the Traitor: Adam Gadahn Captured In Pakistan UPDATE: Or Not?

Score one for the good guys (if true - see below). Adam Gadahn, an American citizen who decided to become an al Qaeda spokesthug in Pakistan, was captured by Pakistani authorities in Karachi. He faces charges in the US for treason - the first US citizen to face those charges in more than 50 years:
The American-born spokesman for al-Qaida has been arrested by Pakistani intelligence officers in the southern city of Karachi, two officers and a government official said Sunday as video emerged of him urging U.S. Muslims to attack their own country.

The arrest of Adam Gadahn represents a major victory in the U.S.-led battle against al-Qaida and will be taken as a sign that Pakistan, criticized in the past for being an untrustworthy ally, is cooperating more fully with Washington. It follows the recent detentions of several Afghan Taliban commanders in Karachi, including the movement's No. 2 commander.

U.S. officials did not immediately confirm Gadahn's capture.

Gadahn has appeared in more than half a dozen al-Qaida videos, taunting and threatening the West and calling for its destruction. A U.S. court charged Gadahn with treason in 2006, making him the first American to face such a charge in more than 50 years.
I can't wait to hear how he was finally captured, and how and why the Pakistani forces moved when they did. There's definitely a story there as to how his capture came to pass.

Bill Roggio
notes that he was captured in a Mehsud dominated neighborhood in Karachi, which makes sense given that the Mehsud clan is among the most loyal of al Qaeda's Taliban accomplices.

Given the number of captures and kills in the past couple of weeks, it definitely looks like the intel is having a multiplier effect, particularly with the Pakistani forces who are taking it to the Taliban and al Qaeda.

CBS is reporting that it wasn't Gadahn after all. That's even as other media outlets are reporting that the ISI captured Gadahn in Karachi. MSNBC says that US intel officials aren't sure who was captured or whether it was Gadahn.

The NY Times notes that it wasn't clear whether the CIA was involved in the operation.

Once again, it looks like media reports from Pakistani sources have outstripped the facts on the ground. One can only hope that they do get it right and that Gadahn pays for his crimes.

It's possible that there was another American captured and that they had similar Islamicized names to Gadahn - one Abu Yahya Mujahdeen Al-Adam. The BBC claims that the person captured was an Egyptian American who goes by the name Abu Yahya Azam.

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