The Lessons of Adam Gadahn

Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book, Arab Winter Comes to America: The Truth About the War We're In, is now available.


The first American to be charged with treason since World War II was back in the news Sunday, both for a new videotape he released and for reports of his capture that turned out to be false. In the videotape, al-Qaeda operative Adam Gadahn, an American convert to Islam, praised the Fort Hood jihad murderer and called upon Muslims to carry out jihad attacks in the United States. The reports that Gadahn had been captured caused widespread excitement until the arrestee turned out to be a different American convert to Islam, Abu Yahya Mujahdeen Al-Adam, who like Gadahn is an al-Qaeda leader. The videotape and the arrest of the other American-born Muslim demonstrate yet again the cognitive dissonance that prevails at the highest levels regarding the nature of the jihad threat.

In the videotape, Gadahn called Nidal Hasan, who murdered thirteen people in the name of jihad and Islam at Fort Hood in November 2009, “Brother Nidal” and held him up as “the ideal role-model for every repentant Muslim in the armies of the unbelievers and apostate regimes.” And not just military personnel: Gadahn added that “Nidal Hasan is a pioneer, a trailblazer and a role-model who has opened a door, lit a path and shown the way forward for every Muslim who finds himself among the unbelievers.”

Gadahn advised his fellow jihad warriors: “You shouldn’t make the mistake of thinking that military bases are the only high-value targets in America and the West. On the contrary, there are countless other strategic places, institutions and installations which, by striking, the Muslim can do major damage.” He implored jihadis to think out of the box: “As the blessed operations of September 11th showed, a little imagination and planning and a limited budget can turn almost anything into a deadly, effective and convenient weapon.”

The California native also called upon Muslims to disrupt Western societies “by killing or capturing people in government, industry and the media.” These and other acts of jihadist violence would weaken “consumer confidence and stifle spending.” Gadahn grounded this appeal to mayhem in explicitly Islamic terms: “I am calling on every honest and vigilant Muslim in the countries of the Zionist-Crusader alliance in general and America, Britain and Israel in particular to prepare to play his due role in responding to and repelling the aggression of the enemies of Islam.”

Clearly this kind of appeal resonates among some Muslims – as evidenced by the fact that the captive confused with Gadahn was another American convert. And the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the shadowy Hamas-linked group that bills itself (and fools many of the governing establishment and mainstream media in doing so) as a Muslim civil rights organization, seemed anxious to dispel the impression that Gadahn’s message would gain any traction among Muslims in the U.S., or at least among CAIR members. When it looked as if Gadahn had been captured, the organization issued a press release saying: “We welcome the reported arrest of Adam Gadahn and repeat the American Muslim community’s repudiation of all those who would promote or condone terrorism anywhere in the world.”

High-sounding words, but ultimately devoid of substance – and not solely because Gadahn is still at large. Belying its moderate protestations, CAIR (an unindicted co-conspirator in a case involving the funneling of charitable contributions to Hamas by what was once the largest Islamic charity in the U.S., the Holy Land Foundation) and its allied Muslim groups in America have never developed any kind of program for mosques and Islamic schools to teach against the version of Islam that Adam Gadahn and Abu Yahya Mujahdeen Al-Adam believe in and practice. Their vague condemnations contain nothing that would dissuade a young convert from believing that he has a divine responsibility to make war against unbelievers based on numerous Qur’anic commands (9:5, 9:29, 9:123, 47:4, etc.) and the Islamic legal superstructure mandating jihad warfare that is built upon them. Said the Muslim Prophet Muhammad: “Allah assigns for a person who participates in (holy battles) in Allah’s Cause and nothing causes him to do so except belief in Allah and in His Messengers, that he will be recompensed by Allah either with a reward, or booty (if he survives) or will be admitted to Paradise (if he is killed in the battle as a martyr).”

Although they profess to oppose what Gadahn is trying to do in Islam’s name, CAIR and the rest have done nothing to prevent the conversion and recruitment to jihad of more Adam Gadahns. For Gadahn himself discovered Islam by cruising the Internet. The appeals he saw there were much like the one he himself issued Sunday: an assumption of Islamic authenticity and the moral high ground, even when calling for bloodshed and murder.

A young man like Gadahn who gains what he knows about Islam from the internet will find dozens of jihadist websites, many of which feature detailed explications of the Qur’an and Sunnah making the case for jihad warfare — and precious few, if any, Muslim sites that go into any detail to refute this interpretation of Islam in favor of the essentially peaceful upon the existence of which so much American policy is based.

Adam Gadahn’s videotape and the capture of Abu Yahya Mujahdeen Al-Adam thus not only remind us that we must continue to be on guard against the jihad against the U.S. that the Obama Administration would prefer to pretend is not happening; they also underscore the ever-increasing need to call slick groups like CAIR to account, and to implement genuinely workable measures to stop jihadist recruitment in mosques in America.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/eerieSteve eerieSteve

    What better way to kill people like this than send them to the House of Saud during Haj? They have to go their some day or they go to hell, as dictated by their religion. Simply pull a "Frank Lucas" on Adam Gadhan. That is where you tell them he is going to a safe house, make him walk up all the steps on a high rise, and then you push him out a window to kill him.

    Pollute my country with death? I pollute your heaven with your death, head first.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/JosephWiess JosephWiess

    Gadahn called Nidal Hasan, who murdered thirteen people in the name of jihad and Islam at Fort Hood in November 2009, “Brother Nidal” and held him up as “the ideal role-model for every repentant Muslim in the armies of the unbelievers and apostate regimes.”

    Yeah, right. Big bad followers of the death cult can only attack people who don't have a gun on them, However, if they want to bring it to the American civilian, we'll be more than glad to take it back to them. With a gun, a piece of rope, and very big tree.

    It's time for us to outlaw Islam and send every follower of the cult back to the middle east.

    • jalahclinger

      You are absolutely right, we need to send every muslim back to where they came from, and rid ourselves of the one in the white house as well.

    • kenavo

      Where is the KluKluxKlan when you really need them!

    • Kanwi

      Why not just cut off their heads as they would do to you.?

  • AntiFascist18

    No, after capture send him to Israel with the explicit instructions to Bibi that he, like Eichmann, be hanged. After all, he is NOT only a traitor to America, he is a traitor to the Jewish People as well.

    Of course you'll need a REAL American President in the WH to do this. The piece of crap sitting there now would give Gadahn a medal and a post, assistant to Emanuel or something along those lines.

  • The Oracle

    All of you and all of America need to get their heads out of their asses. If the muslims want a war, lets give them one, Totally remove them from our society. The American system of justice is NOT something they are entitled to. They are entitled to exactly what they try to bring to us, – death, bloody and swift. No trials, no fame, no stories in the papers, no wasting of taxpayer money to give them a trial (a forum where they can spit out this chanting of theirs) – expel them from our country once and for all.

  • http://www.crusaderknight.blogspot.com James Pawlak

    MECCA DELENDA EST!

  • poptoy

    Treason? Shoot Him.

  • Messenger

    Let's just make sure they don' take away our guns. This government is so pro-Islam it is not only disgusting, its treasonous. If they keep shoving Islam down our throats the way they keep shoving this disastrous health care bill we will have another civil war and I intend to protect myself and those I love. If we live under Islam death would be welcome, but I'll take as many of them as I can with me.

  • hawklight

    Yes. We have our 2nd ammendment rights for now…let's malke sure we keep them.

  • John C.

    The problem isn't jihadist recruitment it's the fact that Muslims are allowed to immigrate here, something Frontpage supports. Jihadists springing out of mosques is as inevitable as street gangs springing out of barrios, though the jihadist phenomenon is considerably more durable. Both Hispanic street gangs and "Western" Jihadists are products of the same factory: genocidal racism against the West and its people (it isn't coincidence that the majority of "converts" come from a PC lefty background). Frontpage supports the invasion that causes Islamic radicalism in the West (primarily because Frontpage supports the multiculturalization of America in general) but magically believes it can prevent the certain rise in militant Islam that follows by laying on a police state ("implementing genuine workable measures"). These workable measures are doomed to failure since they don't deal with the real problem and inevitably they'll be applied to the entire population.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/darkmorrow darkmorrow

    Evil seeks the weakest among us. It first promises heaven, then corrupts the soul for its journey to hell. Islam continually convinces me that it is the false Profit, as determined by the actions of its fanatics. For the 12th Imam to return, the world must be washed in blood, and they are more than willing to do what it takes to make that happen. The clock has been ticking. Only we the people can stand against the armies of evil and they spread death and tyranny.

  • MUTTNHEAD

    I THINK THE ROSENBERGS WOULD BE SURPRISED TO HEAR THAT NO ONE HAS BEEN CHARGED WITH TREASON SINCE WWII.

  • denmason

    Why isn't his REAL NAME used? It's PEARLMAN…or at least that's his daddy's last name.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/TheFonz TheFonz

    Why no mention that his real name is "Pearlman" and his grandfather was an ADL board member. This guy is a hoax!

  • USMCSniper

    Take him and shoot him at dawn and bill Iran for the bullet. Then harvest all his organs for transplants and feed the rest to some wild pigs.

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/avraidire Antoine Martin

    http://www.avraidire.eu/2010/03/bloguer-le-coran-… THE QUR'an in FRENCH HERE__BLOGUER LE CORAN EN FRANçAIS____Bloguer le Coran : Sourate 2, “La Vache”, versets 40-75____ ____Le Verset 40 de la deuxième Sourate s’adresse aux “enfants d’Israël” , commençant avec une méditation prolongée de ce que Allah a fait pour les juifs, et l’ingratitude qu’ils montrent à son égard. Le Verset 41 les prévient “et ne soyez pas les premiers à le rejeter. Et n’échangez pas Mes révélations contre un vil prix. Et c’est Moi que vous devez craindre. » Ce que les commentateurs islamiques interprètent généralement comme une exhortation à mettre le service de Allah avant les préoccupations de ce monde. Sayyid Abul A’la Maududi, un intellectuel renommé du XXe Siècle et un représentant de l’Islam politique, dit dans son immense ouvrage Towards Understanding the Qur’an que ce verset “fait référence aux bénéfices mondains pour lesquels les juifs ont rejeté les instructions divines”…__

  • Jay

    The world needs to wake up and come together to get rid of this cult of death called islam, the sooner the better

  • Len Powder

    "…precious few, if any, Muslim sites that go into any detail to refute this interpretation of Islam in favor of the essentially peaceful upon the existence of which so much American policy is based."

    In other words, America's policy is based on a lie the Islam is a 'peaceful religion'. A policy based on false premises will produce disaster. Political correctness is the ocean in which the terrorist fish swim freely and and the air in which they weave their spider's web. Political correctness must die so we can live. Deprive the invaders of air and water and they will perish, instead of us.

  • Marty

    It is time to understand that we are engaged in a struggle for survival, that the struggle is the result of 1400 years of relentless islamic violence and aggression, and allowing genocidal sociopaths in places such as iran to acquire nuclear weapons will threaten western civilization even more.