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A Case Of Treason

A Case Of Treason

On October 27, 2004, the al-Qaida terror network broadcast the latest in a series of videos attacking the United States. Osama bin Laden and other al-Qaida leaders had been featured in previous broadcasts, but the October 27th video marked a new turn in the group’s propaganda campaign. In it, an American betrayed his country, urging violence against the U.S. and encouraging other Americans to betray their nation, too.

Adam Gadahn, also known as Azzam Al-Amriki, was born in the United States under the name Adam Pearlman and was educated in the U.S. He became an integral part of al-Qaida's media and recruitment branch after moving to Pakistan around 2001. In subsequent videos and broadcasts in 2005, 2006 and 2007, he continued to call for terrorist attacks against Americans in the U.S. and abroad, and urged American soldiers to desert their posts.

For these acts, Gadahn stands charged with Treason and Provision of Material Support to al-Qaida, a sworn enemy of the U.S. He is the first American charged with treason in more than fifty years, a sign of how seriously U.S. officials view the case.

"This man has advocated the overthrow of the Unites States government and applauded the murder of its citizens," said Thomas P. O’Brien, the United States Attorney heading the case. "He deserves to be prosecuted."

Recently, Gadahn was reported to have been killed or injured in an air strike in January on an al-Qaida safe house in Pakistan. These reports have not been officially confirmed. Until this time, Gadahn was still believed to be in hiding in the region.

To elicit information on his whereabouts and to make it harder for him to elude justice, the Rewards for Justice program is offering a reward of up to one million dollars for information leading to his arrest or prosecution. Rewards for Justice is offering similar sums for information to bring to justice other key terrorist leaders around the world. Since the program’s inception in 1984, seventy-seven million dollars has already been paid to more than fifty individuals.

Posters and other materials advertising pictures and information on Gadahn are being distributed throughout Afghanistan and the border regions. Information or tips on his activities and whereabouts can be provided with complete confidentiality to the U.S. Embassy in Kabul and the tip line at or e-mail information to