June 20th, 2010
09:50 PM ET

U.S.-born al Qaeda spokesman: Obama is 'snakelike'

American-born al Qaeda spokesman Adam Gadahn appears in a new video purportedly from the organization, calling President Obama "snakelike" and saying he is "running the affairs of a declining and besieged empire."

In the video, posted Sunday on Islamist websites, Gadahn criticizes what he says is the United States' "aggression and interference" in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia, and also criticizes moving his "captive brothers" from detention centers worldwide to "Muslim-only concentration camps in Illinois, Bagram [Airfield, Afghanistan] and elsewhere - all in the name of protecting the American people from the threat of Muslim retaliation for American crimes."

He is apparently referring to a maximum-security prison in Thomson, Illinois, being considered by the government as a possible venue to house terror suspects.

CNN could not independently verify the authenticity of the 24-minute video, posted on websites known to carry such messages in the past and carrying the name of as-Sahab, al Qaeda's media arm. In it, Gadahn speaks in English; the video features Arabic subtitles.

"Yes, Barack," Gadahn says. "Just as our demands remain the same, the choice America and its allies face also remains the same - either the possible restoration of your safety and security by ignoring the opposition of your tyrannical corporations and special-interest groups and restoring the rights you have stolen from Muslims and other persecuted and oppressed nations, or guaranteeing for yourselves a future of misery, insecurity and ultimately defeat, should you continue to ravage our countries, interfere in our affairs and trample on our dignity, liberty and sovereignty."

The solution to U.S. security, he says, does not lie in improving intelligence-sharing, "occupation" or supporting "despicable regimes."

Addressing Obama, Gadahn says, "I know that as you slither snakelike into the second year of your reign as a purported president of change, you are fighting, your hands full, with running the affairs of a declining and besieged empire, and in the process proving yourself to be nothing more than another treacherous, bloodthirsty and narrow-minded American war president."

In March, reports of Gadahn's arrest came hours after websites posted a video of him praising the November massacre at Fort Hood, Texas, saying suspect Maj. Nidal Hasan "lit a path" for other Muslim service members to follow. Two senior Pakistani government officials said investigators had arrested Gadahn, but later backed away from those reports.

The U.S. government has offered a $1 million reward for information leading to the capture of Gadahn, the first American charged with treason since 1952.

CNN's Amir Ahmed contributed to this report.

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Filed under: al Qaeda • Obama
soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. bauske

    it is hard to determine whom it is that is dying

    July 2, 2010 at 12:16 am | Report abuse |
  2. Smith in Oregon

    Wow, this guy sounds like most of the Republican-Tea Potty members in regards to President Obama. As anti-America as Adam al Qaeda is, isn't the Republican-Tea Potty lawmakers, leaders and members also anti-America in their crass and calloused remarks about America's Commander and Chief also?

    June 22, 2010 at 2:21 am | Report abuse |
    • ImNoExpert

      >"isn't the Republican-Tea Potty lawmakers, leaders and members also anti-America in their crass and calloused remarks about America's Commander and Chief also?"

      No, the Tea Party is very much American. They are using their First Amendment rights to criticize the current president according to their own viewpoints, but do so in the hopes of improving America's situation if they take office. This man Adam is anti-American becuase he wishes to destroy America entirely, not replace its leader and improve it.

      June 22, 2010 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
  3. A.khaliq

    HOW can xpect from whom,who is not sincere with the creator, by considering this mortal life on Earth as a chance like a tossed coin,and is not sincere with the cause &ends of life.His authority is surely a destruction in micro+macro ,depending upon his scope of power&action.lets see the soloution in this strange thinkings-to save lives,peace,secuerity,tax payer's money and after all this most valueable limited life time,certainly has more what the contemperory world think,consider & taking on.IF not-wait &see...logical sequence of the history. ..Right & true is very difficult to accept,if it is against me...this is the whole story before the ultimate. think in isolation,before discussing in panels??

    June 21, 2010 at 11:04 pm | Report abuse |
  4. JoOrwell

    Oh, conflicts of interest bear heavy on our minds. I wish for peace in the Middle-East but it's rather unlikely, for just like the leaders of the United States, the terrorist groups of the east are extremely war obsessed. Maybe they are driven by power, financial, or religious needs, but the fact is they provoked war against a country that has spent almost every year in war since 76', that would be 1776 for those who carry their history lightly. Beware, it has repeated itself since the beginning of time. WAR IS PEACE & IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH. Dont forget why we fight.....it might not be the reason you think!

    June 21, 2010 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Slidereader

    What exactly does it mean to be snakelike? Those who create worthless similes are usually in their dotage.

    June 21, 2010 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • ImNoExpert

      He's probable drawing a comparison between Obama and the serpent from Genesis that tempted Eve, or just associating him with evil in general, since snakes have a generally negative image.

      June 22, 2010 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
  6. Sandra

    Interesting observation. Traditionally the serpent (snake) is a symbol of protection and used internationally as a symbol of protecting public health.

    June 21, 2010 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • ImNoExpert

      The medical imagery is based on pagan beliefs though, whereas the snake seems to have a negative image in Muslim, Christian and Jewish beliefs since the whole Adam & Eve thing when they were tempted by a serpent in Genesis. He's much more likely to go with the latter.

      PS: lol, Obamacare

      June 22, 2010 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  7. Dave

    He is alive because we want him alive. He has an implanted tracking device. He is giving up all his "buddies" and is too stupid to realize it. I wouldn't be surprised if the device recorded audio also. Apparently AL-Q hasn't heard of RFID. Believe it! He is alive because someone WANTS him alive, just like "Tall, Dark and Lonely".

    June 21, 2010 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  8. whybs on twitter

    Gadahn, talk as much as you want. Your life span has ~1.5 years left! 🙂

    June 21, 2010 at 8:08 am | Report abuse |
  9. Big Luke

    This guy always makes me sick. Its one thing to not agree with the our government and its leaders but its another thing to become a disgusting traitor that promotes violence against his own home country. Im just waiting for the day his loyal 'friends' in the caves get real upset about another drone slaughter of their comrades and decide to take their frustrations out on the first 'American' face they see...which would be you Mr.Gadahn.

    June 21, 2010 at 7:46 am | Report abuse |
  10. Iraq Paramedic

    The only people I see slaughtering them like cattle are the extremists & they are the relatives of these descendants. As for the coallition & Isaac's descendants we are defending against their voiced & written & taught violence against us. A little over 2,000 years ago Mohammed agreed to a truce with the christian crusaders. The christians have stuck to the truce & still due but the muslim & arab middle easterners seem to want to rule the world & implament sharia law. That will not happen, we will not let it happen & GOD says he will allow a great tribulation for 1,000 years & then a great war will start but JESUS CHRIST will come back down & put an end to all the evil once & forall.
    May GOD bless & keep us all !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 21, 2010 at 4:56 am | Report abuse |
    • LA rock

      You have no idea of what you are talking about and just throwing some lies.
      First Mohammad was not around during the crusaders. He died long before any of the crusaders form. And the crusaders were formed in Europe to ATTACK Muslims in the name of Jesus.
      Secondly, I dont see any " muslim & arab middle easterners" occupying or attacking other nations. The US attacked and occupied Iraq and Afghanistan. The US attacked Somalia, Sudan and Libya.
      And before that, the UK was occupying Palestine and then gave the Palestinian land to form Israel in the middle of the Arab world and since then Israel was waging war against all its neighbors occupying most of Palestine, South of Lebanon, Jolan heights from Syria, and Sina desert from Egypt with US weapons and unconditional financial and diplomatic support.

      If I can summarize the whole beef between Muslim world and the US it is ISRAEL

      June 21, 2010 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
      • MaryM

        and you would be wrong. Al Qaida and other extremists use religion as a facade to mask their intentions of domination over everyone. They don't like any other religion other than Sunni (more specifically Salifist Isalm), they even think Shia Muslims are heretics. By the way, do you not consider placing extremists in a country and driving planes into buildings a provocation? Luckily Bush did. Afghanistan was the result of a terrorist attack on the US. Besides attacking us, the taleban and Al Qaida has been terrorizing innocent Afghans for decades; it's a shame we didn't do anything sooner.

        June 21, 2010 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
    • ImNoExpert

      1) The Crusades began 1,000 years ago (First Crusade was 1080's AD after Alexios I called for help from the Western Europeans to regain lost Byzantine territories).

      2) Muhammad was alive from the late 500's to the early 600's AD, a full 400 years before the Crusades.

      3) What truce?

      4) It is true that Islam was founded upon the idea of spreading itself to all corners of the world, but Christianity had that goal as well, as did most other religions at the time that served as the primary faith of an empire. The Persian Empire and their militant Zoroastrianism is an example, if I remember correctly.

      June 22, 2010 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Dan in Lafayette, IN

      Iraq Paramedic you have not got it right , the great tribulation will last some say 3 and a1/2 years and some say 7 years but the 1000 years will be the Lord Jesus' reign and following that will be the final battle with the devil and those whose devastation on earth has been great without repentance for what they have done!

      June 24, 2010 at 9:02 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Iraq Paramedic

    It is terrible that someone would turn against his own country but, it happens everyday & has been happening ever since Cain slew Abel. Remember that a brother is born for adversity; Abraham had 2 sons, one buy his wife Sarha's handmaid ( Ishmael) & one by his wife Sarha ( Isaac ). Isaac was blessed by GOD with God's ever lasting covenant of eternal life thru the salvation of JESUS CHRIST the Massiah & Ishmael was blessed by God to be as a wild donkey in the widerness, his hand againts every man & every man's hand against him. It is all in the first book of the Bible, Genesis. Nothing is of man's plan, it is all of GOD's plan & only God knows when & where it will end. Read Ezekiel, Isaiah & Revalations & you will get an idea of what to expect.
    May GOD bless & keep us all !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 21, 2010 at 12:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Jerry

      I read the book of Genesis and you're right about Ishmael and his descendants are the modern day Arabs,but yet is that a good reason to slaughter them like cattle?

      June 21, 2010 at 1:59 am | Report abuse |
      • Coexist

        Does no one else find it ironic that someone who is criticizing al Qaeda for forcibly spreading their religious beliefs is using their own religion as justification for their argument?

        June 21, 2010 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Joey

    I want peace, dignity and sovereignty for the middle-east, too. But urging on the murders of innocent civilians is not the way to achieve that.

    Al Qaeda should lay down its arms and allow itself to be replaced with peaceful lobbying groups that can press for these changes. That Turkish aid convey to Israel did more to help the palestinians than all of the suicide bombings in the past thirty years.

    June 21, 2010 at 12:18 am | Report abuse |
    • MaryM

      You're so naive if you think Al Qai'da will let there be peace in the region. They are a war and power hungry beast that needs to be slain. All they want is to spread their ideology in the region and gain money and power. They don't want peace and they don't want to co exist.

      June 21, 2010 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
  13. Ozzy

    Sounds like Bahgdad Bob-empty promises. These guys talk a lot, but do nothing! Nothing but talk! Period.

    June 20, 2010 at 11:21 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Oh Yea

    Indeed. AQ and all it represents are desperate for power and control over others. It'd be their boots on our necks if we puss out and pretend that they are like us and would respect good people. No they'd take it all and take everyone back a few centuries and those that were not murdered would be bowing to a few mullahs or falsely elected "presidents" who are really a front for an elite hidden group of clerics hoping to control all. Nice....but no thanks.

    June 20, 2010 at 10:58 pm | Report abuse |