"Adam Gadahn Video"
by Steven Emerson
CNN Headline - Glenn Beck
May 30, 2007
Multimedia for this item
GLENN BECK: First, though, in this country, we know the saying three strikes and you're out. Well, it seems like in the Islamic world the extremists have something similar. They call it a cycle of warnings. Once they have satisfied certain warning requirements in their twisted murderous minds, they believe they have every right to wage a holy war of terrorism.
Take a look at this new video. It's a warning to President Bush from Al Qaeda operative Adam Gadahn.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ADAM GADAHN: You will go down in history not only as the president who embroiled his nation in a series of unwinnable and bloody conflicts in the Islamic world, but as the president who sent the United States off on its death march.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BECK: Ooh, Adam, you are down, because that is really bad acting.
Adam Gadahn, used to be Adam Perlman. He was a nice Jewish boy, Jewish-Christian boy fromLos Angeles. He converted to Islam in his late teens and then moved to Pakistan. Hear it's beautiful, especially this time of year.
He became one of the first Americans to be charged with treason since World War II. Government's really kind of a stickler on people making Al Qaeda propaganda videos and posting them on the Internet.
The newest video is especially alarming, because it calls for an unconditional withdrawal of all Americans from all Muslim countries as well as many other demands. It's a warning, and it's not a subtle one.
Now here's something to think about. Just after the 9/11 attacks Osama bin Laden received sharp criticism from Islamic scholars, saying that Al Qaeda had failed to satisfy several religious requirements pertinent to waging war. Who knew jihad had so many rules?
The cycle of warnings philosophy is vitally important for our nation's leaders to recognize and understand, especially in the light of this newest Al Qaeda video.
But are they, and where are we in this new cycle of warnings? I'm almost afraid to ask, and fortunately, I already have.
We go to our guest, Steven Emerson. He is the author of Jihad Incorporated and terrorism analyst and one of the best in the world.
Steven, I've got to ask you, because you have been pointed out in some of these yourself. And part of the circle of -- of warnings, the first demand, the first time they say you have to convert. The second one is you can join and become part of our second -- you can be a second class citizen in the Islamic state. And the third one is here we come.
You were actually the last time around, they said, Steven Emerson submit and convert, did they not?
STEVEN EMERSON: Yes. Adam Gadahn issued a video naming me and three other Americans, demanding that I convert or suffer the consequences, and basically, I said, "Make my day."
I mean, he is a grade "B" actor, and I think he is full of rhetoric. His 15 minutes of fame are long over. I frankly don't pay him that much attention. I don't think he has any of the religious authority that would give him the standing to make a warning stick like Osama bin Laden or Ayman Al-Zawahiri.
BECK: So did that -- what was that like when you heard that? I mean, even with the really bad hand gestures? How did you feel? Did it bother you at all? Did it bother you at all?
EMERSON: Well, I must tell you, Glenn, that I've lived with certain amount of threats for the last 12 years, so it wasn't exactly new to me being named as a, quote, enemy of Islam.
And, you know, that's really the problem. It's not him naming me. It's what others who hear that will do in response to that. The hotheads out there, the Islamic extremists. They'll just shoot or kill anybody.
BECK: May I ask you a question? And this may be just a grade school question, but I mean it sincerely. I've thought it a million times, and I bet I'm not alone.
Why don't we just follow the Islamic UPS guy who's delivering these tapes to Al Jazeera? Can't we track those guys?
EMERSON: You raise a great question, Glenn, and I've often asked that to intelligence officials. Why can't we retrace the delivery route by which these tapes are dropped off at Al Jazeera? Why can't we put our own messengers in place so that they get to pickup directly from the Al Qaeda, you know, drivers? I don't understand.
Now, of course, in one sense if they are directly offloading these tapes to the Internet, then they don't need personal delivery men to make the drop-offs. And if they can disguise the actual access points or portal points then they're anonymous. Then they disappear.
So they've covered their tracks, and with high-speed Internet access points then they're perfectly anonymous.
BECK: You know, we haven't heard from Osama bin Laden, I think, in about a year-and-a-half. Do you think he's still alive?
EMERSON: Good question. I myself am beginning to doubt whether, in fact, he is alive. I mean, we've heard absolutely nothing from him. No audio, nothing, not even a representation from Ayman Al-Zawahiri that he is around. Nothing to rebut the claims that he's been dead. There was a flurry of claims a while ago. I don't know whether he's alive or not. I think it's a good question.
BECK: Does it change anything? I mean, I know that Osama bin Laden, he talked about an American Hiroshima. He talked about, you know, getting a nuke and wanting to get a nuke and planting it here in one of our cities or several of our cities. Does it change anything if he's dead?
EMERSON: No, it doesn't, really. He's a symbolic figure. He's an icon. He will live on forever. Al Qaedaism is really just shorthand for radical Islam. The Ft. Dix people didn't need al Qaeda to carry out or plan their plot against the Ft. Dix soldiers.
They will continue. Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad are going to continue fighting the infidels in their local battle theaters. And I think we live in this threat forever.
BECK: I will tell you, America, I don't think you really understand this. We are living in a "Schindler`s List" kind of world, and people like Steve are so incredibly brave to say what they do.
Steve, thank you very much and keep speaking out.
EMERSON: Thank you.