A joint video taped speech by No. 2 Al Qaeda leader Ayman Muhammad al-Zawahiri, and his American ‘spokesman’ Adam Gadahn, known in Al Qaeda circles as “Azaam the American” appeared over the weekend. The tape in which “Azzam” was speaking in English and al-Zawahiri in Arabic with English subtitles appeared to once again be reaching out to Westerners, especially Americans. Both Gadahn and al-Zawahiri were wearing white, which in Islamic religious circles symbolizes both purity and mourning, offered unbelievers an ‘opportunity’ to convert to Islam, before it is too late.
“We invite all Americans and non-believers to come to Islam; whatever their roles and status in (US President) Bush and (U.K. P.M.) Blair’s world order, Gadahn spoke in articulate American-accented English. Continuing, Gadahn said: “Decide today, because today could be your last day. All non-Muslims who have been living in ‘darkness’ should now come into the light”.
The ‘open invitation’ was part of a 48 minute speech in which both “Azaam” and Al-Zawahiri lambasted the policies of both Bush and Blair, particularly their military activities in Iraq and Afghanistan. Though their locations were unknown, it was unlikely that the two men were speaking from the same place. Al-Zawahiri, and Osama bin Laden are hiding somewhere in a remote mountainous section in northeastern Afghanistan; and Gadahn’s whereabouts are unknown. His family, who live in California, have not seen him since he gave up “heavy metalism” in 1995 and converted to Islam. Soon afterwards, he left for Pakistan, where he is still presumed to be living. The U.S. FBI has issued an international warrant for his arrest on the grounds that “Azzam” is inciting acts of terror against the USA. To put it more bluntly, his actions border more on sedition, and even treason.
Al-Zawahiri’s sermon also covered recent “events” in Lebanon as well.
This is not the first time that radical members of Al Qaeda and similar organizations have offered “non-believers and infidels” the opportunity to embrace the faith of the Prophet Muhammad. In the summer of 2002, months after the now infamous September 11 attack in New York and Washington D.C., Osama himself appeared on tape to offer a similar invitation to embrace Islam. Less than a month afterwards, the Al Qaeda sponsored attack on the Tourist resort island of Bali in Indonesia occurred, resulting in the deaths of nearly 200 people, most of them tourists from Australia and other Western countries.
“These ‘invitations’ may actually be warningsâ€ a number of terrorism experts have noted. And warnings they could very well be, as the fifth anniversary of the “9-11” terror attack, the largest and most ferocious in American history, is only a week away.
Ironically, one of Al Qaeda’s top operatives in Iraq, Jumaa Farid al-Saeedi, otherwise known as ‘Abu-Humam’ was captured outside of Baghdad. Information he has supplied his Iraqi captors has included a number of terror operations in Iraq, including the one last February in Sumaara, where one of Shiite Islam’s holiest of shrines, the “Golden Mosque” was almost blown to bits. That operation resulted in a number of ‘tit for tat’ reprisal attacks by both Sunni and Shiite Muslims, which have now left that country on the verge of civil war.
Getting back to the warm invitation by both al-Zawahiri and his American protÃ©gÃ©, it is unlikely that the ‘opportunity’ they are offering will have many takers. What must be taken into serious consideration, however, is the possibility of another mega attack. After all, this almost happened six weeks ago in the U.K. Al-Qaeda is still a threat to be listened to, and these tapes, especially in English, should be taken very seriously, by Americans, Britons, Israelis and World Jewry as well.