An American Al-Qaida member has for the first time acknowledged his Jewish ancestry, in an official video message released over the weekend by the international terrorist network.
Adam Yahiye Gadahn ? who also goes by the name Azzam the American ? declared his roots in a video which surfaced on Saturday, using the opportunity to urge Muslims to use "our weapons, funds and Jihad against the Jews and their allies everywhere."
"Let me here tell you something about myself and my biography, in which there is a benefit and a lesson," Gadahn says in the video, speaking in Arabic with English subtitles. "Your speaker has Jews in his ancestry, the last of whom was his grandfather."
Gadahn, 30, was raised in rural California and converted to Islam in the mid-1990s, when he moved to Pakistan and joined Al-Qaida. In 2006, the United States has charged him with treason and with providing material support to Al-Qaida. The FBI has placed him on its most wanted list and is offering a $1 million reward for his capture.
In the video, Gadahn describes his grandfather as a "Zionist" and "zealous supporter of the usurper entity, and a prominent member of a number of Zionist hate organizations? He used to repeat to me what he claimed are the virtues of this entity and encouraged me to visit [Israel], specifically the city of Tel Aviv, where relatives of ours live."
Gadahn's grandfather was well-known urologist Carl Pearlman, an active member of the Jewish community in Orange County California.
Gadahn says that despite his grandfather's attempt to impart the ideology, he could never embrace "the Jews' rape of Muslim Palestine. "
How can a person with an ounce of self-respect possibly stand in the ranks of criminals and killers who have no morals, no mercy, no humanity and indeed, no honor?" Gadahn says of Zionism. "Isn't it shameful enough for a person to carry the citizenship of America, the symbol of oppression and tyranny and advocate of terror in the world?"
Although Gadahn's Jewish roots have been reported before in the media, terrorism analyst Laura Mansfield told CNN that this was the first official acknowledgement. According to Mansfield, the video was probably taped in spring, prior to U.S. President Barack Obama's address to the Muslim world in Cairo.
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