Reports that Adam Gadahn, a 31-year-old convert to Islam and spokesman for al-Qaeda who was born Adam Pearlman in the U.S., has been arrested by Pakistani intelligence agents have yet to be verified.
Known also as Azzam the American, according to CNN, Adam Gadahn's supposed arrest on Sunday in Karachi, a city in Southern Pakistan which is the largest in the South Asian country, is awaiting confirmation.
Indeed CBS News, quoting the New York Times, is saying that the person arrested is not Gadahn, who uses too the names Yahya Majadin Adams and Azzam al- Amriki, but instead is Abu Yahya Mujahdeen Al-Adam, allegedly another member of the Sunni Islamist group al-Qaeda, born in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania.
CBS News claims to have spoken to a Pakistani security official and to have been advised that the person detained is:a Taliban militant leader who is known as Abu Yahya
and:In the light of our latest information, I can say, this is not looking like Gadahn. But it is still the arrest of an important Taliban militant
That "latest information" appears to have come from U.S. officials.
Various sources note that the U.S. authorities have offered $1 million for any information that leads to Gadahn's arrest or conviction for treason, a conviction that could see the man who has a mixed Christian and Jewish background, and who grew up in California, sentenced to death.
The charge of treason was laid in 2006, Bloomberg saying that it was the first such charge involving an American since the time of World War Two.
Said to have eventually renounced his U.S. citizenship in a video shown in 2008 Gadahn reportedly first began appearing in al-Qaeda videos in 2004, in disguise, then revealing his true identity two years after his initial appearance.
CNN reports that in 1997 Gadahn started work with an unnamed Californian charity thought to have links with al-Qaeda, before he moved to Pakistan in 1998.
Once in Pakistan he is believed to have attended an al-Qaeda training in 2004, the year in which the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) implicated him in plans by the group held responsible for the 9/11 attacks in the U.S. to launch a further attack or attacks during the 2004 U.S. Presidential election.
Al-Jazeera suggests that his role with al-Qaeda was as a translator and consultant.
And the last video in which Gadahn appeared was first seen on Islamist websites on the day of his yet-to-be-verified arrest.
The message delivered by Gadahn in the latest video makes special mention of Maj. Nidal Hasan, the army psychiatrist facing 13 counts of premeditated murder, and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder, after a shooting spree at the Fort Hood military base in Texas on November 5.
Gadahn is quoted as explaining:The Mujahid brother Nidal Hasan is a pioneer, a trailblazer and a role model who has opened a door, lit a path and shown the way forward for every Muslim who finds himself among the unbelievers and yearns to discharge his duty to Allah and play a part in the defense of Islam and Muslims.
It is rapidly becoming clear that this already-hot global battle is about to get even hotter. This is a war which knows no international borders and no single battleground, and that's why I am calling on every honest and vigilant Muslim in the countries of the Zionist-Crusader alliance in general and America, Britain and Israel in particular to prepare to play his due role in responding to and repelling the aggression of the enemies of Islam
When news of Gadahn's arrest first started to come through the Los Angeles Times obtained a comment from the head of the Californian city's Muslim Public Affairs Council, Salam Marayati. He said:We welcome the arrest. This is one step closer to defeating Al Qaeda and defeating the mentality of death and despair, which is alien to Islam.
I don’t think that what he has been saying has any merit in Islam. It is a political ploy