Who is the first American to be indicted for treason in 50 years? No, it’s not John Walker Lindh. None of his convictions are terrorism-related, much less treason. It’s not Ismail Royer. His convictions are for weapons and explosives violations. The answer is Adam Yahiye Gadahn, trophy convert of trophy converts, who has been producing videos and other propaganda materials for Al-Qaida since 2004 under the name Azzam the American. From the New Yorker:
He is a member of Al Qaeda’s “media committee,” and his responsibilities are thought to include those of translator, video producer, and cultural interpreter. Primarily, though, Gadahn is a spokesperson, a role he performs with tremendous conviction. He has addressed the United States in five videos, most of which reach a wide audience on the Internet and, in some form or another, have been discussed on the evening news. Last year, shortly before the fifth anniversary of September 11th, Al Qaeda’s leadership featured Gadahn in a video titled “An Invitation to Islam.” The video began with an introduction from Ayman al-Zawahiri, Al Qaeda’s main theoretician, who referred to Gadahn tenderly as a brother and as “a perceptive person who wants to lead his people out of darkness into the light.” Zawahiri implored his Western audience to listen to Gadahn, even to follow his example.