Monday, March 08, 2010

Is he or isn't he?

Yesterday afternoon Twitter was buzzing with news that the tubby American traitor Adam Gadahn, aka Abu Al-Babee Fhat (OK, not really, but I like the name) among other aliases, had been captured in Karachi, Pakistan. Then came the buzz-killing news that maybe it wasn't Gadahn who'd been captured, after all.

This morning, ABC is carrying an article that seems to claim conclusively that the captured terrorist isn't Gadahn. Well, sort of.
A Taliban leader who goes by the name Abu Yahya, just like American-turned-al Qaeda spokesman Adam Gadahn, was picked up in Karachi in recent days, but that person is not Gadahn, a senior Pakistani government official told ABC News.

But there are conflicting reports about whether it is notorious Adam Gadahn.
Reports of the capture of an American-born al-Qaeda member by Pakistani authorities gave rise to speculation over whether it was Gadahn, the 31-year-old California-born Muslim convert who has been wanted since 2004.

The official told ABC News the leader who was arrested was possibly Abu Yahya Mujahdeen al-Adam, said to be another American member of al Qaeda, but the Pakistanis have yet to make that identification positive, the official said.

Dawn, an English-language newspaper, reports that Abu Yahya Mujahdeen al-Adam is an Egyptian-born U.S. citizen from Pennsylvania who helps command foreign militants fighting in Afghanistan and coordinates activities from Dubai.
I dunno...seems fishy. Granted, these guys claim more names than they do wives so there's sure to be some overlap. But to have two upper-echelon guys so similarly named? Possible, I guess.

Still, this is exactly the way I'd play it if I were the US intel guy on the spot and the captured figure was Adam Gadahn, given that Gadahn is a US citizen with a federal treason indictment.

He was captured by the Pakistanis and is in their custody subject to their interrogation, and Pakistani intelligence can squeeze the guy in ways we can't. So the US and Pakistan can play the yes-he-is, no-he-isn't game for a while and let Pakistani authorities get whatever intel they can, and then turn him over to US officials. At that point, as a wanted US citizen, he'd rightfully be turned over to the federal criminal justice system and have the right to shut up and get a lawyer.

Well, here's to hoping, anyway.

No comments: