CBS: U.S.-born al Qaeda arrest news incorrect

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CBS News is reporting the following: U.S.-Born al Qaeda Arrest News Incorrect

An “important Taliban militant” was arrested today in Pakistan. But that is where the confusion started.

Earlier it was reported by Pakistani media that intelligence agents had arrested Adam Gadahn, the American-born spokesman for al Qaeda, in an operation in the southern city of Karachi.

It was further reported by the Associated Press and Reuters that Gadahn had been arrested, sourcing security officials.

CBS News was told by sources in the Pakistan government that it was Gadahn, even after U.S. officials refused to confirm it was the California native for whom a $1 million reward has been posted.

Now, CBS News’ Farhan Bokhari in Islamabad writes that earlier reports the detained individual was Gadahn proved false. According to a Pakistan security official who spoke with CBS News on condition of anonymity, the arrested individual is in fact “a Taliban militant leader who is known as Abu Yahya.”

The official said evidence compiled from an interrogation of the suspect and information exchanged with U.S. officials verified the man’s identify.

The reassessment only added to the confusion surrounding the arrest of a man earlier described by other unnamed Pakistani security officials as Gadahn.

“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,” said the Pakistani security official who spoke to CBS News late Sunday.

The New York Times, sourcing American and Pakistani officials, reports that the man arrested was Abu Yahya Mujahdeen Al-Adam, and describes him as an al Qaeda commander who was born in Pennsylvania.

An earlier blog based on previous reports is below.

Will Obama administration follow through on treason charge with Adam Gadahn?

#3 NEW AP UPDATE: U.S. defense, intelligence and law enforcement officials could not immediately verify the reported detention of Adam Gadahn, a 31-year-old spokesman for al-Qaida who has appeared on videos threatening the West, including one that emerged earlier Sunday.

*Older UPDATES at the bottom

American-born al Qaeda spokesman Adam Gadahn was captured by Pakistani authorities, according to a breaking news report from the NY Daily News:

Adam Gadahn, the treasonous Californian Al Qaeda leader who has long been on Washington’s Most Wanted list, was nabbed in Pakistan Sunday - a huge victory in the battle against the terror network.

After some confusion in the intial reports, the Associated Press quoted Pakistani officials confirming the arrest of Osama bin Laden’s mouthpiece.

The Dawn, Karachi’s English-language newspaper, broke the news with a photo of a man being taken away with a bag on his head.

Gadahn was bagged just hours after releasing a new internet video urging American Muslims to go on shooting sprees like Maj. Nidal Hasan’s at Fort Hood last year.

He is the first American to be charged with treason since World War II.

If convicted, he faces the death penalty.

Growing up in Riverside, Calif., Gadahn moved to Pakistan in 1998 and received training in an al Qaeda camp six years later, said the AP. He has been sought by the FBI since 2004 and has appeared in more than half a dozen al Qaeda videos, heckling and threatening the West while calling for its demise. Gadahn had been tagged with a $1 million reward leading to his arrest or conviction, the AP reported.

The Obama administration appears to be flaky about where to try confessed 9/11 terrorist mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Will Obama’s Justice Department, headed up by Attorney General Eric Holder, fold and not follow through with the treason charge made in  2006 by the Bush Justice Department? What about interrogating Gadahn?

Don’t be surprised if Gadahn defenders cite the case of American Muslim convert and Jihadist  John Walker Lindh, who joined the Taliban and was captured in 2001 in Afghanistan by American troops. He was charged in the civilian criminal court system and given a 20-year federal prison sentence.

#1 Update: Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey points out Pakistan’s refusal to extradite captured terrorists. This may very well put another wrinkle into the situation both internationally and legally.

#2 Update: American Thinker’s Rick Moran says if Gadahn was indeed captured on Pakistani soil, extraditing him to American soil does not look good.

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About the Author
Kerry Picket

Kerry Picket

Kerry Picket, a former Opinion Blogger/Editor of The Watercooler, was associate producer for the Media Research Center, a content producer for Robin Quivers of "The Howard Stern Show" on Sirius satellite radio and a production assistant and copy writer at MTV.

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