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In the message, Gadahn stresses that U.S. embassies are not entitled to legal protection and that it is a religious duty for Muslims to attack them.

“Those conspiratorial missions are tantamount to a foreign occupation of Islamic land, and thus they enjoy no immunity, and it isn’t permissible to assent to their presence in Muslim countries,” he says.

In August 2007, Gadahn said al Qaeda would target diplomats and embassies in retaliation for the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq and allied military operations in Afghanistan.

Attacking the West

In his most recent message, Gadahn spends much time attacking Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan, the head of the internationally backed government elected last year. Gadahn calls him “a secular liberal … who lived for decades among the Western unbelievers, absorbing their degenerate culture, deviant principles and sick ideas.”

Mr. Zeidan, who had been a Swiss-based opposition figure and human rights lawyer since his defection in 1980, was one of the exile leaders of the popular uprising that overthrew strongman Moammar Gadhafi in 2011.

“Is this why you rose up against the accursed al-Gadhafi?” Gadahn says of his extremist brothers in Libya. “Is this why you sacrificed? … So that you could be a partner of the senior international criminals, the dissolute Zionist and Crusader unbelievers who are the killers of innocents, suckers of peoples’ blood and spreaders of unbelief, atheism, obscenity, vice, sexual perversion and moral corruption.”

Complaints about the moral laxity of Western society have been a theme in extremist propaganda going back to the intellectual godfather of the jihadi movement, Said al-Khutub, who was horrified by a student dance he attended in the United States in the 1950s.

Such complaints loom in Gadahn’s weekend message, in which he attacks Americans for their values, including their support for democracy in the Arab world, which he calls a “corrupt civil democratic system.”

“Among American principles as well: allowing and permitting adultery, fornication, sodomy and all types of vices, obscenities and perversions in the name of personal freedom, and permitting men to marry men and women to marry women in the name of equality,” he says.