America

Pakistanis Not Sure How Big 'A Catch' American Linked To Al-Qaida May Be

This image from video released by IntelCenter Sunday, March 7, 2010, shows Adam Gadahn, featured in i i

Gadahn appeared in a video that surfaced Sunday. In it, he praises the U.S. Army major accused of killing 13 people at Fort Hood last November. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP) hide caption

itoggle caption (Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)
This image from video released by IntelCenter Sunday, March 7, 2010, shows Adam Gadahn, featured in

Gadahn appeared in a video that surfaced Sunday. In it, he praises the U.S. Army major accused of killing 13 people at Fort Hood last November.

(Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)

Pakistani officials don't yet know how important a member of al-Qaida an American captured during a recent raid in Karachi may be. But they are now correcting earlier reports about his identity.

The man is not Adam Gadahn, a 31-year-old American who has become an al-Qaida spokesman in recent years and has been indicted in the U.S. for treason and offering "material support" to the terrorist network, Pakistani officials now say.

Instead, he's someone known as Abu Yahya Majadin Adam — a name similar to one of the aliases that the FBI says Gadahn has used.

According to Pakistan's DAWN Media Group, "a senior government official" says of the American who is in custody that "we don't know yet how big a catch he is."

Politico's Josh Gerstein writes at his Under the Radar blog that the American's capture adds "even more heat to the already-white-hot debate over whether alleged terrorist operatives should be tried in ordinary criminal courts or in front of military commissions" because it raises questions about how an American citizen would be treated.

As the AP notes:

"Gadahn, the first American to face treason charges in more than 50 years, has appeared in more than a half-dozen al-Qaida videos, taunting the West and calling for its destruction. A video that surfaced Sunday showed him urging American Muslims to attack the U.S."

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