Wednesday, September 17, 2008

On the theory that AQ has killed or demoted Adam Gadahn

From what we know of Adam Gadahn's character and pattern of behaviour, there are a number of reasons to suspect that his comrades in al-Qa'ida have killed him, or are keeping him out of sight. But above all, the top guys in any criminal conspiracy such as al-Qa'ida are extremely anxious about whom they can trust. Gadahn has a history of betrayal and al-Qa'ida knows it.
If AQ has put Gadahn out of sight, temporarily or permanently, it explains why AQ has been silent about Gadahn's fate or situation.

Bin Ladin's speech of September 2007
After keeping out of sight for three years, Usama Bin Ladin reappeared in a video in September 2007. The production seems to have been scripted and coached by Adam Gadahn, ridden as it is with the buzzwords and rhetorical formulas that are fashionable in the Western mass media. Judging from UBL's beard, Gadahn might have even served as UBL's makeup man on that occasion. It is likely that Gadahn personally met Bin Ladin for the purpose of preparing that video. Once any person becomes aware of UBL's location, that person becomes a serious liability to al-Qa'ida. Moreover the UBL video, as a propaganda and intimidation effort, was a flop. The fact that the brothers had awaited it so long, made it all the more embarrassing. Gadahn's "Invitation to Reflection and Repentence" (IRR), a few months later, was also a flop, drawing a great volume of contempt and ridicule from the very people it was aimed at: the American masses. Thus AQ may have decided it was time to cancel the Adam Gadahn Show.

Loose cannon on deck
Gadahn once got expelled from a Muslim congregation in California after he assaulted its imam. If he were to behave like that toward a veteran mujahid such as Abu Laith al-Libi, Gadahn might well have been killed on the spot. We know that Gadahn is very vain and self-conscious. His contemptuous and condescending manner could soon earn him some deadly enemies in Waziristan or NWFP, or even a city such as Quetta.

Gadahn might well have given some thought to defecting, or rather reverting, from al-Qa'ida and back to the West. A hint that points toward that theory, is the religious rhetoric that he goes through in his IRR talk, which make it pretty apparent that Gadahn was still troubled by the contradictions and inadequacies that he had found in literalist religion. And moreover he might well have become simply bored by all the qur'aan-thumping that one would hear among religious fanatics and profoundly ignorant tribal people. Such ennui could bring him under suspicion of being murtad -- apostate. Islamist terrorists hate an apostate or a heretic more than they hate a kufr. Assassination is their treatment for such people.