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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Who's Abu Yahya Mujahideen Al-Adam?

Now that early reports of the arrest of American Al Qaeda spokesman Adam Gadahn have, somewhat predictably, turned out to be wrong (I hope you all noted my big fat disclaimer yesterday), we're left with the question of exactly whom did the Pakistanis arrest?

Most reports are now naming the man in custody as Abu Yahya Mujahideen Al-Adam, aka Abu Yahya Majadin Adam or some variation therein. Everyone seems to agree that he's from Pennyslvania.

Beyond that, the most detailed information comes from Dawn, a Pakistani newspaper of uneven reliability.

According to Dawn, Al-Adam is a "close friend" of Osama bin Laden, which seems rather doubtful to me, but not impossible. It depends on the age of the man in question. Here's a little idle speculation to fill your time as we await more specific and verifiable information.

There was a jihadist during the late 1990s named Adam Mohammed Noor, who was an associate of Wadih El-Hage, an American who was actually a close associate of Bin Laden. There was also an American "Adam" who was a close friend of Ali Mohamed, another American who kept close company with Bin Laden. It's not clear if these two Adams were the same person. (Mohamed himself used the alias "Ahmed Bahaa Adam" occasionally.)

As more information comes out, I will post updates.

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INTELWIRE is a web site edited by J.M. Berger. a researcher, analyst and consultant covering extremism, with a special focus on extremist activities in the U.S. and extremist use of social media. He is a non-resident fellow with the Brookings Institution, Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World, and author of the critically acclaimed Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam, the only definitive history of the U.S. jihadist movement, and co-author of ISIS: The State of Terror with Jessica Stern.


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