(Reuters) - A California-born
convert to Islam, accused of making a series of al Qaeda propaganda
videos, became on Wednesday the first American charged with treason
since the World War Two era, U.S. Justice Department officials said. ...
Fugitive Adam Gadahn, 28, who is
believed to be in Pakistan, was
accused of treason, which carries a maximum punishment of death.
the charges, Gadahn appeared in five videos broadcast between October
2004 and September 11, 2006, giving al Qaeda "aid and comfort ... with
the intent to betray the United States."....
"By making this
choice, we believe Gadahn committed treason -- perhaps the most serious
offense for which any person can be tried under our Constitution," [the
said, [acknowledging] that Gadahn appeared to be involved
only in propaganda for the Islamic militant group, not in planning any
The briefing room was quite for a minute.
The first question, from the Associated Press, was "Let me get this
straight. The most serious offense a person can commit under the
Constitution, one worthy of the energy of multiple DOJ employees, the
worst thing any American has done to betray his country since 1956 is
.... to make a video?"
reminded the spokesman.
Another minute of embarassed silence followed. "Did he beheaed
somebody in the video?," asked the Los Angeles Tribune.
"Did he deliver weapons, supplies, or money to Al-Qaeda?"
"No. They even supplied the camera and the tape."
"And this guy is an emotionally confused former goat rancher from
"Worst crime possible?"
(reporters huddle, then break)
"We were wondering, sir, if you could use the word "worst" in a
sentence, just to make sure you know what it means?"
"Ceratinly. This is the worst, most embarassing thing I've ever
had to announce."
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