AL-QAEDA’S US-born spokesman has warned President Barack Obama the militant group may launch new attacks that would kill more Americans than previous ones.
In a taunting, 24-minute message that dwelled on Obama’s setbacks, including the loss of the Massachusetts Senate seat to the Republicans, Adam Gadahn set out al-Qaeda’s conditions for peace with the US, including cutting support for Israel and withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.
Gadahn said if you compared the number of dead Muslims “with the relatively small number of Americans we have killed so far, it becomes crystal-clear that we haven’t even begun to even the score,” he said, dressed in a white robe and turban.
“That’s why next time, we might not show the restraint and self-control we have shown up until now,” he said. Even if al-Qaeda was defeated, “hundreds of millions of Muslims” would still fight the US, he added.
Al-Qaeda offered the same conditions for an end to hostilities to then President George W. Bush in 2007, including the release of all Muslim prisoners and cutting off aid to Middle East governments.
Gadahn’s statement was notable for its mocking tone, in which he described Obama as “a devious, evasive and serpentine American president with a Muslim name”, and seemed to delight in his setbacks.
“You’re no longer the popular man you once were, a year ago or so,” he crowed, ascribing his drop in popularity to the escalation of the US wars abroad.
At the time of Obama’s election, many analysts said al-Qaeda was worried his race and Muslim family connections would make him more appealing to Muslims and Arabs angry at Bush’s foreign policy.
In its statements since his election, al-Qaeda has taken pains to show the continuity between Obama’s foreign policy and that of his predecessor.
Gadahn is wanted by the FBI since 2004 with a $US1 million ($A1.15 million) reward for information leading to his arrest or conviction. He is also known as Azzam al-Amriki, Arabic for the American.