Meet Al Qaeda's Press Whiz, U.S.-Born Adam Kadahn, Fan of ABC, CBS, & Olbermann


The Washington Post's David Ignatius writes up Adam Kadahn, the 33-year-old U.S.-born media whiz for al Qaeda. In 2010, Kadahn, who was born in Oregon and whose birth name is Adam Silverman, wrote a long memo to Osama bin Laden outlining how the terrorist-on-the-run could get the best news coverage as the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks approached. Ignatius summarizes the document, which was pulled from bin Laden's final lair in Pakistan.

Kadahn hated Fox News ("falls into the abyss"); he liked MSNBC but complained about the firing of Keith Olbermann; he had mixed feelings about CNN (better in Arabic than in English) and made flattering comments about CBS and ABC. Basically, he wanted to play them all off to al-Qaeda's best advantage. He also mentioned print journalists, most prominently Robert Fisk of The Independent of Britain. He cites three Americans ("Brian Russ," "Simon Hirsh" and "Jerry Van Dyke"), though it's uncertain whom he meant…

Gadahn discusses how to game the coverage. Bin Laden could offer "an exclusive press scoop" to one network; but better to spread the material "so that there will be healthy competition." As for the print journalists, he suggests informing 30 to 50 of them that they've been selected to "receive special media material" for the 9/11 anniversary. If just a third of them respond, he notes, al-Qaeda will have 10 journalists who "will display our mission."…

Gadahn argues that the aftermath of the November 2010 U.S. elections is "very suitable" for new video: "All the political talk in America is about the economy, forgetting or ignoring the war and its role in weakening the economy." He says bin Laden shouldn't worry about being overexposed, because he can reach "millions of admirers" in the Muslim world, and "raise the morale" of al-Qaeda fighters who are "facing disaster after disaster."

The al-Qaeda spinmeister didn't like Fox News ("let her die in her anger"), but it's hard to understand why. Surely Rupert Murdoch's network, with its saturation coverage of the war on terror, did more to elevate bin Laden's profile than any other news outlet.

Whole article, which offers an interesting window into how not just terrorists but all groups seeking coverage think of the media. And how the messages folks seek to send are not necessarily addressed to the audiences of the media carrying them. That is, al Qaeda's use of American and European media is not about reaching Western minds as much as people in other parts of the world.

Kadahn has been on the FBI's most wanted list for years and has appeared in various al Qaeda videos. Read more about him and his conversion to Islamic terrorism.

Ignatius recently wrote of bin Laden's contempt for Joe Biden, who really just can't keep from being a global punch line.

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  1. He also said that the ending of “Lost” was “an abomination.” And denounces “the harlot Snooki.”

    1. Now I’m curious about his opinions on the Battlestar Galactica ending.

      Most media critics are drooling idiots so a rabid jihadi should fit right in and possibly improve the tribe.

      1. Don’t even get him started on ME3.

        1. He said something about a campaign of martyrdom operations against Bioware until it releases a free dlc that lets his Muhammed Shepard character save the galaxy and marry Tali and three of her modestly attired sisters afterwards.

  2. The al-Qaeda spinmeister didn’t like Fox News (“let her die in her anger”), but it’s hard to understand why.

    No, it’s not hard to understand why. One of Fox News’ major investors is Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal. Nothing gets al-Qaeda riled up like the House of Saud.

    1. Fox News stuff is much more likely to be UNFAVORABLE publicity. Other media outlets, like CNN and MSNBC are more likely to be (at least more) FAVORABLE publicity.

  3. “Simon Hirsh” is most likely Seymour Hersh, I would guess.

    1. Yeah, and what’s with the Jerry Van Dyke hate. ‘Coach’ was a terrible sitcom but Van Dyke is probably the most inoffensive human on the planet.
      Fucking fanatics.

    2. Isn’t Fisk more famous as a verb than as a writer?

  4. As an adolescent he became very involved in the death metal community, making contact with fans and musicians through alternative magazines.[2] During the summer of 1993, he formed his own one-man band called Aphasia.[2] In 1995, at age 16, Gadahn moved in with his grandparents … in West Floral Park, Santa Ana, Gadahn described himself as having a “yawning emptiness”, and he sought ways “to fill that void.”

    So, another loser who couldn’t get a girlfriend.

    1. Nice handle.

    2. Heh, i was thinking “another loser muso who couldn’t get a decent review on Pitchfork but knows how the media works”

      1. If Hit and Run had existed in 1995, is there any doubt he would have been the resident griefer troll?

        1. “the harlot John”

        2. ah but what would his handle have been?

          1. White Arab

            1. + Rain Sticks. & Halal arrowheads.

          2. Ezzam Al-Amerikee

          3. Al Phasia

          4. Self Hating Jew

          5. Jews For Hitler

            1. Jews for Paul.

    3. Why is the government ignoring men’s health issues? This dude needed to get laid yet there is no gov’t program to give him tickets to movies, vouchers for fine dining, discounts at jewelry stores, and credits for purchasing Beemer convertibles. This is an outrage and men should be marching on Washington demanding their rights and pointing out how terrorists are created when girls say “no.”

      1. Why not just cut through all that crap and give us single payer prostitution.

    4. West Floral Park is a pretty nice neighborhood, for Santa Ana.

  5. You know terrorists have jumped Oprah’s couch when they worry about “being overexposed”, because he (Mr. Been Laying in the Ocean) can reach “millions of admirers

  6. It is not real hard to figure out why they didn’t like Fox News. Fox News didn’t give them positive coverage and didn’t spend their time making excuses and moral equivocations. Places like NBC and the New York Times do.

    Here is a hint Nick, you like media outlets that go out of their way to make your enemies look bad.

    1. Yes, you can’t open the paper today without noticing all the al Qaida excuses rife throughout.

      1. It speaks for itself. They like Olberman and company for a reason. Maybe they are just completely irrational. But that is doubtful.

        You tell me, why do they like these people? What is your theory? And isn’t being “al Quada’s favorite American newscaster” not exactly something to aspire to?

        1. John was the same person shouting “nothing to see here” when various mass shooters in the US were found to love O’Reilly and Hannity.

          But this is a different day of course.

          1. 1. Which mass shooters listed O’Reilly and Hannity as their favorites? Maybe I missed it. But the only mass shooters I can think of was the guy who shot Giffords, who was anything but political, and the guy who shot the guard at the Smithsonian whose next target was the Weekly Standard. Not exactly an O’Reilly fan. So list those mass shooters complete with links to both their love of O’Reilly and Hannity and me saying that doesn’t matter or shut the fuck up.

            2. Even if you can produce such things in reality instead of your head, so what? Al Quada liking Olberman doesn’t mean that Olberman is responsible for Al Queda’s violence. It just means that Olberman and company, at least inadvertently, carry water for their media efforts.

            1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K…..h_shooting

              I know you get your news from Drudge and Hannity and so you probably don’t hear much about these stories, it’s ok.

              But what’s more amazing is that you actually commented on this story, and others, to the opposite line you are taking now.

              1. When a bad person claims to like right-wing sources John is all like “you can’t conclude anything from what an evil nut says he likes, it doesn’t reflect on the sources.” When it’s the other way around…

              2. Lets see the coments. I don’t stalk myself the way you stalk me. And you produced one guy. That is not a plural last I looked. But that is just your typical sloppy and careless thinking.

                Second, my position is the same. The talk show hosts are not responsible for this guy’s acts anymore than Olberman is responsible for Al Quada’s violence. Further, one lone nut is not an international terrorist organization. Having a lone nut for a fan is different than carrying public relations water for an international terrorist organization. As usual you completely miss the point, or more likely choose to miss it because you don’t like it.

                1. Peddle faster John!

              3. http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2…..pects-car/

                Bill O’Reilly, Michael Savage, Sean Hannity on accused shooter’s reading list

                4-page letter outlines frustration, hatred of ‘liberal movement’

                1. Not the same thing. Face it MNG, you talked out of your ass and got called on it. And I am still waiting for those other “shooters”.

                2. come on MNG….people on a reading list vs. media folks to actively court for your cause. You don’t see a difference?

                  1. No, the TN shooter liked right wing media and John claims and claimed it does not reflect on the content of the media; the terrorist liked left wing media, and John claimed it reflected on the content of the media.

              4. Adkisson’s manifesto[12] also cited the inability to find a job, and that his food stamps were being cut

                People are crazy

          1. The irony would be complete if the guy thought France should conquer Europe and occupy Germany for the new Nazi movement.

    2. Address The Jacket. Nick is merely the host.

    3. Also, they found Fox’s garish intro graphics an offense to Allah’s sensibilities.

        1. *blushing*

      1. just imagine what they’d do if they watched as far as Red Eye

  7. Don’t say “whiz” when talking about us.

    1. Nobody beats the Whiz! NOBODY!!!!

  8. Iirc I read an article about this guy in the New Yorker or something, and he is just a kid who grew up in the US and decided to go Jihad during the usual “find yourself” phase kids go through. It’s kind of hilarious and telling about al Qaeida that he was considered a “press expert” because of his sterling qualification of….being an American…

    1. When you have no understanding of American culture or thinking “being an American” is pretty valuable.

    2. Will he be the next one assassinated, perhaps a few weeks before the election?

    3. In a cave without media the man with one TV is king.

  9. werz der linx?

    1. Ha! I have brought Hit & Run to its knees!

  10. Fan of Olbermann?

    Now, ordinarily, I’m not in favor of murder-droning people, but this is a special case.

    1. C’mon! Kill this dude and Olbermann loses ten percent of his audience!

  11. His birth name is Adam Pearlman, not Adam Silverman. /pedantic

  12. All power to the Soviets

  13. Is the Romney campaign like an Etch A Sketch?

  14. So, is “Kadahn” Arabic for “drone magnet”?

  15. lol, check out that neck beard lol.


    1. gangs of beautiful women picking up male travellers to have sex

    2. You’re right, rather, a lot of Libertarians support prison reform.

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