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Intelligence points to Californian on terror tape

Official: 'We have some confidence'

From David Ensor
CNN


Adam Gadahn
Adam Gadahn is wanted for questioning by the FBI.
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- U.S. intelligence officials say a videotape obtained last month in Pakistan by ABC News appears to have been made by an American wanted for questioning in connection with possible al Qaeda threats.

Intelligence officials now say they believe the man threatening terrorism against the United States on the tape is Adam Gadahn, a young Californian who converted to Islam and left the United States.

"We have some confidence but not certainty" that the voice on the tape is that of Gadahn, one official said.

In May, the FBI put Gadahn -- born Adam Pearlman in 1978 -- on a list of suspects it is seeking in connection with possible terrorist threats against the United States. FBI Director Robert Mueller said Gadahn was known to have performed translations for al Qaeda.

A government official told CNN the FBI does not know where Gadahn is. This official says there are no charges pending against him but that he is wanted for questioning.

ABC News broadcast portions of the 75-minute tape in late October, but a U.S. intelligence official said then that the CIA, after a technical analysis, could not determine whether it was authentic.

On the video, a masked man holding a rifle who identified himself as "Azzam the American" threatened further terrorist attacks against the United States.

"People of America: I remind you of the weighty words of our leaders, Sheikh Osama bin Laden and Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, that what took place on September 11 was but the opening salvo of the global war on America," he says. "And that, Allah willing, the magnitude and ferocity of what is coming your way will make you forget all about September 11."

A U.S. government official said then that the tape did not mention any means, mode or place of an attack.

The tape had been recorded relatively recently, since it referred to the humanitarian crisis in Sudan, the same sex-marriage controversy in Massachusetts and the report of the 9/11 commission, a U.S. intelligence official said.

The tape included a graphic indicating it was produced by the "Sahab Production Committee," which is the same as that seen on a number of authenticated al Qaeda tapes.

Kelli Arena contributed to this report.


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