Senior Al Qaeda member, Adam Gadahn, had denounced ISIS in a direct address to the terror group, telling them that “Jihad is not a video game“.
In a message written in an al Qaeda publication, Gadahn refers to the actions of the Islamic State as “atrocities” and “wrong“, warning that there “will be darkness for its perpetrator on the Day of Judgment“.
“My dear brothers: While no one can deny the considerable strength and prowess of the Islamic State group [ISIS] in military terms, at the same time, the crimes it has committed against Muslims cannot simply be overlooked or forgotten with time, because in Islam there is no statute of limitations,” the late Adam Gadahn said, according to an al Qaeda magazine published recently online.
“And if these wrongs are not brought to an end and rectified here in this world, then a severe punishment has been promised both for those who committed them as well as those who encouraged, condoned or justified them, even if from behind a computer or mobile phone thousands of miles away.”
“Oppression of any kind is wrong, and [there] will be darkness for its perpetrator on the Day of Judgment. The Ummah’s [Muslim community’s] Jihad is not a video game; it is real life, with real consequences, in this world and the next,” he said.
Gadahn, born Adam Pearlman, was killed accidentally in an American counter-terrorism operation in January, according to the White House. Apparently the U.S. forces who conducted the mission didn’t know Gadahn was at the target location. Another al Qaeda member said in the magazine that it was an airstrike that killed Gadahn.
The interview with Gadahn, in which he discusses his background as a California boy in an unorthodox home and his bizarre journey into the ranks of al Qaeda, appears to have been conducted last fall.
A majority of the 80-plus page interview is dedicated to sharp criticism of ISIS, the terror group that split from al Qaeda in recent years and one that Gadahn says “is already known to be responsible for the murder and killing of a large number of Muslims on the flimsiest of pretexts.”
“Does anyone think [Osama bin Laden and other al Qaeda figures] were calling on them to bring the wrath of the entire world down on Iraq and Syria by attacking and displacing largely powerless and defenseless minorities and slaughtering their men and enslaving their women and children?… Of course not!” he said.
“Frankly, all of us used to be sympathetic to varying degrees towards the Islamic State of Iraq [ISIS] despite its mistakes when it was seen as a weak and oppressed force valiantly fighting brutal tyrannies. But now that it has become clear that it has unfortunately adopted some of the traits, methods and tactics of those same tyrannies, it no longer holds the same place in our hearts that it did once upon a time.”
Early last week ISIS released its most gruesome video yet one showing the execution of a dozen fighters, some purportedly members of al Qaeda’s Syria faction. Different groups of the men are drowned, blown up by a rocket-propelled grenade or decapitated with explosives. Friday an ISIS affiliate claimed responsibility for the bombing of a mosque in Kuwait, which killed 27 Muslim worshippers.
In addition to the mass killing of Muslims, Gadahn also took issue with ISIS’s on-camera murder of Alan Henning, a British humanitarian. Henning was one of a string of Western hostages, including three Americans, to be executed by ISIS. Gadahn claimed that al Qaeda went as far as demanding ISIS release Henning because he was an aid worker.
“…[T]he brothers in An-Nusra [al Qaeda’s faction in Syria] sought the release of Henning soon after his kidnapping, but regrettably, their appeals – like the rest – fell on deaf ears,” Gadahn said. “Alan Henning didn’t go to Syria as a soldier or a spy. He went to Syria as a member of a Muslim aid convoy to distribute relief supplies to displaced and needy Syrians. But rather than thank him, some interlopers rewarded him first by kidnapping him and then by slaughtering him on camera.”
But Gadahn’s sympathetic words are out of place compared to other parts of the interview, where the American celebrated the attacks on Canadian soldiers and the Canadian Parliament, and later described his jubilant reaction to the 9/11 attacks in which his organization killed 3,000 innocent Americans.
“It was a mix of surprise, amazement and exhilaration as well as some apprehension, at least in the beginning,” he said. Gadahn said he was in Kandahar, Afghanistan when it happened and that night “there was a celebratory atmosphere People were congratulating each other on this incredible and historic victory with which Allah had favored us.”
And like ISIS, Gadahn also called for attacks in Western countries.“We in al Qaeda have been consistent in calling for attacks on America and its Crusader allies,” he said.