T Nation

Terrorist Video Threats?

Drudge is breaking this story – IF true, this is very, very interesting - and disturbing, on several levels. I think Drudge is blowing the “ABC witholding” angle way out of proportion - if the government is looking at it, I think they are being responsible in checking the tape’s bona fides before running with the story. However, the tape itself is the story (and, as noted below, that part of the story seems to be corroborated):





In the last week before the election, ABCNEWS is holding a videotaped message from a purported al Qaeda terrorist warning of a new attack on America, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.

The terrorist claims on tape the next attack will dwarf 9/11. “The streets will run with blood,” and “America will mourn in silence” because they will be unable to count the number of the dead. Further claims: America has brought this on itself for electing George Bush who has made war on Islam by destroying the Taliban and making war on Al Qaeda.

ABCNEWS strongly denies holding the tape back from broadcast over political concerns during the last days of the election.

The CIA is analyzing the tape, a top federal source tells the DRUDGE REPORT.

ABCNEWS obtained the tape from a source in Waziristan, Pakistan over the weekend, sources tells DRUDGE.

“We have been working 24 hours a day trying to authenticate [the tape],” a senior ABCNEWS source said Wednesday morning, dismissing a claim that ABC was planning to air portions of the video during Monday’s WORLD NEWS TONIGHT.

The terrorist’s face is concealed by a headdress, and he speaks in an American accent, making it difficult to identify the individual.

US intelligence officials believe the man on tape may be Adam Gadhan - aka Adam Pearlman, a California native who was highlighted by the FBI in May as an individual most likely to be involved in or have knowledge of the next al Qaeda attacks.

According to the FBI, Gadahn, 25, attended al-Qaida training camps and served as an al-Qaida translator.

The disturbing tape runs an hour – the man simply identifies himself as ‘Assam the American.’

Note that there is some corroboration of this story:



Fox’s Bret Baier reporting from the Pentagon, said he learned a little before 1 pm EST. He said he heard from a senior administration official that the U.S. government has been looking at the tape for the last day. The speaker on the tape speaks in what the Fox source called, ?disturbingly fluent English.?

The tape had been circulating within the government for about a day; the feds don’t have certification on authenticity, but expect to have it later today.

Fox sources said ABC’s Brian Ross received the tape from a source in Pakistan.

[Posted 10/27 01:17 PM]

Gee…now we have a reason for cancelling the elections. I thought something like this might happen

I call a bluff. They are obviously trying to springboard off the spanish train attacks and scare people into voting kerry thinking it might prevent that from happening. They are most likely bluffing and now trying to use pure fear and propaganda instead of bullets and bombs. Who was it that once said, “the pen is mightier than the sword”?

Vegita ~ Prince of all Sayajins

I highly doubt they would even attempt to cancel the elections due to a threat of terrorist action. I don’t have an in with election officials or anything, but an educated probability of my being correct on that is P=0.999.

In the face of an actual attack, they might postpone the elections, depending on the location and size of the attack.

I think Islam will essentially destroy itself should they try a nuke against the great Satan!

The response would be overwhelming and justified. 9-11 got most of them killed. This would finish the job.

As I said above, it looks as if ABC is doing what it was supposed to do in this – I still want the CIA to weigh in on authenticity:

ABC News Gives Attack Threat Tape to FBI, CIA
Wed Oct 27, 2004 03:35 PM ET

By Steve Gorman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - ABC News has asked U.S. security officials to examine a videotape it obtained in Pakistan of an English-speaking man threatening a massive attack on the United States in retaliation for its war against al Qaeda, the network said on Wednesday.

A source familiar with the tape – whose authenticity U.S. intelligence officials have so far been unable to verify – said it contains a threat that the “streets will run with blood.”

Responding to questions about the tape after its existence was first reported by Internet columnist Matt Drudge, ABC News vice president Jeffrey Schneider said the network has not aired the video because its authenticity has not been verified.

“We’ve been working around the clock in an effort to authenticate the content of the tape,” Schneider told Reuters. “We have worked with the CIA and the FBI, neither of whom have authenticated the tape. Obviously, it would be beyond irresponsible to broadcast this tape without first authenticating it.”

He said the tape was obtained from a source in Pakistan over the weekend and arrived in New York on Monday, where it was first viewed by network officials. He declined to discuss details of it.

Government officials in Washington confirmed that the CIA was analyzing the videotape. One official said it was not yet known whether the tape is authentic or a hoax.

The source familiar with the tape told Reuters that the hourlong video features a man, whose face is concealed by a headdress, warning that a forthcoming attack on the United States would dwarf the suicide hijackings on Sept. 11, 2001, that claimed nearly 3,000 lives.

According to the source, the man says, “The streets will run with blood” and says the United States has brought this on itself for electing a president who has declared war on Islam by attacking the former Taliban rulers in Afghanistan and waging war against al Qaeda.

The source added that linguistic experts who have examined the tape believe the man, who identifies himself only as “Assam the American,” learned English at a very young age but is not a native speaker of the language.

“The intelligence community is analyzing it, working to verify its authenticity,” White House spokesman Scott McClellan told reporters in Vienna, Ohio.

A U.S. intelligence official said, “We have been unable to verify the tape’s authenticity.” The official added the review was continuing.

The question of whether the United States could be subjected to another Sept. 11-type attack has been a major issue in the presidential campaign.

(Additional reporting by Toby Zakaria and James Vicini in Washington)

? Reuters 2004. All Rights Reserved.

[quote]hedo wrote:
I think Islam will essentially destroy itself should they try a nuke against the great Satan!

The response would be overwhelming and justified. 9-11 got most of them killed. This would finish the job.[/quote]

  1. Who is the “they” you refer to? The religion of Islam personified? All who practice said religion?

  2. You believe that 9/11 has resulted in the killing of most people that practice the religion of Islam?

It’s all just another left-wing conspiracy by Kerry and the Democrats. Probably all Clinton’s idea. After all, he got a blow job.

No I believe it was caused by Al-Queda and that 70% of the leadership was killed following the attacks.

I beleive the worldwide Islamic Fundamentalist movement that began in the 40’s would self destruct should another massive attack be launched agains the US. It is my feeling that we would launch retaliatory strikes agains those nations that harbor terrorism after a suitable warning to turn over the murderers.

If you understand Islam…really study it and read the Koran and Hadith’s you will find that the only true way to Paradise for a Muslim is to become a martyr and kill infidels. That’s the only guarantee. As an Infidel I think this needs to stop.


And committed perjury as chief executive of enforcing laws, and said that he felt “great” about being impeached, and accepted bribes for pardons, and ripped off White House furniture, and trashed the White House…the list goes on and on.

Must be OK with you, he’s a Democrat.

By the way, you are a wimp for not accepting THE CHALLENGE.


[quote]hedo wrote:
If you understand Islam…really study it and read the Koran and Hadith’s you will find that the only true way to Paradise for a Muslim is to become a martyr and kill infidels. That’s the only guarantee. As an Infidel I think this needs to stop.[/quote]

Yes and if you study bible&history closely, you will realize we dont need to worry about being good or anything Jesus paid for all our sins already.

Thats how retarded your argument sounds. Please refer to the parts in the "Koran and Hadith’s " that suggest such.

Because if this was infact true the world would have been invloved in a full scale religious war for however long islam has been in existence.

OK BB now what?:


again Drudge


This is troubling. As far as it goes, sitting on a story for political reasons is as bad as running one for political reasons.

If they aren’t convinces it’s a real threat, that’s fair enough, but the “political considerations” thing disturbs me. I think they should run the story, and include any doubts they might have – that or give up the tape to the other news organizations and see if anyone else wants to go with it.


Alleged Terror Tape Gives ABC Pause
News Division Delays Airing Video as FBI, CIA Evaluate

By Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, October 28, 2004; Page C01

It has all the makings of an incendiary story: a chilling pre-election videotape featuring a supposed member of al Qaeda, declaring in English that “blood will run red in the streets of America.”

The problem, say ABC News executives, is that they can’t determine whether the tape, obtained by a producer, involves a real threat – or even the identity of the figure on it, a man wearing an ammunition belt and a headdress that obscures his face. The network enlisted the aid of the FBI and CIA but still can’t authenticate the 75-minute videotape.

“We’re not quite there to broadcast something that would be quite frightening,” investigative reporter Brian Ross said yesterday. “I’d love to have the exclusive, but first we’d like to get it right.”

ABC was put in the awkward position of defending its insistence on fully checking out the story after the Drudge Report posted a huge online headline: “ABC News Holds Terror Warning Tape.”

A network producer obtained the tape over the weekend from an intermediary in Pakistan – who charged a $500 transportation fee – and ABC’s New York headquarters got a feed of the video Monday, network executives said. They said they sent copies to the FBI and CIA, which have been unable to identify the speaker – who says he is an American and is brandishing automatic weapons – after comparing his voice to those of known terrorists. ABC hired two linguists who concluded that English was not the speaker’s native tongue. For example, he cited the country of Yemen as “the Yemen.”

“The dilemma is that we have an individual identified only as ‘Assam the American’ – we have no idea who that is,” said Christopher Isham, ABC’s chief of investigative projects. The unidentified man addresses his threats to “my fellow countrymen.”

In weighing the evidence, ABC staffers are mindful of the problem at CBS News, which has apologized for rushing on the air with disputed documents about President Bush’s National Guard service.

Ross and other ABC staffers say they believe that a Bush administration official leaked the story to Internet gossip Matt Drudge as a way of pressuring the network into airing the tape, which would heighten concerns about terrorism in the final week of the president’s reelection campaign. They note that whoever gave the information to Drudge had a transcript of the tape.

One counterterrorism official said the tape shows the man “just ranting and raving.” Another federal official with knowledge of the matter said that government agencies are pleased that ABC shared the tape and relieved that the network is not airing it while the video is still being evaluated. The CIA is examining the tape virtually day and night, this person said.

The officials, who declined to be identified because the administration is not commenting on the matter, say investigators do not believe the man on the tape is Adam Gadahn, a California-born Muslim convert identified by the FBI in May as an al Qaeda member wanted for questioning.

A U.S. intelligence official said it is possible the tape was produced by an al Qaeda unit called Sahab Production Committee because the video bears the committee’s recognizable logo and has been edited and spliced. The official called it “classic al Qaeda propaganda” and said the man on the tape even brings up the issue of same-sex marriage in Massachusetts.

The debate may not be over. The officials say a source with access to the tape, apparently impatient with ABC, has offered it to another broadcast news organization, which has called the government for guidance.

Drudge said yesterday that a political motivation behind the leak was “possible,” but put the onus on ABC. “They haven’t authenticated previous al Qaeda tapes before airing them,” he said. “Why are they waiting to authenticate this? It’s election week.”

But Isham noted that previous videotapes featured Osama bin Laden or other al Qaeda leaders who could be verified by sight.

“It’s either a well-done hoax or a tremendous news story,” Ross said. “We’re not going to get stampeded.”

Staff writers John Mintz, Dana Priest and Susan Schmidt contributed to this report.

BTW, here’s the Drudge link saying it’s been authenticated:



I think you are the most reasonable person I have ever met. I think we could all take a lesson.

The Christian Science Monitor has viewed the tape, and is reporting on its contents:

‘American’ voice on new terror video
ABC News is in possession of a tape purportedly from the group, threatening attacks on the US.

By Gretchen Peters | Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor

ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN ? A new videotape that has surfaced in Pakistan threatens a massive attack against the United States by a purported American member of Al Qaeda. It is not yet known if the tape is an authentic Al Qaeda production, but it bears enough resemblance that some experts are taking the tape seriously.

The chilling 75-minute digital videotape, seen by a Christian Science Monitor reporter in Pakistan, where it was obtained by ABC News, shows a high degree of sophistication and bears the logo of Al Qaeda’s video production house, As-Sahab.

On the video, the unknown man’s face is masked with a Palestinian scarf and sunglasses. He stabs the air with his finger, which appears to be fair-skinned, as he delivers his warning in American-accented English.

“Allah willing, the streets of America will run red with blood, matching drop for drop the blood of America’s victims,” says the speaker, who calls himself Azzam al Amriki (or Azzam the American). “What took place on September 11th was but the opening salvo in the global war on America.”

The next attacks, he adds, “could come at any moment.”

This is the first time a purported Al Qaeda video has featured an English-speaking messenger, and while he references the top two Al Qaeda leaders, neither Osama bin Laden or Ayman al-Zawahiri appear. This unique circumstance, as well as the highly charged timing of the tape’s release just days before Americans head to the polls, has the US intelligence community approaching the tape with caution.

“As-Sahab is an Al Qaeda propaganda outfit and engages in psychological warfare,” says Bruce Hoffman, an expert on terror at the RAND Corp. in Washington. “Given the hype of the US election in general, that the jihadists claim credit for affecting the outcome of the Spanish elections, and the heightened chatter that intelligence agencies acknowledge, I’m surprised we haven’t seen something like this sooner.”

While ABC has not aired the video, knowledge of its existence was leaked to the Drudge Report and picked up by the mainstream press including NBC, Fox, the Washington Post, and Reuters who all reported on the video without seeing it.

“ABC News has shared this tape with both the CIA and FBI as part of our reporting process. ABC News is committed to accurate, credible, and complete journalism and is applying the same scrutiny to this tape that we apply to all raw information. ABC continues to report this story very aggressively,” says Jeffery Schneider, vice president of ABC News.

At press time, the US intelligence community had yet to authenticate the video but they continued to work on it.

“Unless you can identify the individual or compare [it] to known samples, it is difficult to authenticate,” says a US intelligence official. “There’s no information in the intelligence community that links this video to a specific threat. So what [the speaker] is talking about doesn’t appear in other intelligence.”

The tape, delivered to ABC in Islamabad last Sunday by a courier who was paid a $500 transport fee, contains a lengthy Q&A session between “Mr. Amriki” and an off-camera interviewer. It ends with his warning, which cuts off abruptly when the tape runs out.

Analysts at Pakistan’s spy agency, the ISI, say the tape is genuine, explaining the material bears the same “signature” as previous As-Sahab video releases, which are unique in the world of jihadi video for their sophisticated editing techniques.

It features the same gold logo that appeared, among other places, in a 2003 statement from Mr. bin Laden.

There’s also simultaneous Arabic subtitling - a complicated and time consuming process to put together - and a scrolling message across the bottom of the screen (similar to the news tickers on CNN and Fox) that was featured on a recent statement from al-Zawahiri.

Since Sept. 11, 2001, as-Sahab has consistently pushed the frontiers of jihad media, publishing everything from “Nineteen Martyrs” (the story of the 9/11 hijackers) to live action terrorist attacks in Saudi Arabia captured on video, says terrorism consultant Evan Kohlmann, who saw a portion of the material. “For someone to put that amount of advanced effort into fabricating an as-Sahab video sounds a little far-fetched,” he says.

Ahmad Muffaq Zaidan, Pakistan’s bureau chief for the Arab-language network Al Jazeera and the recipient of past As-Sahab material here, also rated the material genuine. “We have seen this style before - the translation, the logo, the scroll,” he says.

The US intelligence official agrees that “there’s a production value” to the tape.

“The tape itself was edited and portions were spliced together,” he says. “It probably was worked on for a period of time - probably done fairly recently, as recently as late summer.”

The tape’s speaker references the conflict in Darfur, the 9/11 commission, Massachusetts same sex legislation, and the upcoming US presidential election.

Nevertheless, it’s become easier and cheaper to produce a relatively sophisticated video. With about $3,500, one can purchase a small digital video camera and a laptop with video editing software, and create output, which as Kohlmann puts it, is worthy of “a half-decent Hollywood studio.”

“Terrorist wannabes [have] manufactured an encyclopedia full of fraudulent threats and communiques on the Internet,” says Kohlmann. “It is now getting easy enough that similar wannabes can produce their own jihad videos too.”

Al Amriki issues several bursts of Arabic, mainly from the Koran, speaking the language well, but not as a native, say Arabic speakers who’ve heard the tape. And he’s clearly a sophisticated news consumer - quoting sources ranging from BBC’s Arabic language radio to US comedian Bill Maher.

His rhetoric - both in English and Arabic - closely mirrors past statements by Al Qaeda: calling US leaders crusaders and weaving a picture of America as a corrupt empire about to expire.

The courier who delivered the tape would reveal nothing about Al Amriki’s identity, saying only that he received the material last Friday in Peshawar. He insisted it had been filmed in Pakistan’s tribal belt, where militants are battling the Pakistani military.

ISI analysts believe dozens of US and European passport holders of Muslim descent have joined jihadi groups there, and say this man is probably one of them. Others believe he may be a new John Walker Lindh, the California native caught fighting with the Taliban in 2001.

US law enforcement agents have suggested it could be Adam Yahiye Gadahn, an Orange County native, suspected by the FBI to be working with Al Qaeda, possibly as a translator. Mr. Gadahn, who was born Adam Pearlman, also goes by the nom de guerre Abu Suhayb Al-Amriki.

“In the realm of psychological warfare, which is calculated to ratchet up the fear level, if it is a sworn enemy making those threats it’s one thing, if it’s someone speaking our language, living among us, it does heighten the sense of fear,” says Mr. Hoffman of RAND. “That’s what terrorism tries to do - raise the level of fear.”

? Reporter Gretchen Peters is also ABC’s producer in Pakistan. Staff writer Faye Bowers contributed from Washington.

[quote]hedo wrote:
No I believe it was caused by Al-Queda and that 70% of the leadership was killed following the attacks.[/quote]

First, I thought that number was declared an embellishment by Bush during the debates.
Second, the leaders that have been captured have been replaced…which seems to leave us having made less progress than one might be led to think.

I beleive the worldwide Islamic Fundamentalist movement that began in the 40’s would self destruct should another massive attack be launched agains the US. It is my feeling that we would launch retaliatory strikes agains those nations that harbor terrorism after a suitable warning to turn over the murderers.[/quote]
Fundamentalist muslims are not in the majority of the religion. The religion itself is the most popular religion in the world. We’ll never wipe it out nor should we wish, hope, or aim to do so.

If you understand Islam…really study it and read the Koran and Hadith’s you will find that the only true way to Paradise for a Muslim is to become a martyr and kill infidels. That’s the only guarantee. As an Infidel I think this needs to stop.[/quote]

You yourself have evidently never read the Qu’ran. Neither have I, but I am positive that in it there exists no such message as the one you have stated. Your brand of thinking, hedo, seems to be the most anti-progressive, irrational, and dangerous of all.

[quote]JeffR wrote:
and ripped off White House furniture, and trashed the White House…[/quote]

Are you and Rove dating, JeffR? I didn’t know anyone actually believed that most ridiculous story.

Why would they trash it when they’ll be moving back in in '08?

By the way, you are a wimp for not accepting THE CHALLENGE.

You’re such a dick!

Right Side Up-

I have read the Qu’ran. English translation of course. I have also read the English versions of the Hadith’s…do you know what they are? They are the stories of Mohammed’s life as recounted by his followers.

How about the Surrah’s (I apologize for the spelling I am travelling) I read those too. Also read the Bible…cover to cover.

Before you criticize my interpetation of the message…read them yourself son. Islam is not a religion of Peace. Do you know the definition of a Good Muslim…per the Prophet? I do? Have you been to Israel, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait…I have. Israel is the Peace Keeper of the Palestinians not the oppressor.

You are misinformed, idealistic and naive. Read more of the subject. Don’tfollow the PC dribble you have been spoonfed. If you can honestly and objectively read the Qu’ran and come away with a message of peace for all mankind then you have read something I missed.

Do you know that if a Muslim even questions the message of the prophet, in his own mind, he is condemmed for eternity??? It’s all there…not hidden.

As to the leadership being replaced. No kidding. The farm team moved up. Big drop off in skill levels. They will not last as long. They have an unlimited supply of murderers. We have an unlimited amount of power to use against them. Eventually they will get the message.

The point of the argument is that the fanatics are sheltered by the rank and file. The retaliation will be against all, not some. That’s a heavy price to pay for an attack upon the US with a nuke or something like it. It would effectively stop the spread Islam as we know it because the base would be anhiliated.


October 28, 2004

Drudge reports that the Al Qaeda videotape obtained by ABC News was sent to the FBI and the CIA and has since been authenticated. But ABC cut the last fifteen minutes of the tape, the portion where Americans are threatened with greater attacks if Bush and Cheney are re-elected, according to Drudge?s unnamed top government source.

ABC thinks it knows what the CIA ought to see, but they’re reportedly still scratching their heads about what they should say to we proles.



"One ABC source, who demanded anonymity, said Thursday morning, the network was struggling to find a correct journalistic "balance" before airing any story on the video."

Here?s some advice for you guys. Just air the damn tape without any edits or comments. You report. We’ll decide.