An al-Qaeda activist who in a tape aired by the terror group called on American citizens to embrace Islam is Adam Pearlman, the son of a Jewish musician from California.
The New York Sun newspaper reported on Wednesday that Pearlman, 28, has been on the FBI's list of most wanted terrorists for two years.
Gadahn, formerly Pearlman, in al-Qaeda tape (Photo: AP)
His family converted to Christianity and adopted the family name Gadahn when he was a teenager.
Gadahn converted to Islam in a California mosque at age 17. His father slaughtered animals and sold meat to Californian Muslims.
An essay by "Adam Pearlman" was posted on the University of Southern California's Muslim Student Association compendium of Muslim texts, the Sun said.
Titled "Becoming Muslim," it states: "As I began reading English translations of the Quran, I became more and more convinced of the truth and authenticity of Allah's teachings. … Having been around Muslims in my formative years, I knew well that they were not the bloodthirsty, barbaric terrorists that the news media and the televangelists paint them to be."
Called "Azzam the American" in al-Qaeda propaganda tapes, Pearlman first appeared in a video by the terrorist organization in October 2004. "Allah willing, the streets of America will run red with blood," he said in the tape.
On Spetember 12, 2005, he appeared face covered in a video aired by al-Jazeera. "Four years after the blessed raids on New York and Washington, we find the people of the West continuing to speculate about the … historic events. … We find them uncertain about which steps or actions they must take to achieve the restoration of the security they once enjoyed," he said.
Shortly before the fifth anniversary of September 11, Pearlman appeared on al-Sahab, al-Qaeda's propaganda vehicle.
A day after the July 7 attacks in London, he appeared in a tape released by al-Qaeda to praise the attacks.