BRANDOLAND: Talking to God...For You!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Evil-Doer or Dork With a Computer?

Yeah, there was a blackout yesterday. The power was off for about two seconds here in Hollywood - and a few hours in other parts of the city.

Fear: Al Qaeda!

Truth? Dudes from the DWP.

Apparently, some DWP technicians (working somewhere in West L.A.) cut the wrong wires and tripped the system's circuit breakers.

Not Al-Qaeda.

That didn't stop people from talking about "terrorists," though.

I was listening to Ed Schultz (a "moderate" radio commentator - at best) right around the time of the blackout. Within minutes, Schultz made the "Al-Qaeda" connection.

Don't have the direct quote, but basically...Ed said something like, "Hmm, a terrorist threat was made against Los Angeles this weekend. Today...they have a blackout. Hmm. Interesting. We'll see how this shakes out."

Blah blah blah.

Radio reports about the blackout also mentioned that Al-Qaeda threat - made over the weekend by an "American member" of our favorite terrorist organization.

DWP officials jumped on the problem and figured out that their own dudes cut the wires...fairly quickly.

But even after the after the DWP set the story straight, people continued to add the terrorist angle to the news.

Like the Chicago Tribune:
The blackout came a day after ABC aired a videotape of a purported Al Qaeda member making terrorist threats against Los Angeles and Melbourne, Australia, on the fourth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.
Which brings me back to the "Al Qaeda member" who made that tape.

You know, the guy ABC described as having "interests in the environment and heavy metal music."

My question to you, dear reader, is this:

"Evil-doer" or "dork with a computer" and decent video gear?

Let's start with the Washington Post:
NEW YORK -- Los Angeles's police chief dismissed as "just rhetoric" a taped threat by a purported al-Qaida member that was aired by ABC News on the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

"Yesterday, London and Madrid. Tomorrow, Los Angeles and Melbourne, ALLAH WILLING," the masked man says on the tape that ABC said it received Saturday. The man believed to be an American speaks in unaccented English.

"And this time, don't count on us demonstrating restraint and compassion," he says on the tape, aired Sunday on ABC's "Good Morning America."

The network said the tape had been delivered to ABC in Pakistan. The man on the 11-minute tape, wearing a black turban with most of his face covered, called the attacks of four years ago "blessed events."

ABC said the man is believed to be ADAM YAHIYE GADAHN, an American from California who is wanted by the FBI. The CIA said Sunday it was aware of the report but had no immediate comment about the tape's authenticity.
Adam Gadahn. An American from California...just like John Walker Lindh.


Moving on to...

A technical analysis of the videotape, which ABC received in Pakistan, suggests the speaker is the same man who appeared in a tape that surfaced in October and warned of a massive attack on the United States, a counterterrorism official said.

"The thinking is that it's the same voice," the official said.

Officials submitted the 2004 tape to weeks of technical analysis before saying they were confident, but not certain, that the speaker was Gadahn.

The FBI says Gadahn trained at terrorist camps in Afghanistan after converting to Islam in the 1990s.

You're up to speed.

Let's take a quick trip in the Brandoland TIME MACHINE.

Setting the dial for "OCTOBER 29, 2004 - Fox News Website."

(Time travel SFX.)

Oh, lookee:
GARDEN GROVE, Calif. — Multiple officials and terrorist experts suspect the man threatening vicious attacks against the United States in a purported terror tape is Adam Yahiye Gadahn, a young American who converted to Islam.


The FBI believes the 25-year-old Southern Californian has possible ties to Usama bin Laden's terror network Al Qaeda.

In the video, aired Thursday night by FOX News, a man wearing dark glasses and an Arab headdress wrapped around his face claims to be an American member of Al Qaeda and promises attacks that will make the streets of America "RUN RED WITH BLOOD."


Some U.S. officials had already speculated that the voice might belong to Gadahn, who also goes by the names Adam PEARLMAN and Abu Suhayb Al-Amriki.

In May, the FBI announced that Gadahn had ties with senior Al Qaeda lieutenant Abu Zubaydah in Pakistan, and that he had attended terrorist training camps in Afghanistan and served as a translator for the terror network.

"The magnitude and ferocity of what is coming your way will make you forget all about September 11th,” the man calling himself "AZZAM THE AMERICAN” says on the video.
Azzam the American?

Dusty Rhodes used to fight Azzam the American, didn't he?

"You can kiss your momma 'coz it's gonna happen!"
“After decades of American tyranny and oppression, NOW IT'S YOUR TURN TO DIE. ALLAH WILLING, the streets of America will run red with blood, matching drop for drop the blood of America's victims.”


The tape bears the LOGO of the As-Sahab Production Committee, which has produced previous Al Qaeda tapes.

The tape was handed to the CIA and National Security Agency by ABC News three days ago, multiple government sources told FOX News.

ABC is said to have received the tape last weekend from a TERRORIST SOURCE in Waziristan, a region in Pakistan near the Afghan border where the Taliban and Al Qaeda are believed to be holed up.

"We cannot verify the authenticity of this tape," one official said after the preliminary technical analysis presented inconclusive results. One source said the verification process had been complicated because the tape is a copy, not an original.

In the 75-minute message, the speaker praises the Sept. 11 attacks, calls Usama bin Laden and his deputy his leaders, and says a new wave of attacks could come at any moment.

The speaker claims the United States is his country of origin but does not say specifically where he lives.

He speaks both Arabic and English with an international accent that is hard to characterize, an intelligence official said.
I'll try to characterize the accent: Super-nerd doing a bad "terrorist" impersonation.
"The video content is classic Al Qaeda propaganda, in terms of anti-U.S. ideology and denunciation of the U.S.," a U.S. official told The Associated Press.

The official also said the video appears to have been made in the last several months, perhaps as recently as late summer, because of REFERENCES to the conflict in Darfur, Sudan, the Sept. 11 commission and the SAME-SEX MARRIAGE ISSUE.

Hello, McFly?

Hello, McFly?1



More info re: Azzam - from a bio written in one of our local indie-papers - the City Beat:
Adam Gadahn was born Adam PEARLMAN in Orange County. His father, acclaimed ’60s underground psychedelic musician Phil Pearlman, was the one who chose the name Gadahn. Phil Pearlman founded the West Coast group Beat of the Earth, a band often compared by critics to their East Coast counterpart, the Velvet Underground.


At around age 15, Adam moved out, changed his name back to Pearlman, and stayed with his grandparents in Santa Ana, presumably – among other things – to watch television and not have to shower out in the woods in the dark. What kid wouldn’t? He then became so obsessed by DEATH METAL that, as he writes in “BECOMING MUSLIM,” he “didn’t clean his room” for a year.


For its part, the FBI is not much interested in Adam Gadahn’s past musical life.

“We aren’t targeting him for listening to death metal. The FBI isn’t interested in individuals who are expressing their views,” says FBI spokesperson Laura Eimiller. “When those views turn into criminal activities, that’s when we become interested.”

Eimiller cautions that, despite information on the FBI website that Gadahn “may be armed and should be considered dangerous,” he has not been charged with any crimes. “We have questions about his activities based on the intelligence we’ve received.

We receive intelligence from various sources, a multitude of sources, prisoners at Guantanamo, electronic sources.

He is wanted for questioning and the investigation is ongoing.”
Of course it is.

Last bit from the City Beat article.

Get ready:
Meanwhile, people who spend a lot of time around the Southern California metal scene are still trying to figure out who this guy was and if they’d ever run into him in a club.

Only two former metalheads, Konrath and Chris Blanc, have come forward to say they actually met Gadahn during his “metal years,” and both only interacted with him in letters and by phone.


“I find that so strange, that a kid who was a fan of this never went to any live shows,” Malella wonders, “because that’s what the underground scene is about. It’s not like being a fan of Britney Spears. One of the cool things about metal is that you can go to a show for 10 bucks. These bands are always touring; Cannibal Corpse was out there around that time. And in Southern California, every show comes through.


Finally, a key excerpt from the online edition of Australia's Daily Telegraph:
PRIME MINISTER JOHN HOWARD, in New York for an international leaders summit, yesterday said the tape was likely to be genuine but the man believed to have made the threats had a history of predicting terror attacks that did not eventuate.

"It could also be the case that the person who has made these comments in the past has not . . . demonstrated to have had the capacity to deliver through on those statements," Mr Howard said.
I think that's an interesting way of saying, "Yes, the 'tape' is real, it's a TDK, but the guy who made it is a dork with a computer."
"Events such as this, WHETHER THE TAPE TURNS OUT TO BE GENUINE OR NOT, only serve to remind us of the changed world in which we now live as a result of terrorist attacks."

Hey, there's that "changed world" line again.
Yesterday the FBI spokesman said Gadahn, 27, "hasn't been spotted in the US and is believed to be outside the US".

"There is reason to believe he is in the Middle East region."

Has anyone checked Pomona?


The Inland Empire?


Adam Pearlman.

I mean - Gadahn.

I mean - Azzam.

"Evil-doer" or "dork with a computer?"

Think, think.

Think, think.

Think, think.

Dork with a computer.

Allah willing.

More later...


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