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American Al Qaeda member Adam Gadahn tells of Jewish roots in video

June 14, 2009 |  8:32 am

Adam Gadahn, a Southern California-raised man self-described as American Al Qaeda has released a new video in which he talks about his Jewish ancestry.

Gadahn, known as "Azzam the American,"  lived in Garden Grove in the 1990s after  growing up on a goat farm in rural Riverside County. The FBI said he converted to Islam as a youth, left the United States around 1998 and later was associated with senior Al Qaeda lieutenant Abu Zubaida in Pakistan and attended training camps in Afghanistan.

In the new video, obtained by CNN, Gadahn talks about his background. "Let me here tell you something about myself and my biography, in which there is a benefit and a lesson," Gadahn said.  "Your speaker has Jews in his ancestry, the last of whom was his grandfather."

Gadahn's grandfather was Dr. Carl K. Pearlman, a well-known Orange County urologist who died in 1998. Pearlman, who was Jewish, received a community-service award in 1985 from the Orange County chapter of the National Conference of Christians and Jews, which has since changed its name to the National Conference for Community and Justice, for his work in the expansion of St. Joseph Hospital in Orange.

In the video, Gadahn refers to his grandfather, saying he was "a zealous supporter of the usurper entity, and a prominent member of a number of Zionist hate organizations. ... He used to repeat to me what he claimed are the virtues of this entity and encouraged me to visit it, specifically the city of Tel Aviv, where relatives of ours live," he said.

-- Shelby Grad

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