Al Qaeda urges Americans to convert to Islam
An American al-Qaeda activist appeared in a videotape with the network's deputy leader Saturday and called on his countrymen to convert to Islam and for U.S. troops to switch sides in the Iraq and Afghan wars.
The 48-minute video, posted on an Internet site, had footage of al-Qaeda's No. 2 leader, Ayman al-Zawahri, and of Adam Yehiye Gadahn, a 28-year-old American who the FBI believes served as an al-Qaeda translator.
It was the second time Gadahn appeared in the same video with al-Zawahri. In a July 7 video marking the one-year anniversary of the attack on London commuters, Gadahn appeared briefly, saying no Muslim should "shed tears" for Westerners killed by al-Qaeda attacks.
Appearing days before the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks on the U.S., Gadahn spoke for nearly the entire video. Gadahn delivered a lecture on Islam and the "errors" in Christianity and Judaism. He also said the United States is losing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and told American forces they are fighting President Bush's "crusades." "Instead of killing yourself for Bush ... why not surrender to the truth (of Islam), escape from the unbelieving army and join the winning side. Time is running out so make the right choice before it's too late," he said.
Al-Zawahri gave only a brief introduction to the video, calling on Americans to convert to Islam.
"To the American people and the people of the West in general ... God sent his Prophet Muhammad with guidance and the religion of truth ... and sent him as a herald," he said.