Al Qaeda confirms US strike killed American spokesman

Al-Qaeda has confirmed that a United States drone strike earlier this year killed its English-language spokesman Adam Gadahn (pictured), a California native better known as Azzam the American.
Al-Qaeda has confirmed that a United States drone strike earlier this year killed its English-language spokesman Adam Gadahn (pictured), a California native better known as Azzam the American.PHOTO: AFP / HANDOUT-SITE INTELLIGENCE GROUP

DUBAI (AFP) - Al Qaeda has confirmed that a United States drone strike earlier this year killed its English-language spokesman, a California native known as Azzam the American, the SITE Intelligence Group reported on Thursday.

In a special issue of Al Qaeda English-language magazine Resurgence, editor Hassaan Yusuf wrote that Azzam, whose real name was Adam Gadahn, was killed in a strike thought to have taken place in January on an Al Qaeda compound in Pakistan.

Mr Yusuf also said Ahmed Faruq, an American described as a leader of Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent, and American and Italian hostages Warren Weinstein and Giovanni Lo Porto, were killed in another strike "a few weeks" prior.

The White House has said neither Gadahn nor Faruq were specifically targeted in the strikes, and US President Barack Obama said in April he took "full responsibility" for the accidental killing of the hostages.

Gadahn was a teenage death metal music fan who grew up on a California goat farm before he was drawn into radical Islam.

He was one of the most high-profile figures in the global jihadist movement and a regular online presence, taunting his homeland and inciting attacks.