The Continuing Story of Goat Boy, the Pesky Terrorist
If there's anything funny about the U.S. War on Terror and its hunt for al-Qaeda, it's the fact that nearly six years after 9/11, we still haven't been able to capture or kill Adam Yahiye Gadahn, a.k.a. Azzam the American, a.k.a. Goat Boy. At least that's what we've come to call Gadahn around the newsroom, ever since ABC reported in late 2004 that the masked al-Qaeda terrorist who'd appeared on videos that summer—in which he babbled about infidels and threatened America with a second 9/11—was actually a half-Jewish, half-Catholic son of an ex-psychedelic rock composer turned goat farmer who grew up in rural Riverside before converting to Islam in Orange County.
The last time we heard from Gadahn, back in May, he repeated his threat of terrorist attacks on U.S. soil, demanding America leave the Middle East permanently. That time, Goat Boy aimed his wrath at American diplomats. "We shall continue to target you, at home and abroad, just as you target us, at home and abroad, and these spy dens and military command and control centers from which you plotted your aggression against Afghanistan and Iraq," Gadahn railed.
After converting to Islam and punching out Islamic Society of Orange County leader Haitham "Danny" Bundakji—whom Gadahn and fellow radical Islamist Khalil Deek had taken to calling "Danny the Jew"—Gadahn (and Deek) disppeared to Pakistan. According to one of Deek's former neighbors, Saraah Olson, Deek recruited Goat Boy into Orange County's first terrorist cell back in the mid-1990s before escaping with him to the Middle East.
According to both intelligence sources and Deek's brother, Deek is dead, presumably killed either by Pakistani forces or al-Qaeda members enraged at his cooperation with Jordanian authorities following his arrest in connection with the so-called Millennium Eve plot. See my article about Deek here.
But Gadahn, as his numerous televised appearances reveal, is alive and well, as his latest missive, reported yesterday by the Associated Press, indicates.
Before he fell in love with Allah, Gadahn's passions ranged from pseudo-Satanic death metal to whining about the lack of indoor plumbing at his dad's hermetic retreat in the hills. Experts who wonder what makes the terrorists hate America so much would do well to ponder how happy they'd be if they grew up surrounded by goats in a dusty hillside farm without a proper toilet.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Orange County, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.