CAIRO – Al Qaeda's American-born spokesman on Sunday called on Muslims serving in the U.S. armed forces to emulate the Army major charged with killing 13 people in Fort Hood.
In a 25-minute video posted on militant Web sites, Adam Gadahn described Maj. Nidal Hasan as a pioneer who should serve as a role model for other Muslims, especially those serving Western militaries.
"Brother Nidal is the ideal role-model for every repentant Muslim in the armies of the unbelievers and apostate regimes," he said.
Gadahn, also known as Azzam al-Amriki, was dressed in white robes and wearing a white turban as he called for attacks on what he described as "high-value targets."
"You shouldn't make the mistake of thinking that military bases are the only high-value targets in America and the West. On the contrary, there are countless other strategic places, institutions and installations which, by striking, the Muslim can do major damage," he said, an assault rifle leaning up against a wall next to him.
Hasan has been charged in the Nov. 5 shooting that killed 13 people at Fort Hood, Texas. The 39-year-old Army psychiatrist remains paralyzed from the chest down after being shot by two civilian members of Fort Hood's police force.
"Nidal Hasan is a pioneer, a trailblazer and a role-model who has opened a door, lit a path and shown the way forward for every Muslim who finds himself among the unbelievers," Gadahn said.
Gadahn grew up on a goat farm in Riverside County, California, and converted to Islam at a mosque in nearby Orange County. He has been wanted by the FBI since 2004 and two years later was charged with treason. There is a $1 million reward for information leading to his arrest or conviction.
He has in the past posted videos and messages calling for the destruction of the West and for strikes against targets in the United States. His location is unknown, but he is believed to be somewhere along the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
In the latest video, Gadahn said those planning attacks did not need to use only firearms like Hasan, but could use other weapons. "As the blessed operations of September 11th showed, a little imagination and planning and a limited budget can turn almost anything into a deadly, effective and convenient weapon."
Gadahn said fighters should target mass transportation systems in the West and also wreak havoc "by killing or capturing people in government, industry and the media."
He recommended finding ways to shake "consumer confidence and stifle spending" and noted that even unsuccessful attacks, such as the failed attempt to bomb a U.S. airliner on Christmas day, can bring major cities to a halt.
"I am calling on every honest and vigilant Muslim in the countries of the Zionist-Crusader alliance in general and America, Britain and Israel in particular to prepare to play his due role in responding to and repelling the aggression of the enemies of Islam," Gadahn said.