Heart-ache: Not Gadahn?

posted at 5:43 pm on March 7, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Whenever it comes to Adam Gadahn, appearances are always deceiving, it seems.  First he’s dead, then he’s alive; then he’s out of the Taliban leadership, then back in.  Now it seems that despite earlier reports, the Taliban commander captured by the ISI is not Gadahn, at least according to CBS (via JWF):

An “important Taliban militant” was arrested today in Pakistan. But that is where the confusion started.

Earlier it was reported by Pakistani media that intelligence agents had arrested Adam Gadahn, the American-born spokesman for al Qaeda, in an operation in the southern city of Karachi.

It was further reported by the Associated Press and Reuters that Gadahn had been arrested, sourcing security officials.

CBS News was told by sources in the Pakistan government that it was Gadahn, even after U.S. officials refused to confirm it was the California native for whom a $1 million reward has been posted.

Now, CBS News’ Farhan Bokhari in Islamabad writes that earlier reports the detained individual was Gadahn proved false. According to a Pakistan security official who spoke with CBS News on condition of anonymity, the arrested individual is in fact “a Taliban militant leader who is known as Abu Yahya.”

Maybe we should have asked Radar Online?

However, don’t lose hope. Apparently, this Abu Yahya is still a big enough figure to be an important capture, if it’s not really Gadahn.  CBS also warns that it still could be Gadahn, but that we won’t know until Pakistan produces the detainee publicly.  When might that be?  I’m going to keep a close eye on Radar to find out.

Update: CNN at 6 pm ET reports that a “senior Pakistani government official” insists it’s Gadahn.

Update II: So does McClatchy at around 7 pm ET, citing multiple Pakistani sources.

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