U.S. intensifies search for 'traitor'

June 2, 2008 at 2:46 PM

KABUL, Afghanistan, June 2 (UPI) -- U.S. officials say they are ramping up efforts to track down a top al-Qaida lieutenant from Orange County, Calif., who has been charged with treason.

Known as Azzam the American, Adam Gadahn is the first U.S. citizen since World War II to be charged with treason, and the State Department has initiated a publicity campaign in Afghanistan offering a $1 million reward for information leading to his capture, ABC reported Monday.

The network said Gadahn, a former heavy metal music fan who converted to Islam as a teenager, is believed to be hiding in Afghanistan and serving as a top aide to Ayman al-Zawahri, al-Qaida's second-in-command to Osama bin Laden. U.S. officials say Gadahn is one of the terror network's top propagandists and frequently appears in videos issuing threats to America.

Radio advertisements publicizing the big reward have begun airing in the country and printed materials including matchbooks and posters are being readied for distribution throughout Afghanistan in hopes of generating leads as to Gadahn's whereabouts, ABC reported.

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