An al Qaeda member warned on a videotape Sunday that US President George Bush's upcoming trip to the Middle East will meet bombs and booby-traps instead of roses and applause, media reported Monday.
In the videotape, American al Qaeda member Adam Yahiye Gadahn renounced his citizenship to protest the imprisonment of Sheikh Omar Abdul Rahman, a blind Egyptian Muslim leader serving a life sentence for his role in the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center; and John Walker Lindh, the American Taliban who was arrested in Afghanistan in 2001, and others.
Gadahn displayed his passport to the camera, ripped it in half and said, "Don't get too excited -- I don't need it to travel anyway."
Though Gadahn spoke mostly in English, he referred to Bush -- who is to travel this week to the Middle East -- only in Arabic.
"We raise an urgent appeal to our mujahedin brothers in the Muslim Palestine, the Arabian Peninsula in particular, and the region in general, to be prepared to receive the crusader butcher Bush on his visit to Muslim Palestine and the occupied peninsula at the beginning of January," he said. "They should receive him not with roses and applause, but with bombs and booby-traps."
"His comments are indicative of an al Qaeda ideology that offers nothing but death and violence," U.S. National Security Council Spokesman Gordon Johndroe said in a written statement. "President Bush will travel to the region to stand with the mainstream governments who want liberty and justice for their people."
The 50-minute tape -- titled "An Invitation to Reflection and Repentance" -- was released by As Sahab, al Qaeda's video production wing and was provided to CNN by www.LauraMansfield.com, a Web site that analyzes terrorism.
"American jihadist" Gadahn, originally from California, is on the FBI's Most Wanted List, with a reward of up to 1 million dollars for information leading to his capture.
(Xinhua News Agency via agencies January 7, 2008)