October 4, 2008 / 9:20 AM / 9 years ago

UPDATE 1-American Qaeda figure says U.S. still runs Pakistan

(Adds details, background)

DUBAI, Oct 4 (Reuters) - American al Qaeda militant Adam Gadahn described Pakistan’s new leaders as U.S. puppets in a war against Islamic militants, in an Internet video posted on Saturday.

“The Pakistan Army ... and the professional spreaders of lies at their service are trying to make us believe that the state of Pakistan has turned a new leaf (after U.S-allied former President Pervez Musharraf left power),” Gadahn said in the video posted on Islamist websites. “These are not the leaders Pakistan wants and deserves. They are the leaders America wants and preserves in order to reach its policy objectives, hinder the jihad against the Crusaders in Afghanistan ... and ensure that nuclear-capable Pakistan remains docile, contained and sharia-free,” Gadahn said.

“Their battle has always been and remains to be America’s battle, not Pakistan’s. And this battle (against Islamic militants) is what has brought Pakistan to the verge of break-up,” said Gadahn, also known as Azzam the American.

Gadahn, born Adam Pearlman, is a California-born convert to Islam and the first American to be charged with treason since the World War Two era. He is believed to be in Pakistan.

Faced with an intensifying Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan, U.S. forces in the past month have carried out missile strikes with pilotless drones and a commando raid on the Pakistani side of the border.

The raids have strained relations between the allies. The Pakistani government has protested that the attacks violated territorial sovereignty and undermined its own long term efforts to crush militancy in a country where anti-American sentiment runs high.

But Gadahn dismissed Pakistan’s protests as a “cynical public relations ploy”.

Gadahn has made a number of videotaped messages on behalf of al Qaeda. In January, he urged Islamist militants to welcome President George W. Bush with bombs when he visited the Middle East and tore up his U.S. passport on camera.

Security analysts had speculated in recent months that Gadahn may have been killed in a U.S. air strike. (Reporting by Firouz Sedarat; Editing by Giles Elgood)

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