Conversion to Islam::Adam Yahiye Gadahn


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Conversion to Islam While living with his grandparents in West Floral Park, Santa Ana, Gadahn described himself as having a "yawning emptiness", and he sought ways "to fill that void". He explored Christianity on the Internet, radio, and locally, but later said that he found evangelical Christianity's "apocalyptic ramblings" to be "paranoid" and hollow.<ref name="bom"/> In 1995, at age 17, Gadahn began studying Islam at the Islamic Society of Orange County. Members of Gadahn's study group were young fundamentalists who "targeted the mosque's chairman, Haitham Bundakji", for his practice of "wearing Western clothes and being friendly with Jews".<ref name="BERNHARD"/>

Gadahn converted to Islam later that year, and shortly thereafter posted an essay to the University of Southern California Web site describing his conversion, titled "Becoming a Muslim".<ref name="bom" /> According to his parents, Adam was "arrested and convicted of assaulting his former mentor Haitham Bundakji in May 1997." He served two days in jail, but his failure to perform 40 hours of community service left a warrant for his arrest active.<ref name="NEWYORKER"/>

Gadahn reportedly moved to Pakistan in 1998, where he married an Afghan refugee and maintained intermittent contact with his family until March 2001, when all contact with his family stopped.<ref name="ABC unmasked"/> He told his parents he had been working as a journalist while in Pakistan — spending time in both Karachi and Peshawar — presumably a euphemism for his media propaganda efforts for al-Qaeda.<ref name="NEWYORKER"/><ref name="family security"/> He began supporting jihadi causes in the late 1990s.<ref name="NEWYORKER"/>

Adam Yahiye Gadahn sections
Intro  Background and childhood   Conversion to Islam   Al-Qaeda affiliation  Appearances in al-Qaeda videos  Death  References  See also  External links  

Conversion to Islam
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