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US Files First Treason Charges in 50 Years Against Accused al-Qaida Member


U.S. prosecutors have filed treason charges against an American citizen for the first time in 50 years.

The Justice Department accuses 28-year-old alleged al-Qaida member Adam Gadahn of treason, which carries a maximum penalty of death. He also is charged with providing material support to a terrorist group.

Prosecutors say Gadahn is a California-born convert to Islam who appears in several al-Qaida propaganda videos. Some of those videos have threatened attacks against the United States and have contained messages from top al-Qaida official Ayman al-Zawahri.

Gadahn is believed to be living in Pakistan and has been sought by the FBI for questioning since May 2004. His parents say he converted in Islam in his late teens in the 1990s and later moved to Pakistan.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.