A 28-year-old Californian who joined al-Qaida and appeared in propaganda videos for the terrorist organization was indicted Wednesday on federal charges of treason and providing material support to terrorists.
A grand jury in Orange County returned the indictment against Adam Yehiye Gadahn, 28, a suspected al-Qaida operative sought by the FBI since 2004 and believed to be in or near Pakistan.
It was the first time an American had been charged with treason since the World War II era, federal officials said.
Gadahn is believed to have attended the terrorist group's training camps in Pakistan and served as one of its translators. Gadahn appeared last month in a 48-minute video along with al-Qaida's No. 2 leader, Ayman al-Zawahri, calling on his countrymen to convert to Islam and for US soldiers to switch sides in the Iraq and Afghan wars.