Revolution Muslim Leader Yousef al-Khattab Anticipates Arrest » ADL Blogs
February 15, 2012 Off

Revolution Muslim Leader Yousef al-Khattab Anticipates Arrest

Update: On June 22, 2012, Muham­mad was sen­tenced to 11.5 years in prison.

Yousef al-Khattab, cofounder and for­mer leader of the fringe extrem­ist Mus­lim orga­ni­za­tion Rev­o­lu­tion Mus­lim, has released a 20-minute video on YouTube respond­ing to Younes Abdul­lah Muhammad’s guilty plea last week to charges of using the Inter­net to con­spire to solicit mur­der and make threat­en­ing communications.

Al-Khattab, who headed Rev­o­lu­tion Mus­lim with Muham­mad between 2007 and Decem­ber 2009, infused the group’s activ­ity with his provoca­tive style and vir­u­lent hatred of Jews, espe­cially Ortho­dox Jewry.

In his video, al-Khattab spends much of the time talk­ing about the fine line between free speech and “being a mouth­piece for the muja­hedeen,” as well as his rela­tion­ship and activ­ity with Muham­mad dur­ing their time with Rev­o­lu­tion Mus­lim. Although he con­cludes that he never “did break the law,” he expresses his belief that he too will be arrested.

He also defends the state­ments he has issued online over the years. “I’ll never shut up….everything that I have said when it comes to the issue of Zion­ists or America’s for­eign pol­icy, occu­py­ing sov­er­eign ter­ri­to­ries over­seas, I believe that every­thing I said is true.” 

On sev­eral occa­sions, al-Khattab posted online state­ments that included implicit, if not explicit, threats, par­tic­u­larly against reli­gious Jews. For exam­ple, on Octo­ber 7, 2009, a poem by al-Khattab on the group’s web­site included lan­guage ask­ing God to “kill the Jews.” In the poem, which coin­cided with the Jew­ish hol­i­day of Sukkoth, al-Khattab listed ways Jews could be hurt, includ­ing by burn­ing “their flam­ma­ble sukkos while they sleep” and throw­ing “liq­uid drain cleaner in their faces.”

This pat­tern of online threats began sev­eral years before al-Khattab founded of RM when, in 2002, al-Khattab posted a seem­ingly threat­en­ing note regard­ing a New York rabbi. He posted the rabbi’s photo and home address and wrote: “Please make every effort to reach this man, and help him under­stand what its like to suf­fer under lies…Please Ikhwan [Ara­bic for “broth­ers”], just make con­tact with this man.”  Al-Khattab later claimed that his home was raided by the police because of a fab­ri­cated com­plaint by this rabbi.

Refer­ring to his 2009 post­ing on the Rev­o­lu­tion Mus­lim Web site of a pic­ture of Chabad’s world head­quar­ters in Brook­lyn with a mes­sage encour­ag­ing read­ers to “make EVERY attempt to reach these peo­ple and teach them the mes­sage of Islam or leave them a mes­sage from Islam,” al-Khattab admits that he is “the one that posted the things about Crown Heights,” and that he doesn’t view it as “any­thing ille­gal and I don’t think that it was a threat…”

He adds, how­ever, that he “would have thought that they [law enforce­ment] would have con­sid­ered that a threat much more than what he [Muham­mad] did.”