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November 1, 2013 1

Revolution Muslim Leader Who Threatened Jews Pleads Guilty

Yousef al-Khattab, the co-founder and for­mer leader of Rev­o­lu­tion Mus­lim (RM) pleaded guilty on Thurs­day to using the inter­net to threaten Jew­ish organizations.yousef-al-khattab-guilty

Al-Khattab is the third mem­ber of RM to plead guilty for mak­ing online threats in the past few years, bring­ing the fringe anti-Semitic Mus­lim orga­ni­za­tion that jus­ti­fied ter­ror­ist attacks and other forms of vio­lence for many years one step closer to its demise.

RM was mostly active in New York until the end of 2010, after which it was shut down and began oper­at­ing as Islam Pol­icy.

Al-Khattab, a.k.a. Joseph Leonard Cohen, cofounded RM in 2007 with Younes Abdul­lah Muham­mad, and served as the group’s amir (leader) and “chief exec­u­tive offi­cer” until Decem­ber 2009, when he announced that he was mov­ing to Tetouan, Morocco.

The extent of Al-Khattab’s threats against the Jew­ish com­mu­nity on the RM site was jar­ring. They included a video encour­ag­ing view­ers to seek out the lead­ers of Jew­ish Fed­er­a­tion chap­ters in the U.S. and “deal with them directly at their homes;” direc­tions to spe­cific Jew­ish facil­i­ties along­side a link to a man­ual for con­struct­ing and using explo­sive devices and a mes­sage encour­ag­ing read­ers to “make EVERY attempt to reach these peo­ple and teach them the mes­sage of Islam;” and a poem list­ing ways that Jews can be hurt includ­ing throw­ing “liq­uid drain cleaner in their faces” and burn­ing “their flam­ma­ble sukkos while they sleep.”

Through its web­site, YouTube chan­nel and asso­ci­ated online forums, RM was asso­ci­ated with a num­ber of promi­nent and lesser known home­grown ter­ror­ists includ­ing Zachary Chesser, Samir Khan, Jose Pimentel, Car­los Eduardo Almonte, Mohamed Mah­mood Alessa, and Colleen LaRose (“Jihad Jane”).

Al-Khattab was born in New York where he was raised as an obser­vant Jew. He later lived in Israel.  He claims that he con­verted to Islam fol­low­ing a series of online con­ver­sa­tions focus­ing on rejec­tion of Judaism and hatred of Jews.

Hours after his plea deal, Al-Khattab posted a mes­sage on his Face­book page stat­ing that “My for­mer views do NOT rep­re­sent Islam,” call­ing those views “dis­gust­ing,” ask­ing for for­give­ness, and advis­ing Mus­lim youth to “avoid the books of Ibn Taymiah, Muham­mad Abdul Wha­hab, [Islamist ide­o­logues] and any­one that sup­ports them.”

Last year, al-Khattab released a 20-minute video on YouTube express­ing his belief that he will be arrested and defend­ing the state­ments he has issued online over the years.

The other lead­ers of RM, You­nis Abdul­lah Muham­mad and Zachary Chesser, were sen­tenced to prison in 2012 and 2011 respectively.

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