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November 19, 2013 0

ADL’s Terrorism Update Focuses On How FTOs Attract American Recruits

The Novem­ber edi­tion of Ter­ror­ism Update, ADL’s newslet­ter pro­vid­ing news and analy­sis on inter­na­tional ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tions and their fol­low­ers in the U.S., is now avail­able to our subscribers.

The fea­ture arti­cle focuses on Al Shabaab, the Al Qaeda affil­i­ate orga­ni­za­tion in Soma­lia, and its capac­ity to attract Amer­i­can recruits to its cause. Al Shabaab claimed that three Amer­i­cans par­tic­i­pated in the group’s deadly attack this Sep­tem­ber on the West­gate Mall in Nterrorism-update-subscribe-adlairobi, Kenya, and nearly 50 other Amer­i­can cit­i­zens and per­ma­nent res­i­dents have either trav­elled to Soma­lia or have oth­er­wise aided the ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion since 2007.

The Pro­file in Ter­ror fea­tures Omar Ham­mami, an Amer­i­can cit­i­zen from Alabama who once served as a pri­mary English-language recruiter for Al Shabaab before he was appar­ently killed by other Al Shabaab mem­bers on Sep­tem­ber 13, 2013.

This edi­tion of Ter­ror­ism Update also includes infor­ma­tion on a recent terror-related arrest in North Car­olina, which under­scores a con­tin­ued trend of Amer­i­cans attempt­ing to join ter­ror­ist groups in the Syr­ian con­flict, as well as arrests in New York and Cal­i­for­nia.

An update on one of the lead­ers of Rev­o­lu­tion Mus­lim, the fringe anti-Semitic Mus­lim orga­ni­za­tion based in New York that jus­ti­fied ter­ror­ist attacks and other forms of vio­lence against non-Muslims, is also high­lighted in this edi­tion, as is ADL’s col­lec­tion of resources on Inspire Mag­a­zine, the English-language pro­pa­ganda mag­a­zine pro­duced by Al Qaeda in the Ara­bian Peninsula.

Read­ers can sub­scribe to the ADL Ter­ror­ism Update to auto­mat­i­cally receive the bi-monthly newsletter.

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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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February 15, 2012 0

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.”

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