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February 15, 2012

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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February 9, 2012

Younes Abdullah Muhammad Pleads Guilty to Threatening “South Park” Creators

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

Younes Abdullah Muhammad, co-founder of the fringe extremist Muslim organization Revolution Muslim, pleaded guilty on Thursday for his role in threatening the creators of the cartoon “South Park.” 

Muhammad (a.k.a. Jesse Curtis Morton) was arrested by Moroccan authorities in May 2011 after being charged in the U.S. with communicating online threats. His threats targeted Matt Stone and Trey Parker for their satirical depiction of the Prophet Muhammad in an episode of their cartoon. In October he was placed into American custody and brought before a federal judge in Virginia to face charges.
 
Muhammad helped Zachary Chesser, who was sentenced to 25 years in prison on a similar charge, draft a statement containing language justifying “the death of those who insult Islam or defame its prophet…” The statement was issued on behalf of Revolution Muslim in response to the national attention garnered by Chesser after he threatened the “South Park” creators on a number of online platforms.
 
Under Muhammad’s leadership, Revolution Muslim distributed anti-Semitic and pro-terrorist propaganda at its street protests and online, which often included implicit and explicit threats of violence. The group was active mostly in New York until the end of 2010, when Muhammad moved to Morocco. Currently, it operates under the name Islam Policy.
 
Muhammad, who has a long history of justifying violence against anyone he views as an enemy of Islam, served as Revolution Muslim’s most prolific writer. In addition to his various posts on the group’s website, he contributed to Jihad Recollections, an online English language magazine created by Samir Khan. Khan, who is better known for editing Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s (AQAP) English-language magazine, Inspire, was killed by a U.S. drone strike on September 30, 2011, two years after he moved to Yemen to align himself with Al Qaeda.
 
In the inaugural issue of Jihad Recollections, released in April 2009, Muhammad expressed support for Al Qaeda, writing that the September 11 terrorist attacks “…were, for the most part, positive and the results even better than expected.” He also called on like-minded Muslims to “exploit these results and advance the jihad… It is time to begin to think about the necessary next steps that must predicate the conquering of Rome.”

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