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Radical Islamist Website Leader Pleads Guilty to Threatening Jewish Groups

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A founder of a radical Islamist website pleaded guilty Thursday to using the Internet to espouse jihadi attacks against Jewish organizations.

Yousef Mohamid Al-Khattab (a.k.a. Joseph Cohen), co-founder of the “Revolution Muslim” websites, pleaded guilty to using his position as leader of a radical Islamist website to place Jewish organizations, including a Chabad in Brooklyn, NY, “in reasonable fear of death or serious bodily injury.”

Court records show that in March 2008 Al-Khattab posted a video to the Revolution Muslim website praising the “martyrdom operation” of a Palestinian who had attacked a Jewish school in Jerusalem killing eight students and injuring 11 more. The video referred to the attacker as an “Islamic warrior” who “slaughtered eight rabbinical students in Merkaz HaRav, which is a Yeshiva [Jewish religious school] the Zionist War Machine uses to train its religious soldiers.”

Al-Khattab also praised the deadly November 2008 terrorist siege in Mumbai, where terrorists attacked multiple targets including a Chabad House. Six people were brutally murdered at the Chabad House, including the rabbi and his wife. Al-Khattab justified the attack saying the Chabad supported Israel.

In January 2009, Al-Khattab posted a video encouraging viewers upset with the conflict in Gaza to target Jewish Federation chapters in the U.S. and “deal with them directly at their homes.” The video provided the names and addresses of three New York-area synagogues as well as the photo and map of a Chabad organization in Brooklyn. It showed images from a rally that included several Hasidic Jews supporting Israeli actions in Gaza. Above the video image was the text, “Do Not Let Orthodox Judaism Get Away from Murder in Ghaza.” Under the image, Al-Khattab wrote, “Make EVERY attempt to reach these people and teach them the message of Islam or leave them a message from Islam.”

Al-Khattab founded the Revolution Muslim website in 2007 along with Jesse Morton, also known as Younus Abdullah Muhammad, “to operate Internet platforms and websites to encourage Muslims to support Osama bin Laden, Anwar al-Awlaki, al Qaeda, the Taliban, and others engaged in espousing violent jihad.” In June 2012, a federal judge sentenced Morton to 138 months in prison. Revolution Muslim administrator Zachary Chesser was sentenced to 25 years in prison in February 2011.

Al-Khattab faces a maximum of five years in prison at his sentencing, which is scheduled for Feb. 7.

 

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Illustrative photo of former Taliban fighters relinquishing their rifles to Afghan government officials in Ghor, Afghanistan, May 2013 (photo credit: Joe Painter/US Department of Defense)

Illustrative photo of former Taliban fighters relinquishing their rifles to Afghan government officials in Ghor, Afghanistan, May 2013 (photo credit: Joe Painter/US Department of Defense)

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