South Park Plea Exposes Network of Homegrown Muslim Radicals

February 10, 2012 9:14 am 0 comments

U.S. Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan, named as the shooter in the November 5, 2009 Fort Hood mass shooting. Photo: wiki commons.

Many homegrown Islamist terrorists labeled as “lone wolves” may not have been so lone after all, court papers filed Thursday in Virginia show.

Jesse Morton, a founder of the radical website Revolution Muslim, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and two counts related to communicating threats. The charges stem from threats posted on Revolution Muslim against producers of the animated comedy “South Park” after an April 2010 episode featured a character that was supposed to be the prophet Mohammed fully concealed in a bear suit.

The reference was meant to lampoon the violent reaction some Muslims have to images of the prophet.

A statement of facts filed with the plea shows that Morton had contact with several “lone wolf” terrorists, and that others were subscribers to the site. CNN, citing an unnamed senior counter-terrorism official, reported that “Investigations had revealed that Revolution Muslim was the ‘top catalyst for radicalization for violence in the United States’ over the last several years.”

For example, after one reader reached out to him last April, Morton advised him to be wary that someone helping “start a jihad group to kill U.S. Army veterans in the United States” may be working for the FBI. Jose Pimentel may not have heeded Morton’s advice. He was arrested by New York police six months later as he assembled a pipe bomb in his home that he intended to use to kill soldiers returning from Afghanistan and Iraq.

Morton also endorsed Rezwan Ferdaus’s desire to wage jihad. Ferdaus reached out to Morton early in 2010, asking if martyrdom operations were acceptable in Islam. It depends on the motivation, Morton wrote back. “[E]very act is judged by intention and so we reserve an opinion on this matter. We can however say that these operations have apparent detractions, but also enormous benfits (sic) in a war of attrition.”

Ferdaus was arrested in Massachusetts last September in connection with a plot to use remote-controlled planes to fly bombs into the Pentagon and the U.S. Capitol. He also made switches to detonate explosive devices that he intended to supply to al-Qaida terrorists targeting American troops.

The statement of facts in Morton’s plea ties him and the Revolution Muslim website to:

    • Colleen LaRose, also known as “Jihad Jane,” who admits to plotting to kill a Swedish cartoonist who drew images of the prophet Muhammad, and to recruiting people to wage terrorist attacks.
    • Antonio Martinez, who pleaded guilty to plotting to blow up a Maryland military recruiting center.
    • Carlos Almonte and Mohamed Alessa, who entered guilty pleas last March to conspiring to join the Somali terrorist group al-Shabaab to kill civilians “whose beliefs and practices did not align with their extremist ideology.”

“We may never know all of those who were inspired to engage in terrorism because of Revolution Muslim,” said U.S. Attorney Neil MacBride, “but the string of recent terrorism cases with ties to Morton’s organization demonstrates the threat it posed to our national security.”

In addition, the statement of facts shows that Morton communicated with Samir Khan, an American al-Qaida propagandist credited with publishing the group’s English-language magazine, Inspire. Khan is believed to have been killed in a U.S. drone strike in Yemen that also killed American-born al-Qaida cleric Anwar al-Awlaki.

Morton and Chesser also let radical British cleric Bilal Ahmad post directly to the Revolution Muslim site.

In November 2010, Ahmad posted on the Revolution Muslim website praise for Roshanara Choudhry after she tried to kill Member of Parliament Stephen Timms for supporting the Iraq war. Ahmad then posted the names of all members of Parliament who supported the war, with a prayer that her actions “inspire Muslims to raise the knife of jihad against those who voted for the countless rapes, murders, pillages, and torture of Muslim civilians as a direct consequence of their vote.”

Morton and his colleague Zachary Chesser followed the teachings of Awlaki and Abdullah Faisal, a radical Jamaican sheikh who preached the need to kill non-believers. Faisal’s sermons calling for Muslims to kill the “enemies of Islam,” including Jews, Americans and Hindus, led to his 2003 conviction in the United Kingdom for soliciting to murder.

Their postings on Revolution Muslim often sounded similar themes, the statement of facts said, and they republished Inspire, which contained calls to violence and instructions on carrying it out.

Chesser is serving a 25-year sentence after pleading guilty to related charges.

In the “South Park” case, Morton told investigators in October that the decision to post the threats was made without seeing the program. It turned out that the show never depicted the prophet, just someone in a bear suit who other characters called “Mohammed.”

“He said that he would have pulled the South Park post made by Chesser in April 2010 if he had known that the episode really didn’t depict the Muhammad as he thought it was going to.”

When the show aired, Chesser told Morton that Iran’s fatwa calling for author Salman Rushdie’s murder following his publication of The Satanic Verses inspired radical European Muslims. Threats against “South Park’s” Trey Stone and Matt Parker could have the same galvanizing effect in America.

Morton also posted a threat against a Washington woman who advocated having an “everyone Draw Muhammad Day” in response to the “South Park” threats.

“Morton asserted that Islam’s position is that those that insult the Prophet may be killed under Shariah law just as if they were fighting with a weapon,” the statement of facts said. “Morton exhorted his listeners to fight the ‘disbelievers near you.’”

Morton, 33, could be imprisoned for up to five years for each of the three counts in his plea when he is sentenced in May.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Arts and Culture Theater US & Canada New Play Explores the ‘Arrogance’ of American Jews Critical of Israel, Playwright Says

    New Play Explores the ‘Arrogance’ of American Jews Critical of Israel, Playwright Says

    In his new play Mr. Goldberg Goes to Tel Aviv, playwright Oren Safdie tackles an issue that he has a major concern with: the relationship between Israelis and left-leaning Diaspora Jews with their “I know better” critical views. At the heart of the one-act play is Tony, a Jewish and gay Palestinian sympathizer who expresses strong anti-Israel sentiments when the play begins and at one point even sides with a Palestinian terrorist who holds his captive. Tony, who is also an [...]

    Read more →
  • Music US & Canada Hassidic Parody of Taylor Swift Song Apes Long Jewish Holidays (VIDEO)

    Hassidic Parody of Taylor Swift Song Apes Long Jewish Holidays (VIDEO)

    A Jewish comedy troupe released a parody video on Wednesday of Taylor Swift’s hit song Shake It Off in which they joke about taking extensive time off from work for Jewish holidays. “And the goyim gonna stay, stay, stay, stay, stay. And the Jews are gonna pray, pray pray, pray, pray. I’m just gonna take, take, take, take, take. I’m taking off,” goes the chorus for I’m Taking Off. Menachem Weinstein, the video’s lead singer, is the creative director at [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish Literature On 75th Anniversary, Looking at the Jewish Influence on Gone With the Wind

    On 75th Anniversary, Looking at the Jewish Influence on Gone With the Wind

    JNS.org – The 75th anniversary of the premiere of “Gone with the Wind” on Dec. 15 presents an opportunity to examine the Jewish influence on one of the most popular films of all time. That influence starts with the American Civil War epic’s famed producer, David O. Selznick. Adjusted for inflation, “Gone with the Wind” remains the highest-grossing movie ever made. It earned the 1939 Academy Award for Best Picture, the same honor another Selznick film, “Rebecca,” garnered in 1940. Selznick [...]

    Read more →
  • Featured Music US & Canada EXCLUSIVE: Matisyahu Provides Most Extensive Analysis Yet of His Religious, Musical Evolution (INTERVIEW)

    EXCLUSIVE: Matisyahu Provides Most Extensive Analysis Yet of His Religious, Musical Evolution (INTERVIEW)

    Matisyahu got candid in an exclusive interview with The Algemeiner on Monday about his religious and musical journey – after shedding his Chassidic skin, yarmulke, long beard and all – from the start of his career in 2005 when he became a reggae superstar with hits King Without a Crown and Jerusalem. The singer-songwriter embarks on his Festival of Light tour this month, an annual Hanukkah event that stops in Montreal, New York, and other cities before ending in San Juan, [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Personalities ‘Sheriff of Mars’ Unveils Endearing Life of Jewish Music Star Hidden in the Fields of France

    ‘Sheriff of Mars’ Unveils Endearing Life of Jewish Music Star Hidden in the Fields of France

    JNS.org – It was an era of steel strings, guitar heroes, and storytellers—high on heroin, rebellious. Outlaw country music, the hallmark of Nashville’s powerful and angry music scene of the 1970s, was the brew of greats such as Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, and Townes Van Zandt. But there is another, little-known music hero of that era: Daniel Antopolsky. A Jewish lad from Augusta, Ga.—the son of immigrants who settled in the south and ran a hardware store on Main Street—the [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada Iranian Actress Replaces Israel’s Gal Gadot for ‘Ben-Hur’ Remake

    Iranian Actress Replaces Israel’s Gal Gadot for ‘Ben-Hur’ Remake

    Iranian actress Nazanin Boniadi replaced Israeli star Gal Gadot as the female lead in the new Ben-Hur remake, Hollywood.com reported on Tuesday. The Homeland actress will play Esther, a slave that Ben-Hur sets free and falls in love with. Gadot quit the movie when it became clear that filming conflicted with her schedule for the Man of Steel sequel. The Israeli actress plays Wonder Woman in the superhero film Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Actor Jack Huston takes on the [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Personalities Biography Sheds New Light on David Ben-Gurion’s Place in Jewish History

    Biography Sheds New Light on David Ben-Gurion’s Place in Jewish History

    JNS.org – There is one sentence in “Ben-Gurion: Father of Modern Israel” that made me sit up in surprise. I thought that I knew the basic facts about how Israel came into being, but while describing what it was like in the days and hours before the state was declared, author Anita Shapira provides one important anecdote I was not aware of. On the 12th of May, the Zionist Executive met to decide what to do. Moshe Sharrett had just returned [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada ‘Death of Klinghoffer’ Actress Compares Met Opera to ‘Schindler’s List’

    ‘Death of Klinghoffer’ Actress Compares Met Opera to ‘Schindler’s List’

    An actress starring in the controversial Met Opera The Death of Klinghoffer defended the show on Tuesday by comparing it to the 1993 Holocaust film Schindler’s List, New York Post reported. “To me, this was like [the movie] Schindler’s List. We make art so people won’t forget,’’ said the actress, who plays a captured passenger in the show and asked not to be identified. The Met Opera focuses on the infamous murder of Lower East Side Jewish resident Leon Klinghoffer, 69. The wheelchair-bound father of [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.