Friday, November 01, 2013

Security: Leader of ‘Revolution Muslim’ Website Pleads Guilty to Using Internet to Threaten Jewish Organizations

U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Virginia\

ALEXANDRIA, VA—Yousef Mohamid Al-Khattab (a.k.a. Joseph Cohen), 45, of Atlantic City, New Jersey, pleaded guilty yesterday to using his position as a leader of the “Revolution Muslim" websites to use the Internet to place others in fear of serious bodily injury.

Dana J. Boente, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Valerie Parlave, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office; and Raymond W. Kelly, New York City Police Commissioner, made the announcement after the plea was accepted by United States District Judge Liam O’Grady.

Al-Khattab faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison when he is sentenced on February 7, 2014.

According to a statement of facts filed with his plea agreement, Al-Khattab and his colleague, Jesse Curtis Morton (a.k.a. Younus Abdullah Muhammad), founded the Revolution Muslim organization in December 2007 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 or espousing violent jihad.

On January 8, 2009, Al-Khattab posted to the Revolution Muslim website a video encouraging viewers upset about the conflict in Gaza to seek out the leaders of Jewish Federation chapters in the U.S. and “deal with them directly at their homes.” Al-Khattab gave the names and addresses of synagogues in New York and another Jewish organization in Brooklyn.

On January 20, 2009, Al-Khattab posted a video and photo of the headquarters of the Jewish organization in Brooklyn, with a map and directions to specific facilities. Al-Khattab also posted a link to “The Anarchist Cookbook,” which is a manual for (among other things) constructing and using explosive devices.

On January 23, 2009, Al-Khattab posted to the Revolution Muslim website a video accusing the Jewish organization of funding terrorism and urging viewers to find the leaders of Jewish organizations and “hold them responsible.”

As acknowledged in the statement of facts, Al-Khattab knew that some viewers of the Revolution Muslim websites were inclined to violence, and by making the posts involving Jewish organizations in 2009, Al-Khattab was trying to frighten Jews and Jewish organizations.

On June 22, 2012, Revolution Muslim founder Jesse Morton was sentenced to 138 months in prison. On February 24, 2011, Revolution Muslim administrator Zachary Chesser was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

This investigation is being conducted by the FBI’s Washington Field Office and the New York City Police Department’s Intelligence Bureau. Assistant United States Attorneys Gordon D. Kromberg and Special Assistant United States Attorney Allison Ickovic of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia and Trial Attorney John T. Gibbs of the Counterterrorism Section in the National Security Division are prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.