A second man involved in online threats against the producers of "South Park" will plead guilty to three felonies, reports Politico's Josh Gerstein.
Jesse Morton, a convert to Islam who also goes by the name Younus Abdullah Mohammad, will plead to conspiracy, communicating threats, and internet stalking, a defense attorney told Gerstein.
Morton was charged in a criminal complaint last May and arrested in Morocco about two weeks later. Court records indicate Thursday was the last day for prosecutors to issue an indictment in the case. Morton's associate, Zachary Chesser, received a 25-year prison sentence last year after pleading guilty to communicating the threats and for trying to provide material support to the Somali terrorist group al-Shabaab.
Chesser warned on the website Revolution Muslim that "South Park" producers Trey Stone and Matt Parker "will probably wind up like Theo van Gogh" after an April 2010 episode of the animated comedy mocked the violent reaction of radical Islamists to images of the prophet Mohammad by portraying him concealed in a bear suit. "Mohammad is the only person in the world that can't get ripped on," a character says.
Van Gogh was murdered on an Amsterdam street by a radical Islamist who was offended by Van Gogh's film protesting the treatment of women in Islam.
Morton allegedly helped Chesser with the threats by issuing a "clarification statement" in response to media inquiries. It included a picture of Van Gogh's dead body and included "pages of justification under Islamic law for the death of those who insult Islam or defame its prophet, and for Muslims to bring about such deaths," an FBI affidavit said.
While Morton's defense may have argued the statement was protected by the First Amendment, law enforcement officials say it crossed the line into a threat because it warned Stone and Parker they would meet a similar fate to those killed for insulting Islam.
Each count in the plea agreement carries a five year sentence.