A convert to Islam who led a small, radical movement called "Revolution Muslim" will serve 2 ½ years in prison for Internet postings that may have inspired terrorist violence.
Yousef Al-Khattab, 45, pleaded guilty in October to "using the internet to place another in fear of death or serious injury."
He helped create Revolution Muslim in 2007, along with Jesse Craig Morton. Morton is serving an 11 ½ year sentence for using the Internet to solicit murder, including against a woman who promoted "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day."
According to a prosecution sentencing memo, which recommended a three-year sentence, Al-Khattab was only slightly less precise. In 2009, he posted a video "encouraging viewers upset about Israeli military actions in Gaza to seek out the leaders of Jewish organizations in America and 'deal with them directly at their homes.'" He provided the addresses of three large New York synagogues and the Brooklyn headquarters of the Chabad movement.
In a separate post later that month, he showed a picture of the Chabad headquarters and a map. "Make EVERY attempt to reach these people and teach them the message of Islam or leave them a message from Islam," Al-Khattab wrote.
Al-Khattab and Morton succeeded in inspiring followers, and the memo cites numerous examples of people caught plotting attacks and one successful knife attack on a British parliamentarian.
Al-Khattab's involvement in Revolution Muslim dropped off in 2009, but he "set in motion a sequence of events that ... spiraled into even more serious criminal activity" and "likely emboldened" Morton and others. He has expressed some regret for his actions, prosecutors noted, but "the messages that he posted on internet sites patronized by terrorists and their sympathizers likely will never disappear. Regardless of any regrets that he may have now, Chabad and the leaders of the Jewish organizations identified by Al-Khattab in 2009 will always be marked as targets for those who seek to gain entrance to heaven by killing an enemy of Islam."