Atlantic City’s Yousef Al-Khattab wasn’t always named that. When he was raised as a Jew in New York City, his parents called him by the name Joseph Leonard Cohen. But these days, Cohen is Al-Khattab, co-founder of Revolution Muslim, an organization whose now-defunct website spewed extreme Islamic propaganda. And on Tuesday, Al-Khattab, 45, pleaded guilty in Federal Court to using the site to “place persons affiliated with Jewish organizations… in reasonable fear of death or serious bodily injury.”
The proceeding took place in a Virginia courtroom, where Al-Khattab entered a plea agreement and admitted to the following:
• Al-Khattab and his associates followed the teachings of Sheikh Abdullah Faisal, a Muslim cleric who taught that it was a good thing to kill those who don't believe in Islam.
• He posted a video, purportedly produced by Al-Qaeda's media division, that championed Osama bin Laden and the 9/11 terrorists as heroes. According to the court filing, that video quoted bin Laden, saying, "So talk yourself into martyrdom operations... because to the same degree that the number of young men who carry out martyrdom increases, the time of victory gets closer, with Allah's permission."
• Al-Khattab posted a statement calling President Obama a non-believer and calling for him to "spend his afterlife thrown in the deepest depths of fire." He added, "May Allah Destroy the U.S."
• After the Fort Hood shooting in 2009, in which Army doctor Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan killed 12, Al-Khattab posted the following on RevolutionMuslim.com: "An officer and a gentleman was injured while partaking in a preemptive attack. Get Well Soon Major Nidal We Love You. We do NOT denounce this officer's actions... Sharing a Smile with the International Community, Yousef al-Khattab."
• He praised a Palestinian who killed eight students at a Jewish school in Jerusalem and said that a 2008 attack on a Jewish organization in India was justified because the organization supported Israel.
• He posted a video in 2009 suggesting that those upset with the situation in Gaza should find Jewish leaders in the United States and "deal with them directly at their homes" and provided the addresses of New York synagogues as a handy terrorist reference.
• He posted a photo of the Brooklyn headquarters of Jewish organization Chabad, including cartoon balloons noting the location of the main temple and that it was full at prayer time. He implored his followers: "Make EVERY attempt to reach these people and teach them the message of Islam or leave them a message from Islam.
• He posted a message asking Allah to punish Jewish people using "liquid drain cleaner in their faces" and by making "their fingers and brains stick on cafe walls from impact."
You'll be happy to know that Al-Khattab has been released on bond pending his February 2014 sentencing. He faces five years in federal prison.
Supposedly, he's now a changed man, as seen in this CNN interview below.