A 20-year old guy named Zachary Adam Chesser pled guilty on Wednesday to three federal charges: communicating threats against South Park's writers, soliciting violent jihadists to desensitize law enforcement, and attempting to provide material support to Al-Shabaab, an organization designated by the US as a terrorist group.
Chesser is so busted. He faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison when sentenced on February 25, 2011. He was born Jewish, and converted in his teens to an extremist strain of Islam, adopting the name Abu Talhah al-Amrikee.
Above, from left to right, his high school yearbook photo; a pic in the school paper about his mad breakdancing skills, and Chesser transformed into Abu Talhah al-Amrikee: a violent fundamentalist who will likely spend the next three decades in prison.
Chesser also admitted that in May 2010, he posted to a jihadist website the personal contact information of individuals who had joined the "Everybody Draw Muhammad Day" group on Facebook, with the prompting that this is, "Just a place to start."
Chesser also pleaded guilty to soliciting others to desensitize law enforcement by placing suspicious-looking but innocent packages in public places. Chesser explained through a posting online that once law enforcement was desensitized, a real explosive could be used. Chesser ended the posting with the words, "Boom! No more kuffar." According to court documents, "kuffar" means unbeliever, or disbeliever.
(...) Chesser admitted that he promoted online what he called "Open Source Jihad," where he would direct jihadists through his online forums to information on the Internet that they could use to elude capture and death while maintaining relevance and striking capability. This included linking to the entire security screening manual used by the Transportation Security Administration and hundreds of books that contained information on the construction of antiaircraft missiles, and tactics, techniques and weapons for targeting aircraft such as jet airplanes and helicopters.
Read the Department of Justice press release:
Virginia Man Pleads Guilty to Providing Material Support to a Foreign Terrorist Organization and Encouraging Violent Jihadists to Kill U.s. Citizens.
Seriously! He won awards as a breakdancer in high school! Maybe the poppin' and lockin' was what led him down this sad path.
Boing Boing editor/partner and tech culture journalist Xeni Jardin hosts and produces Boing Boing's in-flight TV channel on Virgin America airlines (#10 on the dial), and writes about living with breast cancer. Diagnosed in 2011. @xeni on Twitter. email: email@example.com.