Jewish man turned jihadist who threatened "South Park" gets 25 years in prison

21-year-old Zachary Chesser was today sentenced to 25 years in prison for trying to help a Somalia militant group and for making threats against Matt Stone and Trey Parker of "South Park," because of the show's depiction of the Prophet Mohammad.

A federal judge in Virginia handed down the sentence for Zachary Chesser, who pleaded guilty to making threats, soliciting others to threaten violence and material support to the group, al Shabaab. Chesser admitted he ran numerous websites and called for violence against Americans. In one instance he published the home addresses for the writers of "South Park" after they lampooned Mohammad and he urged readers to "pay them a visit."

The episode last year on the cable channel Comedy Central showed Mohammad in a bear suit.

Man in "South Park" threats gets 25 years prison (Reuters)

Worth revisiting: Boing Boing Video's interview with Matt and Trey just before the episode in question aired, and before Mr. Chesser's threats and the ensuing media frenzy.



  1. Twenty-five years sounds like a lot of years—I hope this is based on having had a previous conviction…

  2. Your headline “Jewish man turned jihadist who threatened “South Park” gets 25 years in prison” is poorly phrased leading to the wrong conclusion that Chesser is still a Jew. According to this article in the Christian Science Monitor ( Chesser converted to Islam. The key word there is converted… as in he was one religion and is now no longer that religion. As in he is a Muslim man, not a Jewish man. Although the headline phrasing suggests he is still a Jewish man.

    So while I get why you wrote the headline the way you did – it is interesting that he has Jewish roots and has now become such a fundamentalist for another religion – the headline is completely inaccurate. Chesser is Mulsim, a fact which isn’t entirely clear in that headline.

      1. Being Jewish is like being black or N.A. native, you cant wash it off so easily.
        That is why say a Jew converts to Christianity through Jews for Jesus, still a Jew but not practicing Judaism anymore.

    1. I think “turning jihadist” implies a change in religion.

      I think he probably should be in a padded cell, but glad to hear there is one less ticking time bomb on the street.

    2. If your mom is/was a jew, you’re a jew. You may not be a practicing jew, but it’s not a choice. You may not choose to identify as one, but you still are one.
      Don’t call other people wrong for your inability to understand this very basic and well known fact.

  3. As I recall, it’s actually Santa Claus in the best suit. You are only led to believe that it’s Mohammed.

  4. I want to know how those two bozos were able to speak coherent sentences while sitting across the table from Xeni, totally rockin’ that blouse unbuttoned to her navel. A tip of the turban to the lads for exhibiting mature self control and not going all Wayne’s World.

    1. I want to know how those two bozos were able to speak coherent sentences while sitting across the table from Xeni, totally rockin’ that blouse unbuttoned to her navel.

      Excuse me, but ‘those two bozos’ happen to be peerless champions of satire.

      Any Wayne’s World type behaviour in this situation would necessarily be ironic.

      1. I agree. South Park has managed to stay fresh, offensive, and relevant after all these years. They hold nothing sacred and will go after anyone and everyone. A lot of times they have libertarian themes.

        The two episodes with Mohammad were part of TV history. Kuddos to the only team with the balls to poke fun at Muslims.

        The John Smith and Scientology episodes were awesome as well.

  5. 25 years sounds like overkill, especially just for all talk. He would have gotten less if he had stabbed someone.

  6. So did Kyle’s speech about fear and intimidation (with input from Jesus and Santa Claus) ever get published? It was ever so ironic that it got bleeped.

  7. the linked article mentions nothing of this guy being Jewish, yet the boingboing headline feels the need to do so. Smells an awful lot like Charlie Sheen going off on his “Chaim Levine” rant at Chuck Lorre yesterday.

  8. I am also curious why the fact that he is or was ever Jewish is relevant. He certainly doesn’t consider himself Jewish otherwise he’d be the worst jihadist ever. Wouldn’t he jihad himself?

  9. I don’t think twenty five years is too much. People who are actually willing to kill other people for religious reasons should go away… permanently.

    1. oh cmon, this guy is 21 ! i dont want to excuse this child but i know from myself as i was 21, i was a complete idiot & i regret a lot of things that ive done in this age.

      25 jears in prison for shit like that is way 2 much. this is sick man, as sick as death penalty.
      im from germany so excuse my english, but i´m sure you get the point…

      and yes, it was of course santa claus in the bear costum…

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