'Terrorist' Who Threatened South Park Busted

Virginia man nabbed before flight to Uganda

By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 22, 2010 1:39 AM CDT | Updated Jul 22, 2010 2:41 AM CDT

(Newser) – A Virginia man who threatened South Park creators for mocking Mohammad has been busted and charged with supporting a terrorist organization. Zachary Chesser, 20, was nabbed as he was about to board a flight to Africa, where he planned to join the al-Qaeda-linked group al-Shabab, according to law enforcement authorities. Chesser has been monitored by the FBI for over a year since posting disturbing messages on RevolutionMuslim.com, including threats against the creators of South Park for a planned spring episode mocking Mohammad.

"They will probably wind up like Theo van Gogh for airing this show," Chesser wrote, referring to the Dutch filmmaker assassinated after he made a movie about women in Islamic countries. "This is not a threat, but a warning of the reality of what will likely happen to them." Chesser converted to Islam two years ago, and quickly became an "extremist" following communication with radical American-born Yemeni cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, reports ABC News. "This case exposes the disturbing reality that extreme radicalization can happen anywhere," US Attorney Neil MacBride warned in a statement yesterday.

Zachary Chesser indicated South Park creators would die.
Zachary Chesser indicated South Park creators would die.   (South Park)
Santa Claus turned out to be inside the bear in the controversial South Park's episode, not Mohammad, as viewers expected. But the episode still drew an apparent death threat from a radical web site.
Santa Claus turned out to be inside the bear in the controversial South Park's episode, not Mohammad, as viewers expected. But the episode still drew an apparent death threat from a radical web site.   (South Park)
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