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'Terrorist' Who Threatened South Park Busted

Virginia man nabbed before flight to Uganda
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
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.

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"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.
(Read more Zachary Chesser stories.)

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