Revolution Muslim

Revolution Muslim (RM) was an organization based in New York City that advocated the establishment of a traditionalist Islamic state through the removal of the current rulers in Muslim-majority nations and an end to what they consider "Western imperialism". It was founded in 2007 by two American Muslim men Jesse Curtis Morton and Yousef al-Khattab.

They operated both on their website "RevolutionMuslim.com" and through street preaching and protests. They frequently protested outside the Islamic Cultural Center of New York, a moderate Muslim mosque.[1][2]

The website was eventually shut down on November 2010, shortly after the arrest of one of the leaders. One of the leaders announced the group was reforming as a new organization called "Islam Policy", to be a think tank on Islamic issues.[3] He was operating the website for Islam Policy from Morocco.

By November, 2013, Jesse Curtis Morton, Zachary Adam Chesser and Yousef Al-Khattab—the organization's leaders—had all been arrested and convicted in US courts.[4] Jesse Curtis Morton BOP reg # 79274-083 became a government informant and was released before serving the mandatory 85% of his sentence. Near or around May 23, 2015 Jesse violated his probation and served another 3 months and was re-released on 04/21/2017. Although Jesse Curtis Morton occasionally posted to the Islam Policy website from prison, the arrests dismantled the organization.[4] On May 23, 2015, it was announced on the Islam Policy website that Jesse Curtis Morton had been released from imprisonment.[5] Zachary Adam Chesser BOP reg # 76715-083 is serving his full sentence at USP Florence with a release date of 06/16/2032.[6] Yousef al-Khattab BOP Reg # 83258-083 Served 85% of his 30 month sentence and was released on August 02, 2016.[7]

History

The group of 5–10 members was co-founded in 2007 and run by two American converts to Islam, Yousef al-Khattab (born Joseph Leonard Cohen) and Jesse Curtis Morton (who used the pen-name) Younes Abdullah Mohammed, who said their spiritual leader was Abdullah al-Faisal. al-Khattab had been born to a secular Jewish family from Atlantic City, New Jersey. He later became an Orthodox Jew and moved to Israel, where he studied at an Orthodox rabbinical school. The family converted to Islam and moved to the Palestinian Territories as well as in East Jerusalem [8][9] he is said to have worked driving a taxi,[10] operating a pedicab,[11] or running a restaurant.[12] At that time, he took the Muslim name, Yousef al-Khattab. Jesse Curtis Morton, a Columbia University graduate,[13] was a friend of al-Khattab's. As he embraced Islam, he used the pen-name Younes Abdullah Mohammed. The group promoted propaganda against the United States, Jews, Israel and others on its website, including moderate Muslims. The website was largely run by member Jesse Curtis Morton, aka Younes Abdullah Mohammed, a New York resident, but other contributors were from outside New York.

In addition to propagandizing via the website and blogs, the group has distributed anti-Israeli literature and regularly protested outside moderate mosques in New York City.[8] The mosques have called the police several times because of RM activities, but its members have not caused violence at the mosques.[14] The website also served as a source for threats against Jews and Jewish organizations, particularly from al-Khattab.[4] Legal and law enforcement officials in the US monitored the group, and described its activities at the time as protected by the First Amendment.[8] The Anti-Defamation League has monitored the group and its members since 2006.[15] A later terrorist influenced by Revolution Muslim was Terry Lee Loewen, who attempted to bomb the Wichita, Kansas airport in December 2013.[16]

In December 2009, al-Khattab expressed support on the website for Nidal Malik Hasan, the US Army psychiatrist accused of the Fort Hood shooting in November of that year.[17] The Department of Defense classified the events as "workplace violence", pending Hasan's court-martial. On December 12, 2009 al-Khattab posted a video on the group's website announcing that he had retired and was moving to Morocco, and that the group would be run by Abdullah as-Sayf Jones.[18] According to a video Jones made, he was born David Scott Jones and grew up in Brevard County, Florida. He converted to Islam at the age of 16, taking the name Abdullah as-Sayf. After following the group online, in 2009, Jones moved to New York in 2009 and joined RM.

In April 2010, Abdullah as-Sayf Jones publicly left the group; he announced having become a practitioner of Shia Islam.[17] He has since spoken out frequently against Revolution Muslim and radical extremism. He has counseled Muslim youths against being attracted to extremist organizations.[17]

In April 2010, Revolution Muslim posted a statement on its blog from Anwar al-Awlaki, a prominent American-Yemeni cleric then in hiding in Yemen. US officials have alleged that he was connected to various terrorists, including the 9/11 hijackers and the Christmas Day 2009 bomber. The Fort Hood shooter had communicated with him when doing research on Muslims in the American military. Alwaki said in that statement, "America cannot and will not win. The tables have turned and there is no rolling back of the worldwide Jihad movement."[19]

On October 30, 2013, al-Khattab pleaded guilty to using his position as a leader of the "Revolution Muslim" websites to use the Internet to place others in fear of serious bodily injury. This related to postings made in January 2009, in which he encouraged visitors to the website to seek out the leaders of Jewish Federation chapters in the U.S. and "deal with them directly at their homes." Al-Khattab gave the names and addresses of synagogues in New York and another Jewish organization in Brooklyn. He also posted maps and directions to various Jewish facilities, and a link to The Anarchist Cookbook. Al-Khattab was sentenced to three years in prison in April 2014.[20]

Other Languages
العربية: جوزيف كوهين