US man gets 25 years for South Park threats

By Agence France-Presse
Thursday, February 24, 2011 16:18 EDT
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WASHINGTON – A US man was Thursday sentenced to 25 years in prison on terror charges, including threatening the creators of the animated series “South Park” for portraying the Prophet Mohammed in a bear suit.

Zachary Adam Chesser, 21, who grew up in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, had pleaded guilty in October to providing material support to a terror group and inciting violence against the South Park creators.

“Zachary Chesser will spend 25 years in prison for advocating the murder of US citizens for engaging in free speech about his religion,” said US Attorney Neil MacBride.

“His actions caused people throughout the country to fear speaking out — even in jest — to avoid being labeled as enemies who deserved to be killed.”

In his plea, Chesser admitted encouraging violent jihadists to attack the writers of South Park, among other targets.

He wrote on an extremist website that creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker risked the same fate as slain Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh, who was murdered by a Muslim extremist in Amsterdam in 2004.

He also posted speeches by Anwar al-Awlaki which explained the Islamic justification for killing those who insult or defame Mohammed.

Al-Awlaki, a US citizen who lives in Yemen, has been targeted for killing by US forces as a global terrorist.

Chesser also pleaded guilty to attempting to provide material support to the Shebab, a Somalia-based group dubbed by the US State Department as a terror organization affiliated with Al-Qaeda.

Chesser admitted that he twice tried to travel to Somalia to join Al-Shabaab. In July, he was arrested while trying to leave for the second time, bringing his infant son as “cover.”

He also advocated placing suspicious-looking but innocent packages in public places in an effort to “desensitize law enforcement” about a potential explosive device, according to the Justice Department. Once police were used to seeing the benign packages, real ones could detonated.

Prosecutors echoed recent officials who have warned that the United States faces a threat from homegrown extremists who are inspired by Al-Qaeda and are increasingly difficult to detect.

FBI director Robert Mueller has described a shift in Al-Qaeda’s recruitment strategy, saying that since 2006, the network has focused on US citizens or legal residents instead of volunteers from the Middle East or South Asia.

“In admitting his guilt today, Mr Chesser reminded us of the serious threat homegrown jihadists pose to this country,” MacBride said.

Agence France-Presse
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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TX3MXXPF52BXCKGNLDNPADILPQ paul rogers

    I can’t believe that someone of the “religion of peace” would do such a thing. Are they sure he isn’t a bible thumping teabagger, ’cause I thought they were they only violent religion?

  • http://twitter.com/oldivory OLD IVORY

    Hey, there. Why does this guy get 25 years for threatening others’ lives but a state Deputy AG just gets fired?

  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous

    The “Crazy One” will kick his ass.

  • David R Velasquez

    Chesser reminds me of the same kind of airheads I used to run into in the early 1970′s who embraced all kinds of cults for the most inane of reasons and with the most inane interpretations. It isn’t the religion specifically, it’s the individual and what they think is lacking in their own lives. In their journey there’s always the danger of embracing notions that are completely errant and fanatical in nature.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_KJJ4KEVT2Z5RDHTIRGJOUWL2EA Paul M

    That´s because he was tried under america´s “Double Standard Law”, which carry´s a stiffer sentence.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Thomas-Lee-Brown/1522418996 Thomas Lee Brown

    He’s not a Republican. Duh!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Thomas-Lee-Brown/1522418996 Thomas Lee Brown

    Don’t drop the soap, there, Zach!

  • cannotvote
  • http://www.zazzle.com/fierylocks FieryLocks

    What a dumb ass.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/XIWZRWAXJQKAJ4QEHKMVMCMLAY brian

    At least he won’t have to hear about their trainwreck on broadway.

  • Anonymous

    My God. Fox “news” casters are guilty of this on a daily basis. Where’s their punishment?

  • http://www.BaltimoreGreenCurrency.org Shrapnel

    Damn. Twenty five years in federal lockup for what? “Trying” to go to Somalia and posting some crap on the internet. Should have just tortured people and outed an undercover CIA agent. This is the kind of madness that ensues when you scare half the country into a world of make believe supermen who can turn themselves invisible while they board passenger planes, seize the controls from former fighter pilots and skillfully fly them around for a couple of hours evading the most sophisticated air defenses in the world, then flawlessly fly them into two tall buildings causing three tall buildings to collapse into their own foot print at almost free fall speed. Clearly this Chesser guy could have blown up New York, Chicago and Tallahassee if the feds hadn’t tracked him down.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_YHUR5LALBGRBDQ5VAKAL3JDKNU JustinB

    Let us not forget that it was a good sumaritan that discovered this terror plot NOT THE FBI. The “Patriot Act” is nothing more than a placebo for the Americans that buy into the fear campaign that has been presented to us since 9/11. It makes me sick that we are just basically throwing this money away. A recent report on “Frontline” suggested that the sacrificing of our rights for protection have not and continue to not produce results.

    We should take ALL the money used for the, “Patriot Act” place it in a fund, and use the interest to pay rewards to good samaritans that make us all safer by trusting their gut, remaining vigilant, and aware of what is going on around them. Rather than freeze in the face of danger these ordinary men and women spring into action to protect their brothers and sisters and could be anyone on the streets.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2NPRPRYZC3RF424Y4G4NKPY3FM Anya O

    How many Republicans have said that liberals need to be hung and murdered? Glen Beck debated on whether he should hire someone to kill Michael Moore or if he should just do it himself. An attorney general just said protesters should be shot.

    But if you’re Muslim, you better not threaten to hurt anyone. That makes you a terrorist. Good lord!

  • Anonymous

    And yet the real criminals are running the country.

  • Anonymous

    Jesus H. Christ, Ken Lay only got 7 years. What a load of BS.

  • Anonymous

    One of the most dangerous consequences of isolating people is that they will usually turn to any group that accepts them.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve said it before,and I will say it again,religion is a state of mind over matter,if you don’t mind religion will control what matters!!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FONW6K3ZWV4BU4ZTCDCSZHHH6E Mick Jagger

    Beck is a terrorist and should be arrested as should the leadership at FOX.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FONW6K3ZWV4BU4ZTCDCSZHHH6E Mick Jagger

    Ok…so why isn’t Beck in jail for death threats? Does the FBI support him?

  • Anonymous

    “Once police were used to seeing the benign packages, real ones could detonated.”

    Think youre missing a verb there.

  • Dolmance

    He’ll never be able to watch South Park again without thinking of his ruined life and what could have been.

  • Rabid_Liberal

    The US of A, where you can steal the presidency, start illegal wars that kill millions of innocent civilians, expose CIA agents, raid the Federal Reserve, torture innocent people and you get a “Get Out Of Jail Free” card. But, if you say you’re going to kill someone, you get 25 years in prison.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/GCPX7DXZGK2H2CPNYRR5IS5A64 Turnip Mcgee


  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/GCPX7DXZGK2H2CPNYRR5IS5A64 Turnip Mcgee

    He must done busted a deal. ‘bust a deal and face the wheel’ !

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/GCPX7DXZGK2H2CPNYRR5IS5A64 Turnip Mcgee

    a ‘like’ for the avatar.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/GCPX7DXZGK2H2CPNYRR5IS5A64 Turnip Mcgee

    I agree with a good chuck of that. However, I feel that it’s important to note that there aren’t any ‘monies’ or funds here. We borrow money from the world to pay these people to violate us, and then charge our children to pay it back with interest.

  • jimbo92107

    Sloppy spelling and grammar.

  • jimbo92107

    I ran this story through an online grammar checker called “grammarly.” The results:

    “Grammarly found 15 critical writing issues and generated 11 vocabulary enhancement suggestions for your text.” The overall score was “poor, revision necessary.”

  • Anonymous

    What gets me is that someone’s God/Allah or prophet must be extremely weak to supposedly not be able to take a f*cking joke, or maybe someone is projecting and somehow equating from their viewpoint their God/Allah or prophet with their own fragile ego encased in their own fragile flesh.

    I believe it is the latter, but this reinforces the idea that whatever God/Allah they worship, based on whatever prophet said what, is weak, a victim…and victims often lash out, in defense of their self-identified victimhood. Of course, Jesus Christ didn’t because he came from the idea that God is all powerful, not a victim, nor was he, no matter that someone crucified his physical body, he Resurrected, proving that Spirit has dominion over all things physical, including death, sin, guilt and even taxes.

  • Anonymous

    From the article it is unclear what this guy actually did. ‘Attempted to provide material support,” “advocated placing suspicious-looking but innocent packages,” and “twice tried to travel…” Clearly an attempt at legal intervention looks warranted, but 25 years? This doesn’t seem to make sense at least from the detail in the article.

  • Anonymous

    Idiots on Fox News can say “Death To Muslims” and it’s freedom of speech.
    Muslims say “Death To Infidels” and it’s terrorism.

    I’m not saying I side with Chesser… I just want to know why xtian fundies and hawkish warmongers are allowed to call for murder of cultures (effectively calling for genocide) on broadcast media without also facing some sort of punishment?

    But then, when you can get 10 years for doing what Lynne Stewart did… it’s not like there’s any question as to whether US anti-terrorism laws are a fucking joke and present a threat to the liberties of anyone who’s crime is that of communicating/publishing information the government doesn’t like.

  • Anonymous

    25 years is an insanely long sentence for a “thoughtcrime.” Very bad precedent for all Raw Story bloggers.

  • llienomot

    They work for Fox, is that not enough? Would you want that on your CV? :)

  • Anonymous

    I’ve always believed that the strongest God is the one with the lowest self-esteem. You know, a God that breaks down crying at even the slightest sign of disrespect. My God is almighty, my God is all powerful — but, don’t make fun him O.K.? You’re going to hurt his feelings.

  • Anonymous

    Isn’t this a bit of … overreaction …. to a blabby kid who hasn’t yet grown up?

  • Anonymous

    Um, some dipshit just asked Paul Brown (R-douchebag) when someone is going to shoot the president. I guess that doesn’t qualify because, you know, he’s um……black.


  • Anonymous

    So this poor fool of a tool gets twenty-five years – while Congressman Paul Broun seems to agree to a suggestion of assassination when someone asks him, “Who will shoot Obama?”

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Daniel-Brown/690547972 Daniel Brown

    I suppose because those calling for the deaths of Muslims are actually doing so as a defense, as radical Muslims have said they want to kill us.

  • Anonymous

    US man gets 25 years for South Park threats
    I guess that fellow won’t have to worry about his retirement.
    Just thinking…

  • Anonymous

    You show disrespect for my mother, I kill you! Sentence: off with probabion:
    You show disrespect for my mohammad, I kill you! Sentence: 25 years.

  • Anonymous

    They certainly dont want Americans imitating global terrist and attacking other World Trade Centers.
    They might find out how hard it is to bring down a building with out using EXPLOSIVES on all the FLOORS!

    Hey even if you dont think WTC was a CONTROLLED DEMOLITION, the people inside were DEMOLISHED!
    They had to get experts to test if ‘samples’ were even HUMAN! because for many of them all they found
    was their DNA!

    Mother, could you help us identify this biological scum sample? Is it your daughter?


    I wondered why all those firemen marched into the WTC and then it all collapsed.
    It was because they knew that no building had ever collapsed due to fire alone!

    It takes fire and EXPLOSIVES on every floor!

    Go outside and step on a bug! It squishes, but it doesn’t DISINTEGRATE! That takes EXPLOSIVES to do.

    America, we are mass murders for political show! Get use to it!.

    Stop praying to Jesus, meet your new boss!

  • Anonymous

    well, how about the US govt not just threatening but constantly bombing and torturing moslems; isn’t that a LOT worse? this guy, ill-advised though he was, abided the saying that ‘we don’t negotiate with terrorists.’

  • Anonymous

    right you are, guy… burn jesus or billy graham in the bible belt and baby, your ass is grass… all the religions which sprang from the middle east have rabies.

  • Anonymous

    well, it was winston churchill senior who said that “moderation in politics is not a virtue.’ this fellow was ill-advised but sure had the commitment of his beliefs. was it ben franklin said “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter’?

    btw… debating that one gets you on the no-fly list. in about 2006, a professor at UPenn, right down the road from ree-speech advocate the aforementioned franklin… led a class discussion on that line… weeks later, went to airport to fly to london for a conference… no-fly for you, guy… and it wasn’t just one, but 2 of his students who turned him in to the gestapo…

  • Anonymous

    well-said-fred… a large picture, that, too. for 200 years or more, england and france had double-teamed germany. every time germany got expansively powerful; they’d crush it. WWI was caused mostly by english diplomatic blunders leading to the balkan scene that ignited WWI. then the US came to the rescue of mother england in ‘the last of the king’s wars.’ when that war ended, germany was disarmed, demilitarized, plundered and humiliated. a decade of that and we see the beer hall putsch and nazi party…

  • Anonymous

    Some might say the same about another person’s mother…
    or burning an American flag…
    or just telling the truth about American politics…
    How this is your skin?

  • David R Velasquez

    I know what you mean.
    I’m still wondering about my next flight home. I should probably consider taking a bus to the west coast by way of Canada.

  • Anonymous

    and more… ken lay when he was out on bail came here to new york city to party hearty. he went to a joint near us, ‘american trash’ a sort of biker&pastry-chef sort of place. great joint for pool, pot, crack. and indeed, ken lay was there high as a kite on liquor and coke; management phoned 911 when lay was out on the sidewalk in front shouting and tearing at his clothes. the police arrived and took him to… his hotel… had lay been me, lockup time… had he been a black guy… dead man.

  • Anonymous

    hey, lots of folks thought lay’s ‘suicide’ was faked, even bloomberg said he wondered if there was a body in that coffin.

  • Anonymous

    hey, only fun thing about prison… kinda funny that a study of those who go to prison in NYS for beatings or killings of gays almost invariably go quite gay immediately upon entering jail… if only they’d come out before…

  • Anonymous

    How on earth does a young person who was born and raised here, with all the privileges that that entails, and a new father of an infant, find it in himself to think of such things? Desensitize law enforcement? What an idiot. He’s placing the lives of his own family at risk. Now he won’t see his infant son until the child is an adult. Was it worth it, Chesser? You pathetic idiot.

  • Anonymous

    Exactly. I hope that he has an actual mental health issue. Because I find his actions inexplicable by any logic I have ever been privy to.

  • Anonymous

    While the state Deputy AG might have made unprofessional remarks, they did not rise to the level of inciting murder. In order to be actionable, a threat must be (1) in imminent danger of being carried out, and (2) within the power of the party making the threat. The Deputy AG could certainly say “I wish the Government would use live ammo,” but he was not in a position to actually carry out that threat. Whereas Chesser was giving support and ideas to various groups and committed at least ONE act in furtherance of those ideas – trying to fly to Somalia to join with known or suspected terrorists.

  • Anonymous

    Actually below is a similar article.. But can you trust the AP?

    Feb. 24, 2011 11:17 AM ET

    Saudi man charged with plotting terrorist attack

    Prosecutors: Saudi man planned attack for years
    Feb. 25, 2011 4:28 AM ET

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The FBI has arrested a 20-year-old Saudi student in Texas
    !!suspected of planning a terrorist attack using
    !!explosive chemicals. The FBI says his
    !!possible targets included the Dallas home of former President George W. Bush.

    Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari, attending college near Lubbock, Texas, was charged with attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction. Federal prosecutors say he had been researching online how to construct an improvised explosive device using several chemicals as ingredients.

    [NOW just understand this. They are now calling chemical bombs that a college kid could get his hands on as bein WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION! No wonder we had to take Sadom out of Iwreck!]

    Federal authorities say Aldawsari’s
    !!diary indicated the young man had been plotting an attack for years and obtained a scholarship so he could come directly to the United State to carry out jihad.
    [Still doesn't state how he was going to get the chemicals?]
    Aldawsari is expected to appear in federal court in Lubbock on Friday morning.

    So far this is so stupid and insults the quality of our government officials.
    So it is probably a LIE by AP.

  • Anonymous

    Fake heart attack – bet you any money that POS is living the high life in Rio right now.

  • Anonymous

    No kidding, what a worthless piece of trash – spending the retirement funds on recreational drugs.

  • Anonymous

    His neighbour is Osama, now known as John Smith (has blonde dreadlocks now and a nice tan).

  • Anonymous

    This means the average kitchen can now be called a “factory of weapons of mass destruction.”
    All in all – a rather sad indictment of “the land of the free, home of the brave.”

  • Anonymous

    buses, ugh, never unless only mode. they take forever to get anywhere, no
    food, toilets that reek, lousy seats… by contrast, trains are really nice,
    good seats, bar&dining cars, grab a puff of whatever between cars or with a
    bit of risk of chastisement, in the loo. have had great times and met cool
    people on trains. love when can afford the time and money for a cabin on a

    here’s {
    the rail journey i”d most like to take, you can go from cape town to cairo
    mostly by rail. they have the finest pullman cars in the world, better even
    than the orient express. 4-star chefs… 11,000 miles. yes, quite elitist,
    but sometimes even an egalitarian like me wants some opulence and escape.

    the transcanada is cool, too, stay at the bannf fairmont… you can take the
    orient to the transsiberian and all the way down to the southernmost tip of
    thailand. fro there, hop over to the coastal australian line. in bolivia,
    peru, chile is another great rali journey we call the cocaine train and are
    dying to do.

    then there’s always a skateboard…

  • Anonymous

    wouldn’t you? hey, he could be playing brige with suharto and imelda marcos
    at the fontainebleu in miami beach. they also stole billions.

  • Anonymous

    that place is on 77th & first avenue… quite a dive, but when wife and i
    were seperated, was tons of fun. serious. was in there one night high as
    river phoenix and these two ‘biker bitches’ had at it. one damn near brained
    me swinging a stool round her head. other started throwing billiard balls so
    i ducked behind the bar… next thing i see is sticks flying. guy in there,
    willy the bouncer… arms bigger than my waist, neck likewise, told me, ‘i
    wade into a couple of men fighting and they stop. women, totally insane,
    couldn’t care if they die, get outta the way!” i watched and did things
    therein that one hopes never makes it to tabloid… after all, me mum’s
    still alive… but hey, live while you can and experience it all because you
    only live a few billion times… and anyway, wanna live to see the dark side
    of a nursing home?

  • Anonymous

    hey, it is fried-day night and old as i beeez, 57 going on 13, already lit
    for early xmas… listening to who we thought the hottest new band of the
    1990s, screwed like the genius woman artist poe for insubordination by
    labels… ‘soul coughing.’ they are hard core smack my crack. whiteboy
    jazz-rock-hop of peculiar mindset. 3 albums and no need to edit a single
    cut, rare since earlier years of our music. but the last two best.
    ‘irresistible bliss’ and ‘ ferritos’ or such. probably a weasel, but as we
    love ferrets… do not attempt to listen to their music while sober and
    straight. and you might also want a dildo all lubed up, too… do not ever
    wrap a dildo with sandpaper…