Jewish-born jihadi sent to prison


The Jewish-born founder of, a radical Islamic website, was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison by a US court last Friday for disseminating threats against Jewish organisations.

Youssef al-Khattab, 42 — born in New Jersey as Joseph Leonard Cohen — pleaded guilty in October last year to inciting terrorism, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

In 2009, al-Khattab posted a video of violence in Gaza, together with the addresses of and directions to US Jewish groups and leaders, urging his followers to “deal with” the leaders in their own homes, NPR radio reported.

Al-Khattab, whose Jewish parents live in Brooklyn, launched the website in 2007 “to encourage Muslims to support Osama bin Laden, Anwar Al Awlaki, al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and others engaged in or espousing violent jihad,” according to the FBI.

Al-Khattab told NPR that he converted to Islam after travelling to the Middle East in his 20s. “I became a Muslim in Palestine,” he told the radio station.

Al-Khattab told NPR he was remorseful and would pay the price for his “stupidity”. He added: “I’m not a mujahid, I’m a failure.”

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