Unrelated to South Park, at least — there certainly is a common thread connecting his actions. In this case, Zachary Chesser decided he wanted to join al-Shabaab, the perpetrators of the recent massacre in Uganda. Interestingly, he also planned to travel to Somalia through via Uganda to cover his tracks.
McLEAN, Va. – A man known for posting an online warning that the creators of “South Park” risked death by mocking the Prophet Muhammad was arrested Wednesday and charged with providing material support to a Somali terror group linked to al-Qaida.
Zachary A. Chesser, 20, of Oakton, Va., told FBI agents that he twice tried to travel to Somalia to join al-Shabab as a fighter. On the most recent attempt, earlier this month, Chesser brought his infant son with him as he tried to board a flight from New York to Uganda so he would look less suspicious, according to an FBI affidavit.
Chesser was barred from the July 10 flight and told by the Transportation Security Administration that he was on the no-fly list, according to the affidavit.
While Chesser told the FBI that he had intended on July 10 to join al-Shabab, he told them in a July 14 interview that he had changed his mind because of the July 11 bombing in Uganda that killed more than 75 people watching the World Cup, for which al-Shabab claimed responsibility.
But leading up to July 10, Chesser said he had corresponded with al-Shabab members and expected to undergo a six-week basic training and then serve as a “foreign fighter” with al-Shabab in Mogadishu. According to the affidavit, Chesser expected he would be asked to serve as a propagandist but that he had been willing to fight on the front lines.
The affidavit also states that Chesser corresponded with the radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki last year. Al-Awlaki is a U.S. citizen now living in Yemen who has recently been designated a terrorist by the U.S. government. Al-Awlaki is believed to have corresponded with several alleged terrorists, including Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the U.S. Army psychiatrist accused of killing 13 people in November at Fort Hood, Tex.
Chesser also told authorities that he used several online profiles to spread terrorist propaganda.
The affidavit makes only a brief mention of Chesser’s warnings to the “South Park” creators, saying that Chesser told authorities his parents were no longer speaking to him because of death threats they received after Chesser posted his warnings.
In April, Chesser posted a warning on the revolutionmuslim.com website that Trey Parker and Matt Stone could face the same fate as a Dutch filmmaker [Theo Van Gogh] who was killed after making a movie about a woman who rejected Muhammad’s teachings. An episode of the show depicted Muhammad in a bear costume.
At the time, Chesser said his online posting was not a threat.
“It’s not a threat, but it really is a likely outcome,” Chesser told FoxNews.com. “They’re going to be basically on a list in the back of the minds of a large number of Muslims. It’s just the reality.”…
Is Zach Chesser an Islamophobe?