Seamus Hughes, deputy director of the Program on Extremism at George Washington University’s Center for Cyber & Homeland Security, says: “I trust him. We did our due diligence.” How did they do that? It may be that Jesse Morton is as reformed and repentant as the day is long, but when George Washington University’s Center for Cyber & Homeland Security has a “Program on Extremism” and not a “Program on Jihad,” how diligent could they be in vetting Morton for adherence to an ideology they don’t even admit exists?
What’s more, Morton was convicted of soliciting the jihad murder of “blasphemers.” Would George Washington University hire anyone of any other belief system if he had been convicted of soliciting the murder of those who offended against his belief system? This hire indicates how compromised the universities are: they are so anti-American and so far Left that jihadis are fashionable. Muslims are never a threat, even when they’re plotting violence and murder; they’re protected, privileged victims.
A reminder: “Leader of Revolution Muslim Pleads Guilty to Using Internet to Solicit Murder and Encourage Violent Extremism,” U.S. Attorney’s Office, February 9, 2012:
ALEXANDRIA, VA—Jesse Curtis Morton, aka Younus Abdullah Muhammed, 33, of New York City, pleaded guilty today to using his position as a leader of Revolution Muslim Organization’s Internet sites to conspire to solicit murder, make threatening communications, and use the Internet to place others in fear….
Morton faces a maximum penalty five years in prison for each of the three charges when he is sentenced on May 18, 2012.
That’s fifteen years, and he has served four, because he is “reformed.”
“Jesse Morton operated Revolution Muslim to radicalize those who saw and heard his materials online and to incite them to engage in violence against those they believed to be enemies of Islam,” said U.S. Attorney MacBride. “We may never know all of those who were inspired to engage in terrorism because of Revolution Muslim, but the string of recent terrorism cases with ties to Morton’s organization demonstrates the threat it posed to our national security. We’re grateful to the FBI, NYPD, and their law enforcement partners throughout the world who made today’s conviction possible.”
“Individuals such as Morton who encourage violence and create fear over the Internet are a danger to our society and to the freedoms we enjoy as citizens,” said Assistant Director in Charge McJunkin. “Today’s plea, and other recent cases of those associated with Morton’s organization, demonstrate the widespread nature of this danger. Together with our partner law enforcement agencies, and with the assistance of the community, the FBI will continue to pursue those who promulgate violent extremism and promote the radicalization of others.”…
According to a statement of facts filed with his plea agreement, Morton founded Revolution Muslim in December 2007 and created various online forums that contained postings and information supportive of violent extremism. Morton and his associates used the organization’s websites to encourage Muslims to engage in violence against those they believed to be enemies of Islam and to support Osama bin Laden, Anwar Al-Awlaki, al Qaeda, the Taliban, and others espousing violence. They posted messages in support of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, the November 2009 killings at Ft. Hood and attacks and future threats against Jewish organizations, among others.
Through his online forums, Morton conspired with Zachary Chesser, of Fairfax County, Va., and others to solicit the murder of an artist tied to the “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day” movement in May 2010, including posting online a magazine that included the artist in a hit list for violent extremists to take out and a message from Anwar Al-Awlaki that explicitly called for the artist’s assassination. In justifying these actions, Morton posted online a speech of his asserting that “Islam’s position is that those that insult the Prophet may be killed” and exhorting his listeners to fight the “disbelievers near you.”
In addition, Morton admitted through his statement of facts that he aided Chesser in taking repeated steps in April 2010 to encourage violent extremists to attack the writers of South Park for an episode that featured Muhammad in a bear suit, including highlighting their residence and urging online readers to “pay them a visit.” Among the steps they took were posting on multiple occasions speeches by Anwar Al-Awlaki, which explained the Islamic justification for killing those who insult or defame Muhammad. Morton worked with Chesser to draft a message for the website regarding the South Park threats, including a quote from Osama bin Laden that “If there is no check in the freedom of your words, then let your hearts be open to the freedom of our actions.” Morton and Chesser posted the final version of this statement on various extremist online forums, and Chesser told Morton that he expected the statement would “scare the kuffar.” Kuffar is an Arabic term, referring to an unbeliever, or disbeliever, in Islam….
Now Morton is no longer in the business of trying to “scare the kuffar.” Instead, he is soothing the kuffar to sleep validating the kuffar’s fantasies about “deradicalization.” This absurd idea is based on the assumption that Islam is a Religion of Peace, and that jihad terrorists are misunderstanding and misinterpreting it. So all that needs to be done is teach them the true, peaceful Islam, and all will be well, right?
Well, let’s see. De-radicalization programs have been implemented elsewhere, notably in Indonesia and Saudi Arabia. Let’s look at how they fared. From the Jihad Watch archives:
Former Guantanamo detainee now top al-Qaeda ideologue — “He was transferred to Saudi Arabia in 2006 where he was placed in a national rehabilitation project.”
But Jesse Morton has the magic key to “deradicalization” that no one else has been able to find? Color me skeptical.
“GW hires former Islamic extremist,” by Elizabeth Cohen, CNN, August 30, 2016:
George Washington University has hired a former Islamic extremist to work at its center on homeland security — a man who once denounced the United States and made threats against the creators of the TV series “South Park” for depicting the Prophet Muhammad in a bear suit.
While reformed extremists have worked at universities in Europe to help fight terrorism, this is believed to be a first in the United States.
Jesse Morton, who was known as Younus Abdullah Muhammad when he was a recruiter for the al-Qaeda, brings a “unique perspective” to counter-terrorism work, said Seamus Hughes, deputy director of the Program on Extremism at George Washington University’s Center for Cyber & Homeland Security….
During his days as an extremist, Morton earned a master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University.
Hughes said before making the hiring decision, he discussed Morton with the FBI, leaders in the security community and the lawyers that prosecuted Morton.
He said he’s sure Morton is completely reformed from the days he served time in federal prison after inciting people to join a terrorist organization.
“I trust him,” he said. “We did our due diligence.”
Nadia Oweidat, a fellow at the think tank New America who’s interviewed dozens of former extremists, said she doesn’t doubt Morton’s sincerity.
“People go through phases. They evolve and are finally able to see the light,” she said.
She doesn’t think Morton made up his de-radicalization to get a shorter prison sentence.
“When an extremist defects, they risk being completely targeted by their community — it’s like saying you’re gay publicly,” she said. “There are life-altering consequences and you don’t approach it lightly.”
She said other organizations should also recruit former extremists in the hopes of preventing future massacres such as the San Bernardino shooting or the November terror attack in Paris, both committed by radicalized Islamists.