George Washington University hires former Al Qaeda terrorist as homeland security expert

Larry O'Connor Posted at 8:01 am on August 30, 2016

Jesse Morton has been hired as an Islamic terrorism expert to work in George Washington University’s Program on Extremism.   Mr. Morton used to go by the name Younus Abdullah Muhammad when he served as a recruiter for the al-Qaeda terrorist network.

That’s right, George Washington University has hired a “former” Islamic terrorist as an expert on homeland security: (CNN)

During his days as an extremist, Morton earned a master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University.

(Program Director Seamus) 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.”

Morton (or Muhammad) rose to prominence when he threatened the creators of South Park for depicting Mohamed in a bear costume.

Seriously:

Morton, also known as Younus Abdullah Mohammad, was taken into U.S. custody in Rabat, Morocco, on October 28, according to court documents. He was first arrested by Moroccan authorities in May after being indicted in the United States. By October 31, he was back on U.S. soil, the official said.

In a detention hearing at federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, on November 4, Morton was ordered detained until trial, according to court documents. He has yet to enter a plea. In May, Morton, a former resident of Brooklyn, New York, became the second person charged in the “South Park” case.

Earlier this year, Zachary Adam Chesser, 21, who admitted to posting online threats, was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Chesser, a Muslim convert, encouraged violent jihadists to attack “South Park” writers for an episode that depicted the Prophet Mohammed in a bear suit, court documents said. Chesser posted online messages that included the writers’ home addresses and urged online readers to “pay them a visit,” the documents said. In an affidavit accompanying the complaint against Morton, FBI special agent Paula R. Menges said Morton, co-founder of the group called Revolution Muslim, worked with Chesser on a “clarification statement” after Chesser’s postings.

Earlier this year, the Washington Post reported that the US Department of Homeland Security had tapped Morton/Muhammad as an informant:

A federal judge in 2012 agreed that Morton deserved a harsh punishment, sentencing him to 11 1/2 years in prison. But less than three years later, the 37-year-old is out and being paid by the FBI, according to government records and an attorney who says Morton helped federal officials build a case against a client accused of trying to join the Islamic State.

Though police cooperators receiving sentencing breaks is hardly a novel practice, Morton’s release is unusual in that, at least when he pleaded guilty, federal authorities billed him as particularly malevolent.

“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,” then-U.S. Attorney Neil MacBride said in a statement at the time.

PBS did a profile on the “reformed” terrorist yesterday:

The GWU campus is less than a mile from the White House in the nation’s capital.