American jihadist sentenced to 25 yrs over 'South Park', Facebook death threats

Washington, Feb 25: Zachary Chesser, an American Muslim convert and college dropout, has been sentenced to 25 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to three charges, including threatening the lives of 'South Park' writers and participants in 'Everybody Draw Mohammed Day.'

Chesser was sentenced on Thursday, after pleading guilty in October last year to providing material support to a Somali-based terrorist group and making threats against the writers of the 'South Park' TV show for portraying the prophet Muhammad in a bear suit, the Christian Science Monitor reports.

Terming Chesser as a confused and immature person, his lawyer had urged for a 20-year sentence for him. The lawyer also said that during an 18-month period in 2009 and 2010, his client had gone through massive transitions from being a student to converting to Islam, and becoming a close follower of radical Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki.

He further said that Chesser rejects violence now, and also regrets his earlier conducts.

Prosecutors, however, asked the judge to hand down a 30 years jail term to Chesser, saying: "There is nothing that Chesser can ever do or say that will remedy the tremendous harm he has already caused to our society as a whole."

Sentencing 25-years to the jihadist, US Attorney Neil MacBride said in a statement that: "Zachary Chesser will spend 25 years in prison for advocating the murder of US citizens for engaging in free speech about his religion."The fact that a young man from northern Virginia could support such violence and terror is a sobering reminder of the serious threat that homegrown jihadists pose to this country," he added.

Copyright Asian News International/