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Second man in U.S. custody in "South Park" threats case

"South Park" creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker addressed the ongoing Jerry Sandusky child sex scandal that has rocked Penn State with their latest episode, "The Poor Kid." CBSNews.com's Ken Lombardi reports. Getty Images

"South Park" animated characters
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(CBS) - A second American charged with threatening the creators of "South Park" is in federal custody in the U.S., a senior counter-terrorism official says.

CNN reports that Jesse Curtis Morton is connected to Zachary Chesser, who was sentenced to 25 years in prison earlier this year after admitting he posted online threats against the "South Park" writers over their portrayal of the Islamic prophet Mohammed. 

Morton, also known as Younus Abdullah Mohammad, was the co-founder of a radical New York City-based Islamist group that supported al Qaeda's world-view.

According to court documents, on Oct. 28, Morton was taken into U.S. custody in Rabat, Morocco. He was arrested by Moroccan authorities in May after being indicted in the United States, and by Oct. 31, he was back on U.S. soil.

Earlier in the year, Chesser encouraged jihadists to attack "South Park" writers in response to an episode that depicted the prophet Mohammed in a bear suit. He posted online messages with the writers' home addresses and told online readers to "pay them a visit." In an affidavit with the complaint against Morton, FBI agents said Morton worked with Chesser on a "clarification statement" after Chesser's online posting.

FBI special agent Paula R. Menges said both men made threatening posts, despite their claims otherwise. She said that the statement had pages of justification for the death of those who insult Islam or defame its profit.

In an Oct. 2009 interview with Morton by CNN, he defended the Sept. 11 attacks and argued that more attacks on Americans were justified, despite saying he didn't support violence on U.S. soil.

Before Morton was taken into U.S. custody in Morocco, a reporter from CNN was emailed a 6,000 word statement by him, disputing the case.

He said: "On May 25, 2011, I was arrested for writing a clarification statement connected to an admittedly inflammatory post on an Islamic website. The post was a reaction to the announcement that the 'South Park' cartoon was going to portray the prophet Muhammad, something considered sacrilegious and part of an ideological accompaniment to a comprehensive Western war on Islam. The clarification statement intended to reduce the sensationalist nature of an initial overreaction but is now being utilized by U.S. law enforcement to imprison me for something I am innocent of."

In a federal court hearing in Virginia on Nov. 4, Morton was ordered detained until trial. He has yet to enter a plea.

More on Crimesider

February 25, 2011 - Jihadist who made "South Park" threat sentenced to 25 years

July 22, 2010 - Zachary Chesser Threatened "South Park" Creators Over Muhammad, Now Charged in Terror Case

October 21, 2010 - Zachary Chesser, Who Threatened "South Park" Creators, Admits Al-Qaida Terror Link

  • Crimesider Staff

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