David Letterman Threatened By Jihadists

David Letterman Threatened By Jihadists
Middle East Media Research Institute

Are jihadists becoming a bit out of touch? Their latest target is David Letterman, of all people, because he made a joke about the deaths of Osama bin Laden and OBL's successor Ilyas Kashmiri. On the al-Qaeda forum Shumoukh al-Islam, someone by the name of Umar al-Basrawi called upon U.S. Muslims to cut off Letterman's tongue and break his neck.

The post was found by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), which monitors online activity in Middle Eastern countries. "I have seen with my eyes and heard with my ears one of the scum of the Jews, one of their pigs, mocking the leaders of the mujahedeen," al-Basrawi posted on the forum. "It is the hateful David Letterman, an American Zionist, who hosts a comedy show called 'The Late Show with David Letterman.'" Of note: David Letterman is not actually Jewish, although as MEMRI president Yigal Carmon explained to the Voice, "it's an added value" for the purposes of the threat.

Al-Basrawi continued, comparing the situation with Letterman to the killing of activist Rabbi Meir Kahane by an Arab gunman in 1990: "Isn't there among you [a man like] Sayyid Nosair, the Egyptian, who can cut off the tongue of this lousy Jew and silence him forever, just like Sayyid - may Allah hasten his release - did to his fellow Jew, [Rabbi Meir] Kahane?"

This is all happening because of this joke, which was part of Letterman's opening monologue on June 8:

"So [al Qaeda] picked a successor to Osama bin Laden, and his name was Ilyas Kashmiri. Well, guess what: He was blown up by an American drone. It wasn't going to work anyway, because they got off to a rocky start with this guy. He botched up the story of Paul Revere." (Sarah Palin reference.)

According to Yigal Carmon al-Basrawi isn't necessarily a full-fledged member of al Qaeda, but he is an important member of the Shumoukh al-Islam forum, with over 1200 posts. Carmon said, "In almost all cases of homegrown terrorism, those involved talk about being going to the Internet and being inspired by the Internet." This is the "new strategy of al Qaeda," to "put the burden of jihad on individuals in America" because training is too difficult and expensive in Afghanistan and Pakistan, said Carmon.

The NYPD knows about the threat and have alerted police in Westchester, where Letterman lives. The talk show host might even get a police detail when he gets back from vacation next week.

[rgray@villagevoice.com] [@_rosiegray]

Go to Runnin' Scared for more Voice news coverage.

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