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Jewish Man Who Became Radical Islamist Sentenced To Prison

Yousef al-Khattab, a Jewish kid from New Jersey who turned into a radical Islamist, was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison on Friday.

As NPR's Dina Temple-Raston reported earlier today, al-Khattab is the founder of a radical Islamist group called Revolution Muslim, "which became a gateway for young jihadists in the U.S. looking to join violent Islamist groups overseas."

Dina continued:

"Back in October, al-Khattab pleaded guilty to using the RevMuslim website to 'place persons affiliated with Jewish organizations ... in reasonable fear of death or serious bodily injury.' "

The AP reports the judge in the case said he imposed a modest sentence so people " 'understand the line' between free speech and criminal calls for violence."

The AP adds:

"Al-Khattab, 45, renounced his postings during the hearing in federal court in Alexandria, asking district Judge Liam O'Grady to hold him responsible only 'for what I say, not how other people understood it.'

"Derisively calling himself a 'clown' and 'the Gilbert Gottfried of the Muslims,' al-Khattab said he did not intend to incite violence but would not make the postings today that he did years ago.

" 'I look back now, and I'm very wrong,' al-Khattab said."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.

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