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Letterman threat on Al Qaeda website is no laughing matter

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John Paul Filo/CBS/AP

(Read caption) Letterman threat: In this photo provided by CBS, Ford president and CEO Alan Mulally joins host David Letterman on the set of the “Late Show with David Letterman,” Wednesday Aug. 3, in New York.

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TV funnyman David Letterman gets fan mail all the time, plus crank notes and the occasional threat. They can make good grist for the next night’s show. But his latest viewer missive is a little creepy and a lot darker.

Someone calling himself Umar al-Basrawi posted a death threat on an Al Qaeda message board called shumukh al-Islam.

Because of jokes Mr. Letterman has made about Osama bin Laden and Muhammad Ilyas Kashmiri, another Al Qaeda leader killed by a US strike in Pakistan in June, Mr. Basrawi in essence put out a contract on the host of CBS’s “Late Show.”

“To the righteous Muslims in America: Isn’t there a man among you who can cut off the tongue of this lowly Jew and silence him forever?” he wrote. (Letterman was raised in the Presbyterian Church, but never mind.) “He showed his evil nature and deep hatred for Islam and Muslims.”


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