Zachary Chesser of Virginia, who converted to a militant form of Islam, had pleaded guilty to three charges, including threatening the lives of 'South Park' writers and participants in 'Everybody Draw Mohammed Day.'
A Muslim convert and college dropout was sentenced to 25 years in prison on Thursday after pleading guilty to attempting to provide material support to a Somali-based terrorist group and threatening the lives of the writers of the "South Park" satiric television show for portraying the prophet Muhammad in a bear suit.
Zachary Adam Chesser, 21, of Fairfax, Va., had also posted on a militant Islamic website the names and addresses of participants in another satiric effort, an “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day” sponsored by a group of artists on Facebook. He advised the militant Muslim followers of the website: “Just a place to start.”
Lawyers for Mr. Chesser portray him as a confused, immature person who tended to dive wholeheartedly into new experiences. In an 18-month period in 2009 and 2010, he went from being a student at George Mason University to converting to Islam and becoming a close follower of radical Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki. In the process he came to embrace the most violent form of Islam advocated by Al Qaeda and other Muslim terror groups.