Zachary Chesser

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Zachary Adam Chesser (1990-), also known as "Abu Talhah al-Amrikee," born and educated in the United States, who supports radical Islamism. He was arrested, in July 2010, for supporting a Somalia-based al Qaeda affiliate, al-Shabaab, and believed to be an American recruiter for al-Qaeda[1] Earlier, he gained media visibility, in April 2010, for death threats against the creators of the South Park cartoon. He has corresponded, at length, with counterterrorism analyst Jarret Brachman, which gives considerable insight into his thinking. Brachman said Chesser converted to Islam approximately two years ago, after playing on a soccer team organized by a member of Hizb ut-Tahir. [2]

Brachman suggests "Chesser wanted to fundamentally transform English-language jihadist online activism. He was trying to narrow the gap between the rudimentary thinking of American jihadists and the more advanced thinking among Arab jihadists -- a project that threatened to make the al Qaeda's ideology more accessible to more Americans in more compelling ways...I found Chesser to be far more respectful in his tone with me than most jihadists I communicate with." In their correspondence, Brachman said he found Chesser to be intensely intellectually curious. He quotes Chesser as saying

"Why is it that more or less 14 years into this war the political and media leaders in this country are still telling the people that they are being attacked for their 'way of life?' I recently listened to Senator Reid admitting that America had killed hundreds of thousands of Muslims in congress and there was no debate on that issue. Yet it does not seem to get through these people's heads that maybe that is a reason for them being a target. Michael Scheuer just ripped apart the hosts of Fox and Friends when one of the hosts tried to say that they were attacked for their 'freedom,' but he has been doing things like that for quite some time to no effect

Chesser was reported to have been in correspondence with Anwar al-Awlaki and with Omar Hammami, another American-born jihadist in Somalia.[1] The Anti-Defamation League reported he had, on 28 June, distributed a report, "Raising Al-Qaa'ida: A Look into the Long Term Obligations of the Global Jihad Movement," to Internet venues associated with radical ideas. [3]