Zachary Adam Chesser, a.k.a. “Abu Talhah Al-Amreeki” could get up to 15 years for providing support to terrorists

Chesser spent his years at Oakton High School trying out a variety of identities, friends said, before transforming himself into the bearded, robed young man who was arrested by the FBI last week for allegedly trying to join an al-Qaeda-linked terrorist group in Somalia.

“Trey Parker and Matt Stone can exhale now. Zachary Adam Chesser, the 20-year old who threatened the two South Park creators online for depicting the prophet Muhammad in a bear costume, will plead guilty to supporting terrorism this afternoon in a Virginia court.

A prolific blogger, Chesser used handles like Abu Talhah and Abu Talhah al-Amrikee to encourage sympathizers “to actually go and fight against the disbelievers” on a variety of blogs and message boards. Acting on his impulses, he attempted twice this year to travel to Somalia to join the Qaeda-affiliated al-Shabaab, but his online threats landed him on a no-fly list. FBI agents arrested him in July.”

“… after Chesser started college, he grew a beard, began wearing a jalabiya, a traditional robe, and returned to the high school to lecture MSA members, revealing his increasingly rigid view of Islam.

“It was about dress, about guys not wearing shorts above the knee and girls not wearing tight pants and covering their hair,” said Al-Khalaf, who described Chesser as “a lot more non-accepting.”

His old friends were shocked at the transformation. After Chesser told MSA members that they would go to hell if they didn’t follow his clothing guidelines, Al-Khalaf said, “everyone was just looking at each other, and I made a comment like, ‘Well then, we’re all screwed.’ ”

By then, Chesser was worshiping at the Islamic Center Northern Virginia in Fairfax.

Chesser planned to go to Somalia via Kenya but was thwarted because the mother of his wife confiscated her passport.

He’d already been exchanging e-mails with U.S.-born Yemeni cleric Anwar al-Aulaqi, who has been linked to last year’s massacre at Fort Hood and an attempt to blow up a Detroit-bound plane on Christmas Day…

Chesser began espousing increasingly militant views online.”

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