David Letterman death threat posted on jihadist website
David Letterman was the subject of a death threat made Tuesday by a frequent contributor to an online forum said to be popular with radical Muslims -- and it's a death threat the FBI is taking seriously.
A contributor using the name Umar al-Basrawi posted his threat in response to the late-night host's comments about the early June death-by-airstrike of Ilyas Kashmiri, Al Qaeda's alleged new leader after U.S. Special Forces killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan earlier this year.
"Is there not among you a Sayyid Nosair al-Mairi ... to cut the tongue of this lowly Jew and shut it forever?" Al-Basrawi wrote, referring to El Sayyid Nosair, convicted of the 1990 killing of Jewish Defense League founder Meir Kahane, and to Letterman, who is not Jewish.
According to the post, one of 1,200 or so on the site by Al-Basrawi (likely an alias), Letterman "showed his evil nature and deep hatred for Islam and Muslims, and said that Ilyas Kashmiri was killed and he joined bin Laden. Then the despicable one put his hand on his neck and demonstrated the way of slaughter!!"
The comment was brought to light by SITE Intelligence Group, a private company that monitors extremist trends, including those in the jihadist movement. SITE is an acronym for "Search for International Terrorist Entities."
The threat was made on Shumukh-al-Islam, an online destination that a SITE analyst described to EW as "a clearing house for al Qaeda material" -- one where messages from the terrorist group often appear first online in the U.S.
“We take every potential threat seriously," said Jim Margolin, spokesman for the FBI's New York office, who said the bureau is looking into the threat. CBS had no comment for the AP or EW.
-- Christie D'Zurilla
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Photo: David Letterman in March 2011. Credit: Jessica Rinaldi / Reuters