December 8th, 2010
03:48 PM ET

Radical "Revolution Muslim" brother changes his violent tune

Program Note: Last year, CNN's Drew Griffin spoke with the brothers of the "Revolution Muslim" who were spreading a message of violence on the New York City streets. Watch Drew's original report above. Drew Griffin has reconnected with one of these men, who just last year professed his love for Osama bin Laden, but in 2010 has changed his tune. Watch AC360° tonight at 10pm ET to here what he's saying now.

Drew Griffin | BIO
CNN Investigative Correspondent

Yousef al Khattab told me last year he loved Osama Bin Laden more than he loved himself. He tried to tell me why the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 were justified, and how he and his radical Islamic friends saw nothing wrong with the hate inspired rants they posted on their website: Revolution Muslim.

This past Sunday, on a brisk walk in Central Park, Khattab told me all those things he said were wrong. Waffling between declaring himself a dupe or simply misunderstood, he was explicit in the new message he is hoping to get out, that committing violence against civilians, whether in New York City or a Shiite Mosque in Iraq, is disgusting.

The website he helped found is now down. But today, we learn, its reach is far from over.

Over the past three years, followers, bloggers or readers of the site have been linked to 8 of the 27 terror cases here in the United States. And now Today "Revolution Muslim" can take partial credit for one more.

A 21 year old American who converted to Islam, is under arrest, accused of attempting to blow up a U.S. military recruiting station. And buried in the criminal complaint is this:

"On November 3, 2010, he was seen viewing the "Revolution Muslim" website...."

Khattab says the website become a "bug-light for Muslim misfits". He told me he regrets that his message was taken by some as a justification to attack civilians. He says terrorists who attack civilians anywhere in the world are "disgusting".

With so many of his followers under arrest, it is truly hard to tell if Khattab is now telling the truth, or just running scared. Law enforcement sources tell me either way, the collapse of this one website and apparent conversion of its founder, is a win.

Tonight, you have the opportunity to listen to Khattab, then and now, and decide which voice is the telling the truth.

Filed under: 360º Follow • Drew Griffin • Islam • Terrorism
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. lallums

    This man is crazy. Please don't pay anymore attention to him. Please for the sake of America leave him alone and let the FBI or Homeland security take care of him.

    December 9, 2010 at 1:59 am |
  2. susan

    I am not sure if people can change over night..but any change from dim dark to slightly light is welcome...we see too much violence around us, we crave any good or positive news that would hint that the next day may be a better day, that we may have the luxury of hoping for a future for our children.

    Islam is not the threat, it is the people who insight such messages that burn the bridges between different faiths.

    December 8, 2010 at 7:22 pm |
  3. Basma Healu

    Good afternoon Mr. Cooper how are you doing? I hope that you are doing great. My name is Basma Healu and I am Chaldean Catholic from Iraq. I love to watch your show because your ideas and the subjects that you go through are very interesting and important. You tell the truth, and you give a clear picture about what is really happening behind the scene.
    Those kinds of people that on this report are everywhere in the United State of America; they preach violence, and terrorize people to become Muslim by force, and if they do not become Muslim they will die. Their violent language will never change; their dream in life is to kill as many Americans as they possibly can. People like those are a great danger to our nation, and they should all be put in jail because they perch violence and terrorism.
    I have been living in the United State for seven years, and I love this country that adopted me and I am proud to say that I am a United State Citizen. I will always protect my country form all the people who want to destroyed it, and I am ready to give my life for my country.
    Thank you so much Mr. Cooper
    Have a great day.

    Basma Healu

    December 8, 2010 at 6:58 pm |
  4. VzSam619

    This is ridiculous. I think its fair to have a freedom of speech and to practice your beliefs but how can our government allow someone so bluntly speak with such hatred and say that he would be happy if Mr. President gets assassinated. There guys should be impeached.

    December 8, 2010 at 4:29 pm |