George Washington University Hires ‘Reformed’ Al-Qaeda Recruiter

George Washington University (GW) has hired a former al-Qaeda recruiter who has been convicted of soliciting the jihad murder of “blasphemers,” marking what is believed to be the first time that an allegedly reformed Islamic extremist has been employed by a university in the United States.

Some of the radical Islamic terrorists he lured are still terrorizing people, fighting for the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL), notes The New York Times (NYT).

In denouncing the decision by GW to hire Jesse Morton, who was known as Abdullah Muhammad when he was helping al-Qaeda grow as a recruiter, Jihad Watch points out:

Morton was convicted of soliciting the jihad murder of “blasphemers.” Would George Washington University hire anyone of any other belief system if he had been convicted of soliciting the murder of those who offended against his belief system? This hire indicates how compromised the universities are: they are so anti-American and so far Left that jihadis are fashionable. Muslims are never a threat, even when they’re plotting violence and murder; they’re protected, privileged victims.

In February 2012, he pleaded guilty to using the Internet to solicit murder and encourage violent extremism. He was facing a maximum penalty of five years behind bars for each of the three charges when he was sentenced on May 18, 2012. However, Morton only served four because he is “reformed,” points out Jihad Watch.

CNN reports that Morton “once denounced the United States and made threats against the creators of the TV series ‘South Park’ for depicting the Prophet Muhammad in a bear suit.”

The “reformed” jihadist was hired as an expert researcher for the Program on Extremism at George Washington University’s Center for Cyber & Homeland Security.

He will be researching the very same Islamic extremist ideology he once promoted and disseminated.

The New York Times describes Morton as a “voice against jihad,” acknowledging that:

In the four years that he ran the Revolution Muslim website out of his walk-up apartment in Flatbush, Brooklyn, Jesse Morton became one of the most prolific recruiters for Al Qaeda, luring numerous Americans to the group’s violent ideology.

The men and women he inspired through his online posts and tutorials were accused of plots that included flying a remote-controlled plane strapped with explosives into the Pentagon and trying to kill a Swedish cartoonist who satirized the Prophet Muhammad. One of his collaborators was killed in a drone strike in Yemen, where he had joined Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Several are now fighting for the Islamic State.

Morton brings a “unique perspective” to the fight against terrorism, said Seamus Hughes, deputy director of GW’s Program on Extremism, according to CNN.

“We haven’t figured out how to reach that individual who’s going down the path of radicalization,” Hughes also said. “Jesse has been in that world and got out of that world.”

He pointed out that prior to hiring Morton, he discussed it with the FBI, security community leaders, and lawyers that prosecuted the former al-Qaeda recruiter. They reportedly agreed with the decision.

“Morton is completely reformed from the days he served time in federal prison after inciting people to join a terrorist organization,” asserts Hughes.

“I trust him,” he said. “We did our due diligence.”

Some analysts believe Morton can be an asset to counterterrorism efforts and research. Meanwhile, others have concluded that “deradicalization” does not work.


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