By COLlive reporter
An agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) cautioned the editorial staff of COLlive.com, a Chabad-Lubavitch community website, over a suspicious comment written about a radical Muslim who is threatening Chasidic followers.
The official from the bureau’s Joint Terrorism Task Force was referring to a reader’s comment posted on a May 31, 2009 article titled “770 Threatened Again?”
Yousef Al-Khattab, the Jewish-born editor of revolutionmuslim.com, was arrested Sunday for questioning after threatening a Lubavitch bochur at the annual pro-Israel Parade in New York City.
COLlive photographer Yossi Percia had captured the incident but was approached by unidentified law enforcement officers who told him to erase the photos.
Comment #9 on the article called to do “whatever it takes” and “such evil must be completely eradicated according to Torah law” among more harsh wording that included “poison” and “shooting.”
“I understand the frustration,” the agent who is stationed in New York told COLlive in a phone conversation Monday. “But you can’t go so far as threatening someone or to kill someone.”
“I look through COLlive and the people posting are good people and you’re writing about good things – we don’t want them getting in trouble,” he added and asked not to be identified by name.
We asked him what is the difference between the offending comment and the intimidating posts by Al-Khattab naming Lubavitch World Headquarters – 770 Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn as the source of Israeli “war crimes.”
The official answered: “He comes close. As we all know, he is a person of interest to us because of the knuckle-head stuff he does, his rhetoric and because he’s so out there on Fox News and blogs. I cannot say if he’s subject or not.”
Clearly, the agent added, Al-Khattab has “lost his way in life. He’s an idiot and a pain in the —–. But he has a right to say the things he says because we have freedom of speech in this great country. In another, he would have been arrested.”
DETECTIVES IN 770
NYPD detectives were spotted Monday by COLlive photographer Odelia, inspecting security measures at 770’s large synagogue and the offices at 788 Eastern Parkway.
Asked about the security status of 770, the agent said: “Do I think there is a threat more than any place in New York City? no.
“Historically, there’s an ongoing threat to this city as a target of extremist people. 770 is not more [of a threat] and not less.”
He agreed that “Muslims, Jews, Christians and non-religious people don’t like [Al-Khattab],” but asked that COLlive readers don’t write instigating comments, otherwise they might be investigated “if something happens.”
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