FBI investigating jihadist threat to kill David Letterman

Dylan Stableford

The FBI is investigating a threat on a jihadist message board that urges radical Muslims to kill David Letterman.

A recent post on the Shumukh al-Islam forum--which has been referred to as a "clearing house for al-Qaeda material"--suggested someone cut off the "Late Show" host's tongue and "shut it forever." The commenter, "Umar al-Basrawi," also referred to Letterman as a "lowly Jew"; Letterman, whose mother is a Presbyterian church secretary, is not Jewish.

The threat was apparently in response to a joke Letterman made in his June 8 monologue about Ilyas Kashmiri, an Al-Qaeda leader killed in a U.S.-led drone strike in Pakistan in June.

"So (al Qaeda) picked a successor to Osama bin Laden and his name was Ilyas Kashmiri," Letterman said. "Well, guess what, he was blown up by an American drone. It wasn't going to work anyways because they got off to a rocky start with this guy. He botched up the story of Paul Revere."

Al-Baswari claimed that Letterman "put his hand on his neck and demonstrated the way of slaughter."

"Is there not amongst you a Sayyid Nosair al-Masri?" Al-Basrawi continued, a reference to the man convicted of killing Meir Kahane, the founder of the Jewish Defense League, in 1990.

Letterman "showed his evil nature and deep hatred for Islam and Muslims," Al-Basrawi added. "We ask Allah to paralyze his tongue and grant the sincere monotheists his neck."

SITE, a service that monitors threatening online material, discovered the post. Representatives for both CBS and Letterman declined comment.

The threat against Letterman follows a similar one made last year against "South Park" creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone over the Comedy Central show's depiction of the prophet Muhammad in a bear suit.

And Letterman himself is no stranger to criminal threats. A CBS News producer was convicted of attempted extortion of Letterman in 2009, threatening to expose an affair the late night funnyman had with a staff member.

In 2005, a man who worked on Letterman's Montana ranch was jailed after plotting to kidnap his son.

H/T: A.V. Club