Late Show host David Letterman has made jokes in the past that have put him in the figurative crosshairs (remember the Oprah thing or more recently, the Sarah Palin feud?) It appears as though he might have wound up in the literal crosshairs, according to one Intelligence group.
SITE Intelligence Group, a private company that monitors extremist chatter on the internet, has identified posts on a Jihadist forum that call for the killing of Letterman for jokes he made regarding the death of a terrorist leader.
According to SITE the threat was made by Umar al-Basrawi, a "frequent commenter" that the group has tracked making comments on other Jihadist forums. The site where the threats appeared is Shumukh-al-Islam, an Al-Qaeda depository. Basrawi has over 1,200 comments on that site.
"It's a clearing house for Al-Qaeda material. it gets the most Al-Qaeda supporters," said Adam Raisman of SITE.
Apparently, Umar al-Basrawi didn't like a joke that Letterman made regarding a man named Ilyas Kashmiri, a suspected Al-Qaeda leader killed in an airstrike. Here's what the post said -
He said that Kashmiri was killed in an airstrike in Pakistan (the news was not yet reported about the leading mujahideen, and Allah knows best)," the message said. "Then, he 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!! Meaning that the Americans slaughtered Mullah Ilyas Kashmiri (we ask Allah to protect him), just as they slaughtered before him Sheikh Usama bin Laden (may Allah have mercy on him).
And the threat -
Is there not amongst you a Sayyid Nosair al-Masri (may Allah release him) to cut the tongue of this lowly Jew and shut it forever. Just as Sayyid (may Allah release him) did with the Jew Kahane.
We ask Allah to paralyze his tongue and grant the sincere monotheists his neck. O Allah, amen.
Letterman isn't Jewish, but I'm assuming that fact is probably irrelevant to Basrawi.
Twitter is making light of the situation -
Jihadists have made death threats against David Letterman? I think Al-Qaeda has officially jumped the shark.
If OBL is dead and al Qaeda is targeting David Letterman, I think it's now official: we're winning the war on terror.
Poor David Letterman...if any more crazy people hung on his every word he'd be Michele Bachmann.
Although this isn't the first time that Letterman's public persona has put him in danger, it might be the most severe of the cases. Back in the late 80s and early 90s, Letterman had a notorious stalker named Margaret Mary Ray. More recently, a former Late Show producer tried to blackmail Letterman with information about his office affairs.
SITE says that they advise Letterman to exhibit same level of caution that he would use regarding a threat from an obsessed fan.