A Virginia man who called for the murder of the creators of "South Park" was sentenced to spend 25 years in prison Thursday.
After Matt Stone and Trey Parker's hit animated series aired an episode that portrayed the Muslim prophet Mohammad as a man in a bear costume, Zachary Chesser wrote multiple internet posts calling for Stone and Parker to "wind up like Theo Van Gogh," the Dutch filmmaker murdered in 2004 by a radical Muslim extremist who objected to the portrayal of Islam in one of his films.
Chesser also faced charges for trying on at least two past occasions to join al-Shabab, a terrorist group based in Somalia. In addition, a number of Chesser's internet posts encouraged like-minded individuals to leave suspicious packages in public places across the U.S. in order to purposefully assuage suspicion so real bombs planted in the future could go undetected.
Chesser also encouraged violence against individuals planning to participate in "Everybody Draw Mohammad Day."
In October, Chesser pleaded guilty to charges that he provided material support to terrorists and made threats of violence.
"Zachary Chesser will spend 25 years in prison for advocating the murder of U.S. citizens for engaging in free speech about his religion," U.S. Attorney Neil MacBride said Thursday. "His actions caused people throughout the country to fear speaking out -- even in jest -- to avoid being labeled as enemies who deserved to be killed."