WASHINGTON: A US man was Thursday sentenced to 25 years in prison on terror charges, including threatening the creators of the animated series "South Park" for its portrayal of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
Zachary Adam Chesser, 21, had pleaded guilty in October to providing material support to a terror group and inciting violence against the South Park creators.
"Zachary Chesser will spend 25 years in prison for advocating the murder of US citizens for engaging in free speech about his religion," said US Attorney Neil MacBride.
"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."
In his plea, Chesser admitted encouraging violent jihadists to attack the writers of South Park, among other targets, including posting speeches by Anwar al Awlaki which explained the Islamic justification for killing those who insult or defame Muhammad (pbuh).
Al Awlaki, a US citizen who lives in Yemen, has been targeted for killing by US forces as a global terrorist.
Chesser also pleaded guilty to attempting to provide material support to the Shebab, a Somalia-based group dubbed by the US State Department as a terror organization affiliated with al Qaeda.
Chesser admitted that he twice tried to travel to Somalia to join al Shabaab, once bringing his infant son as "cover."