The former al-Qaida recruiter hired by George Washington University’s Program on Extremism to research effective methods to de-radicalize potential terrorists has been arrested for allegedly arriving with cocaine to what he thought would be a meeting with a prostitute.
The one-time terrorist recruiter is Jesse Morton, reports The Washington Post.
Police in Fairfax, Virginia arrested Morton, 38, during a sting operation conducted on Dec. 28.
The sting involved an ad offering sex services placed on Backpage.com. Morton replied to the ad and then appeared at the Governor House Inn & Suites in Falls Church — “worn, but clean, comfortable, convenient.”
Upon arresting Morton on the motel premises, police searched him and his automobile. They say they found cocaine, a glass pipe and some other accessory for smoking crack cocaine.
The charges against Morton are possession of a controlled substance and residing in a bawdy place.
Morton has traveled a long road from radicalized Muslim who recruited countless terrorists, to George Washington University anti-terror expert, and just recently to his arrest at the Governor House Inn.
He was radicalized in prison before the September 11 terror attacks, and began to pursue his education, he has said.
While attaining a Master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University in 2007, Morton affiliated himself with radical Islamist groups in New York City. At the time, he went by the name Younus Abdullah Mohammad.
Morton then started Revolution Muslim, a website and Youtube channel that would become one of the most prolific Islamic radicalization efforts in the United States.
Over the course of three years, Morton recruited countless terrorists. Eventually he fled to Morocco, where he was apprehended and extradited back to the U.S. in 2011.
Prosecutors described Morton as a foe of “the very freedoms on which our society is based.” They accused Morton of encouraging terror attacks against “South Park” creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker on the Revolution Muslim website.
Parker and Stone were enemies of Islam, Morton said, because of a cartoon which portrayed Mohammed wearing a bear costume.
While still in prison on a raft of charges, Morton began secretly helping federal agents with counter-terrorism operations.
He was released from prison in 2015, several years early.
George Washington University hired Morton as a research fellow for its extremism-focused think tank in the fall of 2016.
“I hope I can deter just as many people as I recruited,” Morton told The Hatchet, the GWU student newspaper, in September. “I have deep regret and remorse from my time as an extremist. I cannot change the past and I can only work to rectify what I’ve done.”
Morton no longer works at George Washington. It’s not clear when he stopped.
His biography on the GWU website no longer exists. When the bio was available, it read: “After his incarceration in 2011, Morton de-radicalized, and today he rejects Salafi jihadi and Islamist ideology.” (RELATED: Think Tank Hires Former Terrorist To Study Terrorists)
According to the Post, Morton blames his Islamic radicalization on a painful childhood, drug abuse and the transformation he underwent after reading “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” while he spent some time in jail at age 20.
The undergraduate cost for tuition, fees and room and board at George Washington University is $64,800 per year.
Morton’s next court date is in April.