New York (CNN) -- He might not be a household name, but Yousef al-Khattab and his Revolution Muslim extremist group have been pivotal in inspiring a wave of homegrown American jihadists over the past three years.Gee, ya think?
Born Joseph Cohen, this U.S.-born Jew lived in Israel before converting to Islam. He espoused a radical version of the religion that he preached online and at public rallies.
In a CNN interview last year, he professed his undying love for Osama bin Laden, saying "I love him more than I love myself."
Today, al-Khattab seems to have changed his tune.
He admits that his now defunct Revolution Muslim website became a "bug light for Muslim misfits."
And he says he regrets that his message was taken by some as a justification to attack civilians.
"It was an idiotic thing, looking back on things now," al-Khattab said...
Update: Found this on Joey's website--the story of his mishpacha's "journey" from Judaism to Islam:
I was born to a secular Jewish family & at age 18 started to practice and learn Rabbinical Judaism. From the years 1989 till about 1999 that was the strain of Judaism we followed.During that time period I was married to Luna Melul from Morocco, who was in the USA attending a Jewish girls school (Bais/t Yaakov). My wife and I alhumdulilah were blessed with 4 wonderful children.We moved to occupied Palestine aka 'Israel' and stayed 2 months in Gush Qatif settlement (Ghaza) and then moved to Netivot in occupied 1948 Palestine, it was in Netivot thatI met a Muslim in a MSN Judaism chatroom.The brother took the time to explain Islamic monotheism (Tawheed) to me & after reading the Qur'an in it's entirety I decided in about 1999 to accept Islam as the Haqq(truth)& the last and final message.
Alhumdulilah my wife and all of our children followed. We are the first Jewish family in the history of the enemy Zionist entity to convert to Islam according to the 'Israeli' Islamic Court.Our family moved from Netivot upon our conversion to Arab villages in and around Al-Quds and latter to the West Bank in the Palestinian Authority.To quote Thelma Ritter in All About Eve, “What a story! Everything but the bloodhounds snappin’ at [his] rear end!”
By 2001 (before 9/11) the international media and press had given us interviews and shown the world that Islam is the answer of peace. Here was a family of former enemies living unarmed in a Palestinian refugee camp inside Palestine.The story was well publicized throughout the Arab world. During our stay in Palestine my kids were al educated in Palestinian Arab schools and Muslim Brotherhood schools to whom we are all very grateful. They taught the kids Arabic which is now their 1st language and culture.Alhumdulilah we were treated well by Fateh and Hamas...