David Letterman has received a death threat from a contributor to a jihadist website after comments he made about the death of an al-Qaida leader. The popular talk show host reportedly made a joke after the U.S. military announced a drone strike in Pakistan had killed known terrorist IIyas Kashmiri.
According to the Associated Press, a contributor identifying himself as Umar al-Basrawi posted a message on the Shumuka al-Islam forum, a popular destination for radical Muslims, attacking Letterman for his remarks. The man wrote that the host had made reference to Osama Bin Laden and Kashmiri, saying he, "put his hand on his neck and demonstrated the way of slaughter". In a particularly sinister passage, Basrawi asks, "Is there not among you a Sayyid Nosair al-Mairi ... to cut the tongue of this lowly Jew and shut it forever?" , referring to the man convicted of killing Jewish Defense League founder Meir Kahane in 1990. Although Letterman is not Jewish, Adam Raisman of the Site Monitoring Service said the online forum is often used by al-Qaida, adding, "The concern is that there is someone who will read it, agree with it and say, 'I want to be the Sayyid Nosair of 2011 and kill David Letterman".
Letterman, who currently hosts his 'Late Show' on CBS, is considered one of the most popular hosts in the U.S. and has been a fixture on late night television since 1982.