Backgrounder: Revolution Muslim
Abdullah as-Sayf Jones
Posted: June 30, 2010
Abdullah as-Sayf Jones, a convert to Islam from Florida, became the second amir (leader) of Revolution Muslim (RM) in December 2009 after RM's founding leader, Yousef al-Khattab, announced that he would be leaving the U.S. to Morocco. According to al-Khattab, Jones was only 19 years old at the time.
Four months later, Jones, who by then had adopted the name Abdullah al-Amin, resigned from the group over an apparent disagreement over theological issues. He was denounced in online posts by other RM members, including Zachary Chesser and Younes Abdullah Muhammad as an "innovator," meaning someone who adopted doctrines that diverge from the Prophet's teachings. Jones later rejected "the methodology of Revolution Muslim" on his blog.
Jones, who has described himself as a "revolutionary in pursuit of Allah's pleasure and jannah [paradise]," was RM's representative in Florida before assuming leadership of the organization. While not much is known about his activity in Florida, videos on the RM Web site show Jones distributing literature outside what appears to be a mosque in Florida during two Fridays in summer 2009.
Jones moved to New York at the end of 2009 and became involved in RM activity there.
For example, during a November 6, 2009, speech outside a midtown Manhattan mosque, a day after the shooting at Fort Hood in Texas which left 12 soldiers and one civilian dead and 32 others injured, Jones stated: "the greatest way to strike terror into the hearts of America is to hit them right in the heart, here in the heartland and soil." Jones has also been active in New York since assuming leadership of the group. On December 20, 2009, Jones confronted demonstrators from the extremist Jewish Defense Organization outside of Yousef al-Khattab's former Woodside, New York residence.
In addition to participating in RM street activity, Jones has posted material to the group's Web site that echoes the group's radical ideology. A January 18, 2010 posting, titled "Smack The Donkeys Out Of Al-Aqsa," includes a video from Al Rahma TV, an Egyptian religious television channel that often broadcasts anti-Semitic content. In it, commentator Sheik Hazem Shoman compared Jews to donkeys, declaring that "Jihad is the only answer" and calling on Muslims to "kick the Jews out of Palestine." In a September 2009 post, Jones described the U.S. led military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan as "a war against Islam…to control the land and the resources of the believers."
In a three-part video titled "My Journey to Islam" that was posted on RM's YouTube channel in August 2009, Jones informed viewers that he grew up in Brevard County in Florida and was known as David Scott Jones. Based on his account in the video, he became a Muslim when he was 16 and his main influences were Sayd Qutb, the late Muslim Brotherhood ideologue; Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S. born Muslim cleric living in Yemen who has influenced American Muslim extremists; Abu Hamza al-Masri, a radical Islamic cleric in Britain who is currently serving a seven-year sentence for incitement to murder; and Abdullah al-Faisal. Jones calls al-Faisal "my sheik now" and says that his "lectures helped me learn the true message of Islam."
In addition to his involvement with RM, Jones has contributed to several extremist Web sites and publications, including Samir Khan's Revolution blog and Jihad Recollections, an English language online publication put out by Al-Fursan Media. The magazine, which purports to be "the first English Jihad magazine," openly supports Al Qaeda. He also maintains a YouTube channel and a blog.
While Jones has parted ways from RM and denounced its confrontational methods, he emphasized in an April 7, 2010, post to his blog, that he remained committed to the cause of an "Islamic Revolution and the political revival of Islam." In another post he denounced the U.S. as the new Pharaoh.