NEW YORK (1010 WINS/WCBS 880) — Rep. Anthony Weiner (D–Queens & Brooklyn) is calling on Youtube to remove videos featuring Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born Muslim cleric, who counterterrorism officials call an Al Qaeda operative.
In an interview with 1010 WINS, Weiner called al-Awlaki “the video version of Bin Laden” and said he was using the video website to promote radical Islamic extremism and violence against Americans.
Weiner wants Youtube to remove over 700 videos featuring al-Awlaki, who is believed to be hiding in Yemen. The congressman said those videos had a combined viewing of nearly 3.5 million.
“Youtube is being used to foster terrorism,” Weiner said, “this does not seem to me to be a very difficult case.”
“Let’s face it. If you put up a copyrighted videotape of Jon Stewart, they take it down in 30 minutes. There’s no reason why a terrorist who’s been connected to so many evil actions should have his rantings on Youtube unfettered.”
The cleric has been linked to attacks in the United States including the failed Times Square plot, the Fort Hood shootings and the failed attempt by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who is accused of trying to blow up a Detroit-bound plane using explosives hidden in his underwear.
Speaking to WCBS 880, Weiner said Google told him that it was a tough case and a freedom of speech issue.
“I understand they wrestle with tough issues all the time, but I think this is a pretty bright-line test,” Weiner said.