How a former extremist became a counterterrorism analyst


Watch a report on Jesse Curtis Morton’s transformation.

Federal prosecutors once regarded Jesse Curtis Morton as a threat to national security.

The FBI said the pro-jihadist website he helped found,, inspired a number of terrorist plots. On that website, militant training videos, bomb-making instructions, praise for al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden and chat rooms for discussions among members created a multi-media stew of toxic content, they said.

In 2012, Morton was sentenced to more than 11 years in prison for his role in running the site.

Now, just four years later, Morton is free and has been hired as a terrorism analyst at a George Washington University-based think tank.

In a broadcast-exclusive interview airing Monday, PBS NewsHour Weekend anchor Hari Sreenivasan talks with Morton about how this former extremist went from being wanted by the FBI to sought out by some of the top counterterrorism analysts in Washington.

Ten Art Journal Ideas and Prompts.

These prompts are great for art journals and sketch books!

1) Fill a page with icons. Think logos, symbols, flourishes, doodles, and other small and simple designs.

2) Completely cover a page (all white space) with leaves, feathers, flowers, and other things you find outside. Bonus points if you find butterfly wings.

3) Cut a pattern out of one page and use it as a stencil for the next page. Brush acrylic colour over top.

4) On a nature walk, pick as many varieties of mushroom as you can find. Try to determine what species they are, press and lable them in your journal.

5) Use a cup to fill a page with circles. Then, use different kinds of paint, pastels, markers, and fabrics to fill each circle in. Do the same for the gaps between the circles. Bonus points if none of the circles touch another of the same medium.

6) Paint stores give away mis-tinted house paint for free, or for very very cheap. Acquire latex house paint and apply large dollups of it to the page. Let them drip, focus on texture. Use a fan or blow drier to dry in place.

7) Sew along the edges of the page, loop the thread around instead of stitching so that it shows when you close the book. I used gold thread from the dollar store, it is thin enough not to get in the way of future entries.

8) Make a collage with old photographs and postcards found at a local second hand store.

9) Draw the room you are in. To avoid changes in perspective, stare at one object and draw what is in your peripheral vision.

10) Make pencil rubbings of the titles of all of your favorite books. Usually these are embossed under the jacket if the book is a hardcover.