Was doing some research for Internet Antropologist and found this very informative article.
We (and that’s a collective “we” including many different people and many different websites) have been saying this for a LONG time. The violent postings of terrorist wannabe’s on the internet need to be taken seriously. That’s why we’re so adamant that YouTube, Facebook and other social networks abide by their posted TOS. The less outlets the terrorists have to congregate in, the more likely than can be caught.
Jihad’s Ugly American Face
…On July 10, Chesser was barred from boarding a flight New York to Uganda. According to an affidavit filed in the case, he admitted his intention was to travel to Somalia to fight for al-Shabaab. Chesser also said he brought his infant son with him as a cover “to avoid detection of his intention to join Al-Shabaab in Somalia,” the affidavit said.
Brachman calls would-be terrorists who graduated from posting jihadist rhetoric on the Internet to attempting to carry it out “jihobbyists.”
It is a fallacy to believe that such people don’t constitute a security threat. “There are so many [jihadists] that have a big online footprint before they go violent,” Brachman told the IPT.
For example, Faisal Shahzad, who pled guilty in the May Times Square plot, reportedly blogged on jihadist websites dating back to 2006. Hasan corresponded with Awlaki and other radicals via the Internet prior to the Fort Hood killings. Colleen LaRose, AKA “Jihad Jane,” posted frequently in favor of jihad prior to her arrest on charges of providing material support to terrorism and plotting to kill a Swedish cartoonist for depicting the prophet Muhammad.
The trend of American jihadists moving from advocacy to armed violence is likely to accelerate. For years, jihadists had accepted the concept that some of them would engage in violence while others could help with online advocacy, Brachman said. But he senses that this outlook is shifting dramatically. The turning point was a December 30 suicide bombing in Khost, Afghanistan which killed seven CIA officials and a Jordanian official. The bomber was Humam al-Balawi, a double agent and a prolific jihadist blogger.
“That was a definitive moment for how jihobbyists thought of themselves,” Brachman told the IPT. In the wake of Balawi’s suicide attack, “the new mindset we’ve seen is that it’s no longer acceptable just to support violent jihad online.”
Jihad using the Internet and social media is now regarded “as a staging ground and not an end in itself,” Brachman said.
Go read the entire thing – it’s a who’s who of American terrorists. And how they got there.