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(6) Google him. Nowadays most people have an online presence of some kind—a Facebook page, a blog, a network of associates on LinkedIn. Look for patterns and themes. A single post reading, "Death 2 Infidels!!!!!" does not mean much by itself. But it grows in significance if your suspect also Tweets, "@AQAPfan — yes death 2 infidels; see sura 9:5 you ignorant spawn of apes and pigs." If the suspect also posts a video of himself decapitating an American hostage or vowing to rain the fires of hell upon the American sons and daughters of Shaitan, all the more reason to keep an eye on him.
Not every recluse who lives in a fortified compound and wages
holy war is a terrorist, and mistakes are bound to happen. But when
you're tasked with preventing the nuclear immolation of a major
metropolitan area, it's better to err on the side of caution. Share
this information with your coworkers in the security community. And
remember: If you see something, say something.
A. Barton Hinkle is a columnist at the Richmond Times-Dispatch. This article originally appeared at the Richmond Times-Dispatch.