Saturday, July 4, 2009

Government does pay for anti-terror tips; in Internet age, ordinary citizens may be more likely to stumble on them

The Weekend Parade Magazine reports that the State Department has sometimes paid “huge rewards” for information or tips leading to the capture of potential terrorists, at least abroad. In 2009, the government has offered $13 million for information about Al Qaeda members abroad and specifically members of the Filipino terror group Abu Sayyaf. The link is here.

Sometimes amateur bloggers or journalists who write about international political issues may receive emails or messages which may contain potentially valuable information or which may simply be hoaxes. Since 2001, I have received a few of these messages and shared then authorities. It is possible for information received by “ordinary people” in the public to turn out to be valuable in preventing incidents (including overseas) even when there is no reward or recognition. That is simply part of the "asymmetry" provided by the Internet.

In at least one case, an "ordinary" woman infiltrated a terrorist network online with a "to catch a ..." sting operation, document in her book by "Anonymous" "Terrorist Hunter", and older review ) from 2003 here.

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