Do not taunt Happy Fun Blogger

I used to think you had to be pretty smart to successfully carry out a terrorist attack.

As it turns out, you only have to be smarter than the people looking to stop you.

This story is about a terrorist wannabe who wasn’t smart enough.

Mohammed Radwan Obeid pleaded guilty last month to immigration fraud, and some of the details of how he was caught show the investigation may have gone on a lot longer — or not have come to fruition at all — except for the involvement of some in the blogosphere.

In March 2005, Obeid posted messages on a forum frequented by terrorist supporters saying he had plans to build a nuclear device and looking for help. “Dr. Rusty Shackleford,” not his real name, who runs The Jawa Report weblog, discovered the terrorist wannabe’s email address and shared it with Michelle Malkin, who posted it online.

Many of his readers do things such as sign up the terrorists for offers for Viagra, other male enhancement products, and such pranks, but one of them actually contacted Obeid for more information.

David Vazquez, who was conducting research for a book on terrorism and is now a Norfolk, Va., police officer, said in federal court Wednesday that he contacted the FBI after receiving a response from Obeid that he was planning an operation that would dwarf the 9/11 attacks.

Vazquez credits Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch as well. “It is partly thanks to him and to Dr. Shackleford of Jawa Report that this dangerous person is now in custody,” he said.

In July, a Jawa Report reader found a terrorist supporter in the U.K. and got him fired from his immigration law firm job.

May this not be the last terrorist caught by vigilant Internet users. Thanks for playing Happy Fun Blogger!

One thought on “Do not taunt Happy Fun Blogger

  • January 21, 2006 at 1:12 am

    The Bush administration isn’t really all the concerned with actually catching terrorists– they have been using the threat level to manipulate public opinion and to help them and their friends retain power. A good example is the raising of the threat level immediately after the Democratic National Convention in 2004. If they were truly concerned about catching terrorists, they’d stop oppressing the American people and let them help. As Lenny pointed out, the American populace, when empowered, can be pretty effective at stopping the bad guys.

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