Friday, February 25, 2011

Terrorists make lousy bloggers

A 20-year-old college student was nabbed for plotting to blow up George W. Bush's home this week, along with a few other targets including nuclear power plants.

To save you the trouble of checking to see if he's a Muslim, yes. The suspect is from Saudi Arabia and is named Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari. A college student wanting to harm former president Bush had good odds of being a white unshaven vegan anarchist with a trust fund, but this case followed the cliche profile* instead.

This story reads like a deleted scene from Four Lions. Aldawsari got caught trying to buy concentrated carbolic acid from a chemical supplier, a substance with no household applications. He also wrote himself emails with titles like “NICE TARGETS 01” that contained lists of hydroelectric dams.

If that wasn't obvious enough for the authorities, Aldawsari kept a blog whose target audience was the FBI:

In a blog kept by the suspect, one post described how he obtained his scholarship with the hope that it “will help tremendously in providing me with the support I need for Jihad”. The post continued: “And now, after mastering the English language, learning how to build explosives and continuous planning to target the infidel Americans, it is time for Jihad.”

We bloggers are a diverse community that write about a wide variety of topics from many different views. There is a very delicate balancing act in deciding what aspects of your life to make public and it can be very tricky. But personally, I draw the line at intended criminal acts - horrific acts that people take very seriously and are quick to report.

How could he have made it easier to catch him? Make his handle "Terrorist Bomber 420" or tag his posts "Things I Plan to Blow Up" and "72 Virgins Here I Come"? Even brain-dead goombahs learned to say "I want him whacked" instead of "I would like you to go out and commit homicide - 'murder,' if you will."

Perhaps the FBI should consider a new task force in the wake of this near-tragedy - one that Googles the phrase "I am a terrorist" to see what comes up.

*Fun fact: Saying most terrorists are Muslims is not even close to saying most Muslims are terrorists.

1 comment: