FBI Says It’s Tracking ‘Wanted Terrorist’ Using Facebook, Twitter
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WASHINGTON (CBS WASHINGTON) – The FBI says it has been using Facebook and Twitter to find a wanted terrorist.
The “wanted terrorist,” is Ahmad Abousamra, 31, a French-born dual citizen of the United States and Syria. Abousamra was indicted in 2009 after taking trips to Pakistan and Yemen, according to CNN. The bureau is offering a reward of up to $50,000 for information leading to his arrest.
The FBI said Abousamra allegedly attempted to get military training for the purpose of killing American soldiers overseas. It also said he traveled to Iraq with the hope of joining up with forces fighting against the United States.
“Knowing that the public is the FBI’s best ally in finding fugitives, we’re requesting their assistance to locate Ahmad Abousamra,” Richard DesLauriers, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Boston division told CNN.
A federal arrest warrant was issued for Abousamra after he was charged with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, conspiracy to kill in a foreign country, false statements, and aiding and abetting. In 2010, he was charged in a superseding indictment for providing material to al Qaeda.
The FBI launched a campaign on traditional media and social media such as Facebook and Twitter to garner tips about his whereabouts, according to CNN. The FBI also said it will use “limited advertising on a social media site to reach an overseas demographic.”
DesLauriers said Abousamra is from Mansfield, Massachusetts, and left the United States in 2006.
Abousamra had been employed at a telecommunications company, and they posted three head shots of him to their website to help the public better identify him. The FBI indicated that social media and the Internet will be crucial in tracking him down.
“We believe publicizing Abousamra’s photo and characteristics will lead to a tip about his whereabouts and, ultimately, to his arrest.”