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FBI Uses Facebook to Trap Terror Suspect, Defuse Maryland Bomb Scheme

armed forces recruiting office
On Wednesday, FBI agents arrested a young Muslim-American man who was allegedly plotting to blow up a U.S. military recruitment office in Maryland. Officials nabbed the suspect, 21-year-old Antonio Martinez, after trapping him in an intricate sting operation that was facilitated, at least in part, by Facebook.

The FBI lured Martinez into its trap with an informer, who posed as one of his accomplices, and communicated with him via Facebook. The social network also allowed authorities to get a better idea of Martinez's militant psyche, via status updates and messages. "An affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint alleges that on September 29, 2010, Martinez publicly posted on his Facebook account a statement calling for violence to stop the oppression of Muslims, and that on Oct. 1, 2010, he publicly posted a message stating that he hates any person who opposes Allah and his prophet," reads a statement from the Justice Department. The Department added that Martinez expressed his desire to go to Afghanistan or Pakistan, and that "it was his dream to be among the ranks of the mujahideen, and that he hoped Allah would open a door for him because all he thinks about is jihad."

As soon as Martinez attempted to remotely detonate fake bombs, which the FBI had supplied, outside of a military recruitment center, authorities swooped in and arrested him. U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein tells the AFP that "there was no actual danger" in the detonation, since, of course, the bombs were fake. FBI special agent Richard McFeely, however, points out that Martinez still posed a very real threat, because he was "absolutely committed to carrying out an attack which would have cost lives."

Tags: AntonioMartinez, facebook, fbi, FBI sting, FbiSting, maryland, politics, security, SocialNetworking, terrorism, top