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How Private Citizens Helped Catch "Jihad Jane"

ABC is reporting the role of "'Net Vigilantes" in leading authorities to the Pennsylvania woman who called herself "Jihad Jane."  Apparently there's a network of internet users who've been following YouTube, various blogs, and other websites where individuals have been making violent Islamist tirades.  They then make their findings public on sites such as The Jawa Report and YouTube Smackdown.  They've apparently had considerable success in getting YouTube to pull the most offensive videos (some 31,000 since 2007), and in persuading web hosting companies to shut down the nastiest sites.  They use pseudonyms, and with good reason, given that they themselves could find themselves the targets of Islamist violence; the person who runs The Jawa Report goes by Rusty Shackelford. (Bonus points if you recall that name as the pseudonym used by Dale in King of the Hill.)

For years, it turned out, Colleen LaRose (who frequently posted as "Jihad Jane" and "Fatima LaRose" had been putting out videos praising terrorists and expressing violent hatred of the United States.  One of the "'Net Vigilantes" in particular began following her tirades closely, picking up bits of information that LaRose provided.  She was, this individual writes, "the perfect recruit for extremist; lonely, isolated, blaming others for her problems, in the middle of a midlife crisis, and upset that she had to care for her elderly mother. She lashed out and converted to Islam then used this as an excuse to lash out further at society for being at fault for her problems and citing her elderly mother she had to care for who did not approve of her conversion."

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