You can run off to join the Islamic State, but you can’t hide — at least, not if you forget to turn off location tracking on Twitter.
Mohammed Daniel, formerly known as Mark John Taylor, deleted 45 tweets this month — but not until after an intelligence firm was able to identify his location after he apparently forgot to disable the social media website’s tracking tool.
Daniel reportedly tweeted in October that he was with Islamic State fighters in an area of Syria called Kafar Roma, which Syrian President Bashar Assad had said was occupied by terrorists, the New Zealand Herald reported.
Daniel disappeared from Twitter for at least two months before again tweeting from the Syrian city of Al-Tabqah in early December. Based on several tweets Daniel sent from Al-Tabqah, the Canadian-based intelligence research firm iBRABO was able to pinpoint the house where Daniel was believed to be staying.
Daniel later updated his profile photo, which led the intelligence firm to believe Daniel was on the move, given the suitcases behind him in the picture.
“There is no doubt that Taylor is fully aware of his social media failures now given his recent removals from his Twitter account and his most recent tweet claiming he was staying in the Islamic State for good,” Jeff Weyers of iBRABO said. “No doubt this is a better alternative than being targeted by a drone strike or any group with the operational capabilities to target his short lived home in Al Tabqah.”
The social media blunders allowed officials not only to monitor Daniel’s whereabouts but they also provide a legal cushion for prosecutors looking for enough evidence to take him into custody: ”In this manner, they can better justify potential criminal charges against the individual and at the very least build grounds for their detention and investigation upon their return, Weyers said.
That is, if he ever decides to return home to New Zealand. Daniel traveled to Yemen to visit another alleged jidahist, Bin John. Later that year, the New Zealand government placed travel restrictions on his passport after he was arrested in Pakistan for reportedly trying to enter an Al Qaeda and Taliban-occupied portion of the country.
Daniel’s whereabouts from 2009 through 2012 are in question, but he’s believed to have taught English in Indonesia for two years just before entering Syria, where the New Zealand Herald reported he became a “soldier for Allah.”
“His statements and twitter missteps have solidified his involvement with ISIS and will provide the evidence should he ever try to return to New Zealand,” Weyers said.
Courtesy of The Blaze