Social media, public tips become powerful tools for law enforcement trying to stop terrorists

Social media, public tips become powerful tools for law enforcement trying to stop terrorists
In separate cases, the FBI announced the arrests of Elizabeth Lecron, 23, of Toledo, and Damon Joseph, 21, of Holland, for alleged domestic terrorism plots. (Source: SOURCE: Lucas County jail)

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Nationally recognized security expert Tim Dimoff says when it comes to staying one step ahead of terrorists, social media has become one of the most valuable tools for law enforcement.

“It is amazing what is shared on social media - what you can find on it,” said Dimoff of Sacs Consulting and Investigative Services, Inc. “A lot of people share stuff on social media, and that includes criminals and terrorists, and they share things - they may not share the big things - but they share enough of the little things though that they are doing or planning or talking or thinking about, and those little things are like pieces in the puzzle - maybe small pieces, but when you start to put them together, they start to tell a story.”

The plot of terror suspect Damon Joseph of Holland, Ohio, unraveled Monday when federal agents busted him near Toledo. The FBI said they had been keeping a close eye on Joseph’s social media after he posted photos of knives and firearms. He also claimed to support ISIS.

Investigators say he unknowingly forwarded them plans for an attack.

In another unrelated case that was also publicized yesterday, 23-year-old Elizabeth Lecron, of Toledo, left clues on her social media posts about what she was up to - posting about mass murder before she was busted for buying bomb making materials. Her target: a local bar.

But the most powerful tool that investigators have in catching a terrorist before they strike, according to Dimoff, is the general public – people like you and I. He says our ability to see something and say something has helped put the brakes on 300 incidents that could have cost countless innocent lives.

“The key - the big key is see something, say something. We all need to be eyes and ears to what’s going on,” added Dimoff.

Copyright 2018 WOIO. All rights reserved.