BALTIMORE (WJZ)– In the blizzard of chatter on social media, a 24-year-old Bangladeshi man living in Maryland caught the attention of the FBI after messages he posted online.
Authorities began zoning in on Nelash Mohamed Das after tweets like, “Envying ISIS members who reach Shahada,” or “Heaven…for murdering Kuffars…or infidels.”
Then came something specific.
“He had tweeted he wanted to kill a member of the U.S. military,” said U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein.
According to court documents, September 2015 Das began tweeting support for ISIS.
In May, the FBI arranged for Das to meet an undercover source. On September 28th the source provided guns and Das bought ammunition. On September 30th, the two men drove to the target’s home and Das was arrested by the FBI.
“They made certain the weapons they gave were not going to fire and that there wasn’t a real U.S. military person that was in position to be killed,” said Rosenstein.
The FBI follows ISIS propaganda and the recruits it raises on social media, especially when the orders call for.
Social media posts may have alerted the FBI to the suspect, but it was human intelligence that built the case.
“It takes that supplemental human intelligence work to understand when a suspicious person actually turns into somebody who could pose a realistic threat,” said Ben Yelin, with the University of Maryland Center for Health and Homeland Security.
“It’s not a situation where the FBI gave him the idea,” says” Rosenstein.
Nelash Mohamed Das is set to appear in federal court in Prince George’s county on Thursday.