Facebook Postings Started Baltimore Bomber Investigation | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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Facebook Postings Started Baltimore Bomber Investigation

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It was social media that led federal authorities to the man who allegedly tried to blow up a military recruiting office in suburban Baltimore.

The FBI first became aware of 21-year-old Antonio Martinez in October, when a concerned citizen saw postings on Martinez's Facebook page. One post allegedly said, "Anyone who opposes Allah and his prophet peace be upon him. I hate you with all my heart."

An undercover agent soon made contact with Martinez, who was arrested Wednesday morning after trying to drive what he thought was a bomb laden vehicle, given to him by the FBI, into a military recruiting center in Catonsville. The bomb was fake and posed no threat the public, according to U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein, who praised the citizen who first alerted authorities about the Facebook postings.

"We rely on citizens to report allegations, and in fact, it's critical to the success of our efforts to protect America that people are willing to come forward when information comes to their attention," Rosenstein says.

The Baltimore FBI office says one-fourth of the cases they're investigating started with citizen complaints.

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