Shannen Rossmiller

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Shannen Rossmiller reportedly tracks Islamists online.[1] Rossmiller is an American judge, serving in Montana, who has a controversial role as a vigilante online terrorist-hunter, once part of the 7Seas group.[2]

A former high school cheerleader[3]and mother of three[4], Rossmiller poses as militant anti-American Muslim radicals online, hoping to attract the eye of those with similar mindsets. Whilst still a member of 7-Seas,[5] she provided evidence that ultimately convicted National Guardsman Ryan G. Anderson of attempting to defect to al-Qaeda.[6]

In 2005, she offered the transient Michael Reynolds $40,000 to purchase fuel trucks to attack American pipelines, while posing as an al-Qaeda financier.

She appeared in the BBC documentary entitled "The New al-Qaeda".[7] A publicist is currently seeking a book or movie deal based on Rossmiller's story. [8]


"I wish to desert from the U.S. Army. I wish to defect from the United States. I wish to join al-Qaeda, train its members and conduct terrorist attacks." So said U.S. Army Spc. Ryan Anderson to two undercover investigators in February of this year. As a consequence, Anderson is now awaiting trial by the U.S. Army on treason charges. A chief witness will be Shannen Rossmiller, the small-town Montana judge who discovered and developed the case against Anderson entirely through her own investigation on the Internet.
Rossmiller is probably the best-known example of an increasing number of civilian cyber-sleuths who are conducting their own war on terror. She has partnered with Brett Astley, a Canadian software designer, to form 7-Seas Global Intelligence whose website clearly states their mission of hunting down anyone who advocates or practices terrorism in person or via the Internet.
How do they do it? By going to where they believe the terrorists are - Islamic web sites and Arabic Internet forums. Since English is not the preferred language of terrorism, the sleuths of 7-Seas utilize translation software, looking for code words from the Koran or other clues that would yield a thread by which another terrorist plot can be unraveled. The Internet is a virtual Mecca for alienated Muslims and others looking to become terrorists and to tap into supporting networks for same.[9]


Notes

  1. Wednesday, June 16, 2004 - Page updated at 12:25 A.M. It's 4 a.m. in Montana, and a cyberspy is at work By Mike Carter Seattle Times staff reporter
  2. http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/07/27/bbc_al_qaeda_internet/
  3. [1]
  4. http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/front/2675028
  5. USATODAY.com - 'Net sleuth' tells court of hunt that snared Guardsman
  6. Shannen Rossmiller, "My Cyber Counter-jihad", Middle East Quarterly, Summer 2007
  7. CBC Radio | The Current | Whole Show Blow-by-Blow
  8. Biz zeroes in on real-life terrorist hunter - Entertainment News, Weekly TV, Media - Variety
  9. http://howestreet.com/articles/index.php?article_id=650