Top New York Police Department intelligence officials are examining ways to search the Internet to identify potential “deranged” gunmen before they strike, reports the New York Times. “The techniques would include cyber-searches of language that mass-casualty shooters have used in e-mails and Internet postings,” said Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly. “The goal would be to identify the shooter in cyberspace, engage him there and intervene, possibly using an undercover to get close, and take him into custody or otherwise disrupt his plans.”
There are plans to send officers to Newtown, Ct., and to scenes of other mass shootings to collect information, police spokesman Paul Browne said. Browne said the potential tactics included creating an algorithm that would search online “for terms used by active shooters in the past that may be an indicator of future intentions.” Kelly said the technique was similar to those being used to spot terrorists' chatter online. The new searches would target “apolitical or deranged killers before they become active shooters,” he said.