The FBI is building on a nascent law-enforcement trend it helped start by asking the public to help identify an American-accented, black-masked militant who appears in one of Islamic State's grisly propaganda films, says the Christian Science Monitor. In an “ISIL tips” form on its website, the FBI is trying to crowdsource leads on the jihadi, as well as seeking tips on other American residents who might be planning to travel abroad to join the terror group or recruiting others to do so.
“We need the public’s assistance in identifying U.S. persons going to fight overseas with terrorist groups or who are returning home from fighting overseas,” said Michael Steinbach of the FBI's Counterterrorism Division. In asking for the public’s help, the FBI is putting a twist on the tip hotlines of the past, leveraging the Internet to get citizen sleuths to share photos or other potentially relevant information. The trend has accelerated since the FBI asked for help in identifying two Boston Marathon bombing suspects last year. The overwhelming response and subsequent identification of Dzhokhar and Tamelan Tsarnaev was seen as a resounding success.