Mark Reynolds [of Wilkes-Barre] was arrested by the FBI at a snow-covered highway rest stop in Idaho on Dec. 5, 2005, according to the federal government, after going to the spot to pick up $40,000 he believed was payment from al-Qaeda. Reynolds has maintained that he is not a terrorist but rather was pretending to be one online to capture jihadists determined to attack America.
In October 2005, Reynolds first caught the attention of Shannen Rossmiller, a former Montana judge who hunts and ensnares extremists on the Internet. Rossmiller testified Monday that Reynolds had solicited help from al-Qaeda on the Web to carry out a plan to crash the American energy infrastructure. In online correspondence with her, he said that this destruction would hasten an end to the Iraq war, she testified, and cause domestic chaos that would lead to President Bush’s removal.
As outlandish as the plot sounded, it seemed very real to the FBI, Seyler testified. He explained that the bureau learned of Reynolds from Rossmiller, whom he characterized as a “formal FBI source,” who has regularly been providing information about extremist plots to the FBI.
Seyler said Rossmiller learned more about Reynolds and his intentions through their online communications. He added that he forwarded those e-mail messages and other documents to the FBI office in Philadelphia in mid-November 2005.
INQUIRER: Pretending To Be A Terrorist On The Internet To Replace Pretending To Be A 14-Year-Old Girl?
SORTA RELATED: After his film Jihad in America aired in South Africa, Emerson writes that the FBI informed him that a South African Muslim group had dispatched a team to the U.S. to assassinate him. Since that time, Emerson says, he uses a collapsible mirror to check there are no bombs underneath his car, stays away from windows, varies his routine, does occasional U-turns when driving to make sure no one is following him, wears inconspicuous clothing, and changes his routes and the times he leaves his home. He requires security when speaking at universities, and a police guard when addressing the Senate. According to Slate, people who visit his Washington, D.C. office are blindfolded en route, and employees call it “the bat cave.”  He left the condominium he had just purchased when Jihad in America was first aired, and now lives undercover.  [via WIKIPEDIA]