Social Media Led Authorities to a Benghazi Terror Suspect

This article is from the archive of our partner .

It may be the biggest break in the international manhunt for the Benghazi killers and it's all thanks to social media. This morning, The Daily Beast's Eli Lake reports that Tunisian authorities are holding a man named Ali Ani al-Harzi suspected of participating in the Sept. 11 attacks that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. Why do they think al-Harzi was involved? Apparently, he got a little too giddy about the incident and posted an update about the attack on a social media site shortly after the assault began:

The post from Ali Ani al-Harzi ... was what helped U.S. intelligence locate him and track him down after he fled Libya for Turkey, according to four U.S. officials familiar with the unfolding investigation. 

Apparently, al-Harzi, who is a Tunisian national, was picked up by Turkish authorities shortly after he fled Libya for Turkey and was subsequently sent to Tunisia where he's currently being held in preparation for a court trial. Nobody knows what role he may have played in the attacks or the charges—Lake reports that U.S. and Tunisian officials haven't struck a deal yet on an extradition to the U.S. or any other arrangements for al-Harzi.

If guilty, his capture would certainly add a twist to the phenomenon of criminals getting nabbed by social media. In the U.S., we've become accustomed to bad guys getting busted by Facebook after bragging about their exploits. Turns out, it can also happen internationally.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.