"In Montana, Casting A Web for Terrorists
Online Sleuth Hunts Down Suspects Worldwide
By Blaine Harden
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, June 4, 2006; Page A03
HELENA, Mont. -- Like a hunter using a duck call, Shannen Rossmiller invites the online attentions of would-be terrorists by adorning her e-mail with video clips of Westerners getting their heads cut off.
"They get pumped up when they see beheadings. For them, it's like rock videos," Rossmiller said. "I always give the appearance that I am one of them."
Judge Shannen Rossmiller, an online expert who works with federal agencies, and her husband, Randy, somewhere in Montana. (By Blaine Harden -- The Washington Post)
Save & Share
Appearances deceive. At her Montana high school, Rossmiller was a cheerleader -- a farm girl whose slight frame meant she was the one hoisted to the top of the human pyramid. Now 35, she is a mother of three, a part-time paralegal and a $23,000-a-year municipal court judge in a town north of here.
Since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, she has found herself an unpaid night job. She uses the Internet to find terrorism suspects, she said, hunting for them while her family sleeps, spending the hours between 3 a.m. and dawn at her home computer. Her husband, Randy, a wireless network technician, keeps eight computers and two broadband systems working in their house.
Posing as an al-Qaeda operative, she has helped federal agents set up stings that have netted two Americans -- a Washington state National Guardsman convicted in 2004 of attempted espionage, and a Pennsylvania man who prosecutors say sought to blow up oil installations in the United States. Rossmiller was a key prosecution witness against the Guardsman, who is serving a life sentence, and said she has been told she will be called as a witness in the Pennsylvania case. "......