Online Detection Service Alerts District about Terroristic Threats

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MERCEDES- Two Mercedes High School students face expulsion, following their arrests on Wednesday. The students were charged with making a terroristic threat, a third degree felony.

The duo allegedly talked on social media about shooting up Mercedes High School. The online conversation was intercepted by a global threat detection service.

The organization is credited with preventing shootings at 10 other schools across the nation. Wednesday incident is the 11th one they have prevented.

"We actually caught that threat, two seconds after it was posted on Twitter,” said Bob Dowling, founder and director of the Tactical Institute.

The posts were detected in the nick of time by the Tactical Institute. The organization is based in the nation’s capital. They focus on predicting threats by using technology and tradecraft.

“Tradecraft is that instinct innate capability that we have as former agents and war fighters to be able to look at a situation very quickly and ascertain if it’s real or not," Dowling said.

The organization is made up of former special agents and wounded combat veterans.

“To date, our program has been credited with stopping 10 public school shootings in the three years, since Sandy Hook," Dowling said.

Dowling’s team is working to make America safer, hoping to save lives.

“One of the arrested students at Mercedes High School showed weapons, including video, Vine video, of what looked to be heavy automatic weapons, possible AK-47s,” Dowling said.

What could have been a potential threat, ended in the arrests of 17-year-old Jose Cano and Roen Lerma.

“We made the phone call to the school directly, because we felt that time was of the essence,” Dowling said.

Dowling said people need to watch what they post online.

“Really think twice before you post anything on social media,” he said.

Across the state, the Texas Education Agency said more than 1,000 students allegedly made terroristic threats in 2015.

Tactical Institute searches the entirety of the web and social sites, including the dark web. Twitter does have a police against violent threats. Accounts can be shut down if someone reports inappropriate behavior.

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