Since the forum post turns out to be true, one must wonder out loud whether the naysayers who claim that the online jihad forums are no big deal, nothing to worry about, First Amendment! etc, etc, .... might not wish to rethink their untenable position?
While it is true that the relationship between forum users and al Qaeda is usually indirect (with al Qaeda reinforcing beliefs and inspiring some to action), sometimes the relationship is quite direct -- some members of these forums are also members of al Qaeda, other violent Islamist groups, or part of homegrown terror cells.
There has been no public announcement of the arrest. But in a possible indication of the operative's importance, just a few days later, two postings on a jihadi web forum suggested that Al Qaeda leaders were worried and wanted their "commanders" to take immediate precautions...more.. jawa