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Huffington Post Twitter is part of NATO's "fusion center" of intelligence gathering, the organization said during a June 10 briefing. NATO uses the microblogging service alongside other sources that help NATO map out how it can use weapons, as there are not enough forces on the ground to help determine troop positions. "We get information from open sources on the internet; we get Twitter," Wing Commander Mike Bracken said, according to The Guardian. "You name any source of media and our fusion centre will deliver all of that into usable intelligence."
The Globe and Mail contacted a few people who have been relaying information about Gaddafi's troops. Notably, all the sources are far from Libya. Another user, Robert Rowley, the Dairy Queen employee in Arizona, last month tweeted the coordinates of a suspected base in Tripoli, after he saw military vehicles on satellite images at a warehouse there. He found a fellow tweeter in Tripoli to confirm the activity at the building. Later that day, the same building was hit by NATO.
According to the Globe and Mail, some activists have been contacted directly by NATO, and NATO has set up unofficial accounts to solicit information as well.