Skip to comments.Terrorists' Twin Tower Images, Secret Porn Messages
Posted on 05/08/2003 9:52:03 AM PDT by areafiftyone
ROME, May 8 Investigators analyzing computers seized from an Italian mosque say they have uncovered images of the twin towers that were downloaded just days before the 9/11 attacks, as well as a trove of pornographic photos they believe were used to conceal coded messages.
On Sept. 4, 2001, according to investigators, pictures of the World Trade Center were saved as temporary files on one of the computers at the Via Quaranta mosque in Milan the mosque frequented by Abdelkader Mahmoud Es Sayed, also known as Abu Saleh, an Egyptian currently on trial in absentia in Milan on charges of international terrorism.
Court documents from the ongoing Milan trial, cited by the Italian daily Corriere della Sera, say that police discovered images of the World Trade Center along with numerous files that contained images downloaded from the Internet of political leaders such as President Bush, Secretary of State Colin Powell and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, as well as large quantities of pornographic material, also taken from the Internet.
The images, investigators said, had been manipulated their colors modified before being sent back onto the Web.
Police believe this was one of the ways that al Qaeda cell members communicated, encoding, in many instances, pornographic images that were were traded back and forth, an investigative source confirmed.
The practice is known as steganography. Read a Brian Ross report to find out more.
Police confiscated 11 computers from the Via Quaranta mosque in November 2001, according to court documents, after issuing an arrest warrant for its founder, Es Sayed, during an investigation into an Islamic terrorist cell headquartered in Milan that provided logistical support to the al Qaeda network.
Several key members of the cell have been convicted in the Italian courts, and five others are on trial in Milan, charged with association to international terrorist groups, falsification of documents and aiding illegal immigration.
Milan prosecutors believe that Es Sayed was an al Qaeda lieutenant sent to Italy to recruit new members to send to the terrorist network.
During an investigation that lasted more than two years, police recorded conversations between Es Sayed and a Yemeni man who referred to "studying airplanes."
During one wiretapped conversation in August of 2000, the Yemeni tells Es Sayed that "God willing, I hope that I can bring you a window or piece of airplane the next time we meet."
Italian investigators have never determined a direct link between the Milan cell and the Sept. 11 attacks, but the images of the twin towers that investigators say the discovered on the computer hard drive suggest that perhaps at least one of the Milan cell members had knowledge of the attacks before they occurred.
The digital evidence is still being analyzed.
Police say they found material that they describe as "interesting" on several of the confiscated computers. The hard drives of all the computers had all been erased but were reconstructed in part by computer experts collaborating with the Milan courts, the investigative source said.
In conversations recorded during more than two years of investigation, cell members often referred to computers and Web sites, and made frequent use of Internet cafes to exchange information, the source confirmed.
Although the investigators were able to determine how the images were manipulated, they have not yet been able to decode the messages that might have been conveyed by those manipulations.
According to a report in the Corriere della Sera, the Italian investigators have asked for help from experts in the United States.
... as well as a trove of pornographic photos they believe were used to conceal coded messages.Code indeed. It reads like this: terrorists enjoy masturbating.
The religion of
He would, but his feet are stuck to the floor.
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