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Hijackers' e-mails sifted for clues Computer messages were sent uncoded
From: InfoSec News <isn () c4i org>
Date: Wed, 3 Oct 2001 02:18:55 -0500 (CDT)

Forwarded from: Patrice Auffret <patrice.auffret () intranode com>


Hijackers' e-mails sifted for clues Computer messages were sent uncoded

By Kevin Johnson

WASHINGTON -- Federal authorities believe that some of the 19
hijackers involved in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks were using
computers in all-night Kinko's stores and cybercafes in South Florida
to coordinate their activities in the weeks before the assaults.

Investigators have amassed what they described as a ''substantial''
amount of e-mail traffic among the hijackers. Some of the messages
were exchanged in a mix of English and Arabic.

None of the communications, authorities said Sunday, involved the use
of encryption or other code to disguise the contents of the messages.

At least two laptop computers seized in the United States were being
examined closely by investigators. They hope to determine whether the
machines contained information that could help identify associates of
the hijackers in this country or provide leads about future terrorist
attacks, a senior law enforcement official said.

The disclosure appeared to be further evidence that the hijackers felt
free to conduct their business in the open without much fear they
would be discovered.

Late last month, law enforcement officials said they believed that the
hijackers or their associates did extensive scouting missions on
various airline routes before settling on flights originating in
Boston, Newark, N.J., and Washington.

Investigators said they believe that the hijackers selected the four
flights they commandeered Sept. 11 because passenger loads generally
were light and the fuel tanks on the jets, all on transcontinental
routes, were full.

Official interest in the hijackers' methods of communication comes as
the largest criminal investigation in U.S. history continues to widen.
The attacks left nearly 6,000 people dead or missing.

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