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

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Wed Oct 03 2001 - 00:18:55 PDT

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    Forwarded from: Patrice Auffret <patrice.auffretat_private>
    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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