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Suspected al Qaeda operative encrypted terrorist plans in porn file

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New details on suspected terrorist Maqsood Lodin, currently on trial, reveal that authorities found over a hundred hidden al Qaeda files encrypted within a pornographic video.

Crypteks USB drive
Crypteks USB drive

In 2011, Berlin police seized memory cards and a flash drive from Austrian Maqsood Lodin, a suspected member of terrorist group al Qaeda. Although authorities believed Lodin, who had recently returned from Pakistan, had undergone terrorist training and was recruiting new members to al Qaeda, the cards and drive (found in Lodin's underwear) appeared to primarily contain a pornographic movie called "Kick Ass" and a file marked "Sexy Tanja." After weeks of work, however, investigators found that the video was actually a steganographic file, hiding over a hundred hidden documents believed to have come from senior al Qaeda members.

When Lodin's trial began early this year, the press reported some details of what authorities had found. Only now, though, have CNN and Die Zeit reported on how the documents were recovered and what they contained. US intelligence sources told CNN the files were "pure gold." One document in particular, titled "Future Plans," apparently includes a list of potential attacks meant to put the flagging terrorist group back in the news. Lodin and another suspected al Qaeda member, meanwhile, have both pleaded not guilty to belonging to a terrorist organization; they face up to ten years in prison.