Al Qaeda hid its documents in porn films

Editor's note: This story is based on internal al Qaeda documents, details of which were obtained by CNN. German cryptologists discovered hundreds of documents embedded inside a pornographic movie on a memory disk belonging to a suspected al Qaeda operative arrested in Berlin last year. The German newspaper Die Zeit was the first to report on the documents. 
(CNN) -- On May 16 last year, a 22-year-old Austrian named Maqsood Lodin was being questioned by police in Berlin. He had recently returned from Pakistan via Budapest, Hungary, and then traveled overland to Germany. His interrogators were surprised to find that hidden in his underpants were a digital storage device and memory cards. 
Buried inside them was a pornographic video called "Kick Ass" -- and a file marked "Sexy Tanja." 
Several weeks later, after laborious efforts to crack a password and software to make the file almost invisible, German investigators discovered encoded inside the actual video a treasure trove of intelligence -- more than 100 al Qaeda documents that included an inside track on some of the terror group's most audacious plots and a road map for future operations. 
Future plots include the idea of seizing cruise ships and carrying out attacks in Europe similar to the gun attacks by Pakistani militants that paralyzed the Indian city of Mumbai in November 2008. Ten gunmen killed 164 people in that three-day rampage. 
Terrorist training manuals in PDF format in German, English and Arabic were among the documents, too, according to intelligence sources.
 U.S. intelligence sources tell CNN that the documents uncovered are "pure gold;" one source says that they are the most important haul of al Qaeda materials in the last year, besides those found when U.S. Navy SEALs raided Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, a year ago and killed the al Qaeda leader. 

One document was called "Future Works." Its authorship is unclear, but intelligence officials believe it came from al Qaeda's inner core. It may have been the work of Younis al Mauretani, a senior al Qaeda operative until his capture by Pakistani police in 2011. 
The document appears to have been the product of discussions to find new targets and methods of attack. German investigators believe it was written in 2009 -- and that it remains the template for al Qaeda's plans....
Part of the data collected from bin Laden's lair were porno tapes.  At the time I suggested they may have operational plans encrypted within them.  US intelligence has not revealed what they found on the tapes, but it might match up with what was found on the German memory stick.  I suspect that this material led to arrest of some terror suspects in Europe.

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