BERLIN—German investigators questioning a 22-year-old Austrian who had just returned to Berlin from Pakistan via Budapest, Hungary were surprised to find a digital storage device and memory cards hidden in the young man's underwear, but it was what they found a few weeks later that really stunned them. Embedded in a porn film found on one of the storage devices was a "treasure trove of intelligence" detailing terror attacks being planned in Europe by al Qaeda.
Maqsood Lodin and an alleged compatriot named Yusuf Ocak, who was detained in Vienne two weeks after Lodin was stopped in Berlin, are currently on trial in the German capital, where they have pleaded not guilty to terrorism charges. The men, who reportedly met in a terrorist training camp in Pakistan, were both listed on a watch list. Prosecutors believe the men were sent back to Germany to recruit others to take part in the attacks outlined in the documents.
It took weeks of work to gain entrance to the file marked "Sexy Tanja that had been found in the pornographic video called Kick Ass, but ”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."
According to CNN, U.S. intelligence sources have indicated 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."
Investigators believe the plots detailed in the documents were formulated in 2009, but that they remain "the template for al Qaeda's plans," even though the suspected author of one of the documents has since been captured.
"Its authorship is unclear, but intelligence officials believe [one document called 'Future Works'] came from al Qaeda's inner core," CNN reported. "It may have been the work of Younis al Mauretani, a senior al Qaeda operative until his capture by Pakistani police in 2011."
The article added, "What emerges from the [Future Works] document is a twin-track strategy—with the author apparently convinced that al Qaeda needs low-cost, low-tech attacks (perhaps such as the recent gun attacks in France carried out by Mohammed Merah) to keep security services preoccupied while it plans large-scale attacks on a scale similar to 9/11."
Specific terror plots mentioned in the documents do not contain dates or locations, but include plans to hijack cruise ships and then systematically execute passengers, and to also engage in Mubai, India-styled attacks that result in tremendous human carnage.
Yassin Musharbash, an investigative journalist with the German newspaper Die Zeit, who broke the story, said that even though the documents are dated by a few years and some of the actors removed from the world stage, that the intent is still in play.
"I believe that the general idea is still alive and I believe that as soon as al Qaeda has the capacities to go after that scenario, they will immediately do it," he said.
Image: Osama bin Laden watching porn in his Abbottabad man cave prior to a surprise visit by Navy SEALS.