Hotmail Used by Al Qaeda in Planning Post-9/11 Attacks
The Internet, with its vast amount of information and myriad services, has undeniably changed the way we live. It makes communicating across the world, finding a nearby restaurant, or getting directions to just about anywhere as simple as typing a few words and clicking a few buttons. But the open nature of the Web makes it just as useful for terrorists as it does us normal folk.
AP reported Friday that, in the wake of September 11th, Al Qaeda member Khalid Sheikh Mohammed planned on using his Hotmail account to communicate with Al Saleh Kahlah al-Marri, a U.S.-based operative, and to plan attacks on U.S. dams, waterways, and tunnels. In the e-mails, al-Marri used a simple 10-digit code to encrypt pertinent cell phone numbers.
Although anyone can use any free e-mail service to accomplish the same thing, the story notes that al-Marri initially attempted to use a Yahoo! e-mail account, but found that his e-mails to Mohammed's established Hotmail account all failed to go through. Setting up his own Hotmail account seemed to bypass the problem. Al-Marri was eventually taken into custody, and revealed these details in his plea agreement.
Please note that it's unclear why al-Marri's e-mails failed when using a Yahoo! account. There's no evidence that Hotmail makes it easier for terrorists to communicate. [From: AP/Newsvine]