Lifestyle & Belief

Al Qaeda plots found in porn films

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A militant suspected of being a member of Al-Qaeda sits at a checkpoint in Azan in the southern Yemeni province of Shabwa.

Credit:

STR

This sounds like something out of an espionage thriller: German cryptologists revealed that hundreds of Al Qaeda documents relating future terror plots were found embedded in porn videos... discovered in the underpants of a 22-year-old Austrian named Maqsood Lodin.

The porn videos, titled "Kick Ass" and "Sexy Tanja," were apparently stored on memory cards and a digital storage device found on Lodin when he was questioned by the police in Berlin on May 16, 2011 on his way back from Pakistan, reported CNN.

The German newspaper Die Zeit originally reported on the documents, the details of which CNN obtained.

After taking several weeks to crack the password and software on the files, German investigators found more than 100 Al Qaeda documents including ambitious plots for attacks, including ideas to seize cruise ships or carry out coordinated shooting attacks like that carried out in Mumbai, India in November 2008, said CNN.

The report comes on the one-year anniversary of Osama bin Laden's death, as Western officials seek to press the idea that Al Qaeda is weaker as an organization.

More on GlobalPost: Bin Laden's hideout papers to be published online

The former US Assistant Secretary of State, PJ Crowley, wrote in an opinion editorial on BBC, "A year after Bin Laden's demise, core al-Qaeda is struggling to survive as a coherent structure," adding, "Core al-Qaeda remains capable of inspiring others to act, but it is questionable whether it still retains the capacity to do in 2012 what it did in 2001."

John Miller, the former Deputy Director at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, said about the recovered documents, "I think that's a fascinating set of documents there, because that's very operational stuff," according to CBS News. "If anything, bin Laden was a little bit isolated from that," he said.

More on GlobalPost: A year after bin Laden death, poll finds broad Muslim disapproval of Al Qaeda

Miller added that though valuable for intelligence, the documents also revealed that "Al Qaeda central running a large, complex 9/11 operation is pretty much a thing of the past. They are counting on the Internet propaganda and the lone wolves to kind of come together and do it for them in large measure," according to CBS News.

The Combating Terrorism Center, a think tank at the United States Military Academy at West Point, also plans to publish notes and letters found on bin Laden's compound online on Thursday, according to The Los Angeles Times.