From IEEE Spectrum Magazine, January 2005
THEN THERE’S THE INTERNET’S utility for planning and coordination. There are any number of sophisticated tools for collaboration, plus the obvious ones of e-mail, instant messaging, and chat rooms. It’s easy to build a new, temporary identity and post entries from public Internet kiosks and cafes. There are plenty of ways to hide or encrypt messages, or terrorists can just speak obliquely.
Weimann says that Mohammed Atta’s final message to his fellow 9/11 terrorists was: “The semester begins in three more weeks. We’ve obtained 19 confirmations for studies in the faculty of law, the faculty of urban planning, the faculty of fine arts, and the faculty of engineering.” Weimann believes the talk of various “faculties” referred to specific facilities, such as the Pentagon and the World Trade Center. Sifting the plans from the chatter is perhaps law enforcement’s greatest task.