Inside Al Qaeda’s Hard Drive
August 11, 2004 11:51 AM   Subscribe

A peek at Al Qaeda pre 9/11. Reports surfaced in early 2002 about al Qaeda computers purchased by a journalist from the Wall Street Journal. In this article details from one of these computers come to light - complaints about their new home in Afghanistan after being expelled from Sudan, rocky relationships with the Taliban and a difficult merger with Islamic Jihad. "Perhaps one of the most important insights to emerge from the computer is that 9/11 sprang not so much from al-Qaeda's strengths as from its weaknesses. The computer did not reveal any links to Iraq or any other deep-pocketed government; amid the group's penury the members fell to bitter infighting. The blow against the United States was meant to put an end to the internal rivalries, which are manifest in vitriolic memos between Kabul and cells abroad." via The Agonist
posted by caddis (9 comments total)
Funny, I read this a few days ago in the print version and was going to post it but The Atlantic decided to close off their website to all but print subscribers-- looks like The Agonist found a backdoor?

Anyway, the article is excellent (and long).
posted by gwint at 11:57 AM on August 11, 2004

those darn computers. they know *everything*!
posted by quonsar at 12:01 PM on August 11, 2004

The Atlantic decided to close off their website to all but print subscribers

wtf? i want my free Puzzler, goddamn it!


i don't think the backdoor was that hard to find.
posted by mrgrimm at 3:12 PM on August 11, 2004

That's a fantastic read.
posted by coelecanth at 3:53 PM on August 11, 2004

(now that i've read it all the way through ...) fascinating article that goes to show how weak the "organization" really was.

b) On the other hand, a campaign against Afghanistan Iraq will impose great long-term economic burdens, leading to further economic collapse, which will force America, God willing, to resort to the former Soviet Union's only option: withdrawal from Afghanistan Iraq, disintegration, and contraction.

well, he was close. unfortunately, the downfall has nothing to do with OBL or al-Qaeda, just idiocy.

back to the Puzzler!
posted by mrgrimm at 4:14 PM on August 11, 2004

strike "unfortunately" - there's nothing fortunate about any of this crap.
posted by mrgrimm at 4:18 PM on August 11, 2004

Gotta love the accounting e-mails. It's like "Office Space" for terrorists--"Muhammad, we need to talk to you about your TPS reports..."
posted by gimonca at 4:42 PM on August 11, 2004

In killing Americans who are ordinarily off limits, Muslims should not exceed four million non-combatants, or render more than ten million of them homeless.

al-Queda figures about four million Muslims have been unjustly killed by the USA, and wants equal retribution.


I wonder if establishing a mid-East country as a wholly Muslim, no-Americans-ever zone would satisfy them. Let them have the society they want, wall 'em in on all sides, and just leave 'em be. The extremist, crazy Muslims can hang out there, the moderate Muslims will live everywhere else.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:15 PM on August 11, 2004

fff -- I've wondered about this too. The problem I see is what happens when said extreme nation doesn't just let you opt out.
posted by weston at 10:41 PM on August 11, 2004

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