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How Osama avoided US

Using intermediaries and inexpensive computer discs, Osama bin Laden managed to send emails while in hiding, without leaving a digital fingerprint for United States eavesdroppers to find.

world Updated: May 13, 2011 23:52 IST

Using intermediaries and inexpensive computer discs, Osama bin Laden managed to send emails while in hiding, without leaving a digital fingerprint for United States eavesdroppers to find.

His system was painstaking and slow, but it worked, and it allowed him to become a prolific email writer despite not having Internet or phone lines running to his compound.

His methods, described in new detail by a counter-terrorism official and a second person briefed on the US investigation, frustrated Western efforts to trace him through cyberspace. But Osama’s system also left behind an extensive archive of email exchanges for the US to scour.