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Experts decode 'secret data' in Kafeel's computer

Sources say Kafeel had stored 'project' data in the disk and protected it with a secret code. The terror trail...
PTI | By HT Correspondent, Bangalore
UPDATED ON JUL 11, 2007 02:12 AM IST

Experts have succeeded in decoding "secret information" stored in the hard disk of a computer seized from Kafeel Ahmed's home in Bangalore, a suspect in the terror attack on Glasgow airport, official sources said on Tuesday.

The Thiruvananthapuram-based Resource Centre for Cyber Forensics, which is under the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), will submit it report on the disk's contents to Bangalore Police, the sources told PTI.

City police launched an investigation a day after the botched terror plot in Britain was reported due to suspicions that Kafeel was linked to it. Police seized a computer and CDs during a search at his residence in Banashankari in Bangalore.

Kafeel, who is believed to have driven the burning jeep laden with crude bombs into Glasgow airport, had stored "project" data in the hard disk and protected it with a secret code that is difficult to decipher, the sources said.

An expert in the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore could not decode the contents of the hard disk, which police believe has vital information on the terror plot allegedly hatched by Kafeel, an engineer.

Fearing that repeated attempts to decode the information might lead to its deletion, police sent the disk to the facility in Thiruvananthapuram.

The sources, however, refused to say whether the experts in Thiruvananthapuram had been able to retrieve all the data on the disk or if only part of the information had been culled from it.

The report from the Thiruvananthapuram centre is likely to be discussed at a high-level meeting called on Tuesday afternoon by Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy on the "terror links" in Bangalore.

The meeting will be attended by Home Minister MP Prakash, top police officers and officials of the home and finance departments.

Kumaraswamy had preliminary discussions with state police chief KR Srinivasan, City Police Commissioner N Achut Rao, IGP (intelligence wing) Sharat Chandra and other officials.

Kafeel, before leaving for Britain on May 5, had handed over the disk to his mother Zakia Ahmed, warning her that it contained some important information on his "project".

Kafeel also asked his mother to ensure the safety of the disk and not to let it slip into anyone's hands.

Zakia, taking the warning seriously, had handed the disk over to her daughter Sadia, a medical student. Sadia, in turn, asked a friend to keep the disk.

When Kafeel called up at his home on June 30, he told his mother that he was working on an important "project" and asked his family to pray for its success, investigators said. They pointed out that the failed terror attacks in Britain occurred hours after Kafeel spoke to his family.

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