Hard to imagine being a criminal mastermind without the world wide web. It is a bit like not having a volcano or an army of sex slaves, however Osama bin Laden managed to write more emails than a lot of Mr Bads. According to US investigators bin Laden's system depended on flash drives and couriers.
A trove of electronic records pulled out of his compound after he was killed last week is revealing thousands of messages and hundreds of email addresses of his operatives. Bin Laden would type a message on his computer without an internet connection, then save it using on a flash drive. The flash drive would be given to trusted courier, who would head for an internet cafe miles away.
The courier would plug the memory drive into a computer, copy bin Laden's message into an email and send it. Reversing the process, the courier would copy any incoming email to the flash drive and return to the compound, where bin Laden would read them. Needless to say it was not exactly fast, but it was nearly impossible to track. The Navy SEALs hauled away roughly 100 flash memory drives after they killed bin Laden.
The files taken have the potential to help the US find other al-Qaeda figures, and could force terrorists to change their routines.