After the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Secret Service experts quickly changed government codes. Official sources now confirm that the terrorists knew the White House?s codes and a number of secret signals, meaning that Air Force One, containing President Bush, could have become the terrorists? next target.

Possessing the codes, the terrorists could have located the exact position of the presidential plane and its destinations, which is why it had to dodge them by flying from state to state, while Vice President Cheney hid in a bunker capable of withstanding a nuclear attack.

Within a week after the tragedy, information surfaced that the terrorists had also gotten hold of the codes of the National Security Agency. With these codes, they would be able to outwit the agency?s electronic surveillance systems. We can?t rule out that the terrorists have the complete or partial codes used by any or all of our intelligence services.

When it became obvious that the codes had been deciphered by the terrorists, Secret Service agents assumed that a ?mole? was operating inside the White House, the Secret Service, CIA, or FBI. At present, however, the government believes that the terrorists did not have agents inside the White House or the CIA.

Osama bin Laden has invested heavily in the world?s most advanced companies engaged in satellite and telecommunication equipment. The World Space Communications company belongs to bin Laden. The U.S. National Security Agency has studied its operation for 5 years and learned that the company?s satellites far surpass those of the NSA, in terms of their electronic sophistication.

Bin Laden and his associates can afford to hire the best experts in the field. Secret services assert that computer genius Syrian Nabil Han Kani, who once lived in Barcelona, works for bin Laden. In 2000, FBI agents discovered two apartments in Yemen that had been used by Mr. Kani. The apartments served as shipment points for Egyptians from the Islamic Jihad and Algerians linked to the armed Islamic group.

U.S. intelligence has failed to track down Mr. Kani, who is believed to be the creator of a technology called ?steganography,? which is capable of penetrating electronic surveillance systems by concealing deciphered messages in ?innocent? digital files, such as digital images and music files. They can only be deciphered by someone who has the special ?key.?

Secret Service agents discovered such files 3 years ago inside correspondence between bin Laden?s organizations. However, they failed to capture the authors and the addressees of the messages. They now say that the coordination of the attacks in New York and Washington was performed with the help of such files.

Opinion: In many ways, this is the single most disturbing story to come out of the Attack on America. Code penetrations at this level do not suggest a single mole. They suggest a whole network operating within the US intelligence community, who are so confident that they cannot be caught that they are willing to serve open notice of their presence by making an attempt to use their access to our codes to attempt to lure Air Force One to destruction. It would be surprising indeed if state-sponsored intelligence operatives, such as Iraqis, or Russians now working for Iraq, were not involved.

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