Agents pass on al Qaeda site hijacked for FBI

Thursday, 1 August 2002, 11:19 AM EST

What followed, he says, was a week of frustration.

FBI agents struggled to find someone with enough technical know-how to set up the sting. By the time they did, the opportunity was lost as militant Islamic Web users figured out the site was a decoy, said Messner of Ocean City, Maryland.

"It was like dealing with the motor vehicle administration," said Messner, who runs Web sites, many of which sell pornographic materials. "We could have done something that could have seriously impacted things. It took me so many days just to get somebody who understood the Internet."

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