Washington Post.com - Newsbytes
Instant Messages To Israel Warned Of WTC Attack
By Brian McWilliams, Newsbytes
27 Sep 2001, 11:48 AM CST
Officials at instant-messaging firm Odigo confirmed today that two employees received text messages warning of an attack on the World Trade Center two hours before terrorists crashed planes into the New York landmarks.
Citing a pending investigation by law enforcement, the company declined to reveal the exact contents of the message or to identify the sender.
But Alex Diamandis, vice president of sales and marketing, confirmed that workers in Odigo's research and development and international sales office in Israel received a warning from another Odigo user approximately two hours prior to the first attack.
Diamandis said the sender of the instant message was not personally known to the Odigo employees. Even though the company usually protects the privacy of users, the employees recorded the Internet protocol address of the message's sender to facilitate his or her identification.
Soon after the terrorist attacks on New York, the Odigo employees notified their management, who contacted Israeli security services. In turn, the FBI was informed of the instant message warning. FBI officials were not immediately available for comment today.
The Odigo service includes a feature called People Finder that allows users to seek out and contact others based on certain interests or demographics. Diamandis said it was possible that the attack warning was broadcast to other Odigo members, but the company has not received reports of other recipients of the message.
In addition to operating its own messaging service network, Odigo has licensed its technology to over 100 service providers, portals, wireless carriers, and corporations, according to the company.
Odigo is online at http://www.odigo.com .
Reported by Newsbytes, http://www.newsbytes.com .
© 2001 The Washington Post Company