FBI probes advance IM attack warnings

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is looking into whether someone with knowledge of the World Trade Center attacks sent a warning to employees of an instant messaging company two hours before terrorists smashed into the New York landmarks with hijacked airplanes, an Odigo Inc. executive confirmed Friday.

Odigo is working with the FBI to identify the sender of a message to two recipients in the companies’ international sales office and research and development office in Herzliya, Israel, Alex Diamandis, the company’s vice president of sales and marketing, confirmed in an e-mail Friday.

The message was a nonspecific threat that did not mention the World Trade Center, Diamandis said. “It was the timing that made it unusual.”

Heightened awareness of danger immediately after the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks prompted the Israeli staff to comb through its server logs for the IP (Internet Protocol) address of the sender. They passed the information on to the Israeli security services, which then passed it on to the FBI. Diamandis would not reveal details of the address or the message, citing the ongoing investigation.

Odigo’s headquarters is at 11 Broadway in New York, just a few blocks south of the World Trade Center complex and in the area that was blocked off for a time following the attacks.

Odigo, based in New York, can be reached at http://www.odigo.com/.