German investigators discovered information about al-Qaeda's plans to seize cruise liners and wreak havoc in Europe on a memory chip containing a pornographic video that was found in the underpants of a 22-year-old Austrian terrorist suspect.
Details of the potentially devastating al-Qaeda plot were released by CNN.
CNN said the information also included details about al-Qaeda's plans for gun attacks in Europe.
German investigators were said to have taken weeks to crack a password and software contained in the video which finally revealed the existence of more than 100 al-Qaeda documents.
The plans had been conceived in 2009.