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Osama Hunter-Hacker Busted
By Michelle Delio
8:40 a.m. Jan. 21, 2002 PST

Hours before his announced suicide, which he had promised would be broadcast "live and 
for free" on the Web, hacker Kim Schmitz was arrested by police in Thailand.

Schmitz faces charges of investment fraud in Germany and is scheduled to appear at an 
immigration hearing in Bangkok Monday to determine whether he will be extradited to 
Germany, where he is a legal resident.

Prior to his arrest, Schmitz announced what appeared to be his planned suicide on his 
website. The site displays a tombstone graphic inscribed with the epitaph "Enough is 
Enough. Kim Schmitz will die next Monday. See it on this website live and for free. 
When the countdown is over, Kim steps into a new world and wants you to see it."

Schmitz's suicide site, which went live on Friday, also includes a countdown ticker 
that shows how many hours he had to live. According to the information on the 
tombstone, Schmitz's death would coincide with his 28th birthday.

Schmitz was arrested as he left the presidential suite at the Grand Hyatt Erawan in 
Bangkok, according to a report in the Bangkok Post. Bangkok law enforcement had been 
informed that Schmitz's German passport had been revoked.

Schmitz, who went by the nickname "Kimble," is the founder of YIHAT (Young Intelligent 
Hackers Against Terrorism), an organization Schmitz said he formed to pool hackers' 
skills in the search for Osama bin Laden.

Schmitz was arrested for hacking into German government computer systems in 1996 and 
spent three months in jail. After his release he operated several Internet companies, 
including an investment firm.

According to investigative reports from the German media last October, Schmitz, who 
once claimed a net worth of $100 million, is deeply in debt and was being pursued by 

Late last September, Schmitz formed YIHAT and offered a $10 million dollar reward for 
hackers who could provide information leading to bin Laden's capture.

Reports on Schmitz's website in October claimed that the group had cracked two Middle 
Eastern banks, and discovered information about al-Qaida funding. Schmitz said the 
information was turned over to the FBI.

An FBI spokesman refused comment on whether it had received information from Schmitz, 
saying that the bureau would not confirm or deny sources of information that had been 
provided for use in an ongoing investigation.

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