AL Qaeda planned to hijack cruise ships and post footage of passengers being executed online to pressurise governments to release particular prisoners, it has been revealed.
Documents embedded inside a pornographic movie, on a memory disc, show how the terror network wanted to dress tourists up in Guantanamo Bay-style orange jumpsuits before murdering them.
The audacious plan is just one of several plots discovered by investigators who decrypted the hardware found in the underpants of a suspected terrorist arrested in Berlin last year.
The cache of 141 documents, described as 'pure gold' by intelligence agencies, also details how the network wanted to conduct a Mumbai-style attack - where ten gunmen killed 164 people in a three-day rampage in 2008 - in Europe.
And it reveals the organisation is using a 'twin-track strategy' - using 'low-cost, low-tech attacks' to keep security services preoccupied as other 'operatives' plan large-scale 9/11 type atrocities.
The documents, seized by German intelligence operatives in the days following Osama Bin Laden's death last year, reveal an 'extraordinarily detailed insight into the inner workings of Al Qaeda'.
They also state some of the tactics used by the organisation as it attempts to elude the counter-terrorism initiatives of the world’s military and intelligence agencies.
CNN reports how Al Qaeda's hand in the London 7/7 and attempted 7/21 bomb plots emerges for the first time with a highly detailed account from cell leader Rashid Rauf.
CNN's Nic Robertson said: 'These documents show that London was extremely lucky on 7/21.
'The terrorists were using the same bomb-building instructions as the 7/7 bombers, who had actually encountered the same problem with the way they had mixed their explosives.
'The 7/7 bombers had closer contacts with Rauf and were able to contact him and change their bombs so that they worked.'
The 46 page document outlines how and why the liquid explosive plot took shape and explains how counter-surveillance measures by the 21/7 bombers threw security officers off their scent.
The files also contain details of the ways in which Al Qaeda seeks to learn from its mistakes, and the levels of sophistication and determination within its ranks.
In addition, they reveal the impact that military drone strikes and infiltration by intelligence agencies are having on al Qaeda's numbers and behaviour.
Robertson added: 'These documents lay open Al Qaeda’s inner workings. They prove the links between some of its highest profile plots and attacks, and show how it's trying to cope with the constant pressure from military and intelligence operations against it.'
The documents were discovered on the memory disc when Austrian 22-year-old Maqsood Lodin was arrested following his return to Germany from Pakistan.
Buried amongst the files was a pornographic video called Kick Ass, and a document marked 'Sexy Tanja'.
It took German investigators several weeks to decrypt the file, but when they did they found an inside track on some of the terror group's most audacious plots and a road map for future operations.
PDF terrorist training manuals in German, English and Arabic were also found in what U.S. intelligence sources say is the most important haul of terrorist materials in the last year.
Lodin and another man called Yusuf Ocak, who allegedly travelled back to Europe with him, are now on trial in Berlin where they are pleading not guilty to terror offences.