MI6: Make Cupcakes, Not Bombs
Posted on Jun 4, 2011
British intelligence operatives reportedly hacked the website of a new English-language magazine published by al-Qaida, replacing bomb-making instructions with a cupcake recipe. The magazine is said to be produced by the Yemeni-American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki and was identified last year as an effective propaganda tool. The seemingly lighthearted substitution of a cupcake recipe belies a disagreement between MI6, which carried out the operation, and the CIA, which believed disrupting the site would “expose sources and methods and disrupt an important source of intelligence.” It’s hard not to laugh a bit at the gag, though it is creepy that the original article explained how to kill people by using pipe bombs made from sugar, match heads and a miniature light bulb. —KDG
The cyber-warfare operation was launched by MI6 and GCHQ in an attempt to disrupt efforts by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsular to recruit “lone-wolf” terrorists with a new English-language magazine, the Daily Telegraph understands.
When followers tried to download the 67-page colour magazine, instead of instructions about how to “Make a bomb in the Kitchen of your Mom” by “The AQ Chef” they were greeted with garbled computer code.
The code, which had been inserted into the original magazine by the British intelligence hackers, was actually a web page of recipes for “The Best Cupcakes in America” published by the Ellen DeGeneres chat show.
Flickr / lamantin