Food

Fighting Terrorism With Cupcakes


al-Qaeda cupcake incident

When terrorist organization al-Qaeda published its first English-language publication, Inspire Magazine, it was with the intention of equipping would-be terrorists with tools of destruction. Thanks to British intelligence agents, the only damage caused when readers followed the instructions was potential tooth decay and expanding waistlines.

Inspire Magazine was designed to be a how-to guide for kooks, freaks, and ne’er-do-wells. The 67 pages of the publication included such gems as “What to expect in Jihad,” articles by Osama bin Laden, and instructions on how to make homemade terror devices. Thanks to a little ingenuity from hackers at the British intelligence agency MI6 and the Government Communications Headquarters, the miscreants-in-training received tips on satisfying one’s sweet-tooth, rather than causing murder and mayhem.

Intelligence operatives took control of the site, removing offensive articles, and replacing them with less-troubling substitutes. Anyone who thought they were downloading the 67-page manual, “Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom,” ended up getting redirected to a list of recipes for “The Best Cupcakes in America,” published by the Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Move the slider up and down to see the before and after of the hackers’ work.

The substituted webpage included recipes from various US-based cupcake businesses. Considering all the bad nastiness that could have come from the original publication, the idea of the world getting a few more cupcakes seems like an especially-good idea.

For those who wish to combine the full force of the military with culinary delights, try your hand with the Pentagon’s 26-page recipe for brownies.


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