Imagine that you’ve hacked into al-Qaida’s website with bomb-making instructions. What would you do to effectively sabotage terrorists? British security officers had an awesome idea that was truly in the style of British humor.
fot. flickr.com by ginnerobot
Apparently British intelligence officers based in Cheltenham’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) in England, did a little joke on jihadist online magazine called Inspire, The Guardian reports. They prepared a PDF file with loads of fairy cake recipes, including things titled “Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom”. Actually, the recipes were taken from a website called The Best Cupcakes in America.
The file was then sent to the hacked Inspire’s website to replace the real DIY bombing instructions. This operation took place a year ago and was a part of a larger effort to prevent al-Qaida from recruiting new “lone-wolf” bombers with the use of the new magazine in English. The cyber attack also included removing from the Inspire some jihad-themed content, like Osama Bin Laden’s articles.
Both British and US intelligence services were aware of the magazine which was supposed to be issued June, 2010. That is why both services prepared separate cyber weapons including computer viruses to struggle against Inspire, but the operation was finally led from Britain. Two weeks later, al-Qaida was ready to republish the magazine, but it was again stopped by British cyber forces.
Why the magazine was so lethal? The Telegraph quotes Bruce Reidel, a former CIA analyst, who says the Inspire was “clearly intended for the aspiring jihadist in the US or UK who may be the next Fort Hood murderer or Times Square bomber.”
It is said that a radical preacher Anwar al-Awlaki, presumably staying in Yemen, is responsible for the publication together with his associate Samir Khan living in the US. Awlaki is one of the leaders of AQAP (Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula) and used to be a UK and USA resident.