Covert intelligence services aren’t particularly well-known for their sense of humor, but UK-based agency MI6 reportedly flashed a bit of the old British wit in a counterterrorism effort aimed at an Al-Qaeda web magazine. MI6 agents replaced a section on how to make a deadly sugar-based pipe bomb with a set of Ellen DeGeneres cupcake recipes.
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.
Written by Dulcy Israel and produced by Main Street Cupcakes in Hudson, Ohio, it said “the little cupcake is big again” adding: “Self-contained and satisfying, it summons memories of childhood even as it’s updated for today’s sweet-toothed hipsters.”
It included a recipe for the Mojito Cupcake – “made of white rum cake and draped in vanilla buttercream”- and the Rocky Road Cupcake – “warning: sugar rush ahead!”
Though this particular MI6 hack was humorous, the intelligence communities on both sides of the pond take seriously this particular Al-Qaeda web magazine, which is published by the influential radical preacher Anwar al-Awlaki: A former CIA analyst told the Telegraph that it was “clearly intended for the aspiring jihadist in the US or UK who may be the next Fort Hood murderer or Times Square bomber.”