Friday, June 2, 2006

American Games Being Used to Train al Qaeda Operatives?

Last month, the US Defense Department revealed to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence that Islamic terrorists are using a modified American video game (Battlefield 2) to recruit and train terrorist recruits.

The US DOD pays contractors $7 million to monitor 1,500 militant web sites with ties to al Qaeda and other militant organizations. These contractors uncovered the nefarious scheme and screened the modified game for members of Congress. The game depicts American soldiers as the big bad guys from the viewpoint of a poor Iraqi goat herder.

Reuters was first to publish this news:
Critics of the U.S. video game industry have long blamed the products for violence among American teenagers in civilian society, including high-profile shootings at public schools.... researchers suspect Islamic militants are using video games to train recruits and condition youth to attack U.S.-led coalition forces in Iraq.
Several major newspapers took the lead from Reuters and ran with the story. Unfortunately, the game was actually a video clip that was so obviously fake it had been discussed and dismissed over the past month in various gaming forums around the world.

If the contractors cannot tell the difference between a poorly made video clip, which included the name of the person who made it, and a true threat, God help us. Maybe we should give the contract to the gamers next year. They were not fooled at all.

View the making of this new urban legend from ABC Australia.

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