Cakes for bombs: MI6 switches recipes in Al Qaida magazine
The Guardian is reporting a display of typically British humour from MI6 when it hacked servers for an online Al Qaida magazine – it replaced instructions for making a time bomb with a cake recipe. The magazine in question was the first edition of a 70-page English language lifestyle magazine for jihadis called 'Inspire'. The contents list reads like a parody, but UK and US security services believe that it is genuine.
The article "Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom" by 'The AQ Chef' gave detailed instructions for constructing a pipe bomb, fuse and timer. The magazine was hacked about a year ago by MI6. US Cyber Command (UCC) initially wanted to attack the server, which is located on the Arabian peninsula, but according to British media reports, the CIA blocked further UCC action to protect its sources; the UK intelligence service then took action.
Two weeks after switching the content, the magazine was back online in its original form and further editions have also since been published. The magazine is published by Anwar al-Awlak, sometimes referred to as the "bin Laden of the internet". MI6 appears to have decided that the magazine was an effective propaganda tool and is continuing to attack the servers on which it is hosted. It is, however, also being distributed via file-sharing web sites, making tracing and removal difficult.