Do Intelligence Agencies have a sense of humour? While we do agree that they have an extremely tough job on hand, there are times when alerts are issued which makes you want to scratch your head and wonder.
Are the threats issued with an intention of causing panic or just for a few laughs?
The recent infant milk threat in New Zealand has raised many a doubt in the minds of several persons. According to the threat alert, it was stated that small packages of baby formula had been mailed along with anonymous letters to the National Farmers Federation and the dairy giant Fonterra.
The letters contained a threat to poison infant formula with the agricultural pesticide 1080.
Several officials in the Intelligence Bureau say that this is an internal issue of New Zealand and calling it as a terrorist threat is a bit too far fetched. It can easily be termed as bizarre, experts say. However if you think this is bizarre then read on to find out more:
Beware botox lovers
The Botox threat is probably one of the most hilarious of them all. This was an alert that was issued by Russia. The alert issued suggested that terrorists had managed to get hold of an agent called botulinium with an intention of poisoning the waters in the country.
The alert went on to state that terrorist groups had managed to get hold of this agent and had intended to carry out mass destruction leading to the death of many. While this caused a great deal of panic among many, little did everyone know that botullium if mixed in water becomes in-active.
Lashkar-e-Taiba on a para glider
This was an alert that was issued around four years back. The alert stated that the Lashkar-e-Taaiba had managed to lay its hands on 50 para gilders and each of them would drop down with militants on sensitive locations in India including the Parliament.
As hilarious as this sounded the question to be asked here is did the Intelligence Bureau issue this alert or was it created in some television studio. Everything about this alert was wrong. It was laughable and also undermined the Indian airforce completely.
In order for a terrorist to drop down on a target with a para glider, he would need to jump off a high rise building. The other option is that the terrorist could be airdropped. Is it so easy to fly a plane over parliament without the airforce noticing it?
Anthrax by the Al-Qaeda
How can one forget how the Americans went bersek over this Anthrax scare post 9/11. Headlines screamed Anthrax found in a post card. This appeared to be the job of some analyst who wanted a shot a glory. The threat issued stated that anthrax was being sent through post cards all across America.
There were debates and discussions on this subject and even Saddam Hussain the then Iraq President was suspected. The bigger question is whether the Al-Qaeda would take the trouble of sending post cards individually to all Americans? Moreover the Al-Qaeda does not have the capability to produce anthrax.
The Swarm starring Osama Bin Laden
The Americans issued all sorts of alerts post 9/11. It was like a terror alert fest and anything and everything had become actionable intelligence. In this bizarre alert it was stated that the Al-Qaeda had managed to collect insects in a bid to unleash them on the Americans.
Further the threat also stated that each of these insects would be injected with a biological agent and then unleashed on America. The bite by the insect would cause the death and the Al-Qaeda was planning to kill millions of Americans.
Such an operation would require at least a million insects. Moreover the threat also states that each of them would be injected with a biological agent. The question is who and how would administer so many injections. Moreover what if the insect bites the man who is injecting it? This threat looked like it was inspired by the movie, "The Swarm."
Causing radiation sickness through a smoke detector
Another laughable alert that was sounded in America was that the Al-Qaeda had managed to procure Americium-241 a chemical agent and plant it in smoke detectors. According to the alert the agent would be planted in a small bomb and then placed in the smoke detectors.
Once this bomb explodes it would release the agent through the vents and this would cause radiation sickness.
The question is that whether the Al-Qaeda was willing to invest so much in this attack which would have required immense skills. To affect 1000 persons, the chemical agent would have to be planted in 10000 smoke detectors. Do the math.