About Those Terrorist Video Games

In early May, Reuters ran a story about a hearing of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence where a Defense Department official claimed that terrorist groups were using video games as part of their recruitment efforts. According to the Reuters story,

Tech-savvy militants from al Qaeda and other groups have modified video war games so that U.S. troops play the role of bad guys in running gunfights against heavily armed Islamic radical heroes, Defense Department official and contractors told Congress.

The games appear on militant Web sites, where youths as young as 7 can play at being troop-killing urban guerillas after registering with the site’s sponsors.

“What we have seen is that any video game that comes out … they’ll modify it and change the game for their needs,” said Dan Devlin, a Defense Department public diplomacy specialist.

The basis for this claim was in-game footage of Battlefield 2 that Devlin showed lawmakers. Again, according to Reuters,

“Battlefield 2” ordinarily shows U.S. troops engaging forces from China or a united Middle East coalition. But in a modified video trailer posted on Islamic Web sites and shown to lawmakers, the game depicts a man in Arab headdress carrying an automatic weapon into combat with U.S. invaders.

“I was just a boy when the infidels came to my village in Blackhawk helicopters,” a narrator’s voice said as the screen flashed between images of street-level gunfights, explosions and helicopter assaults.

The only problem is that the evidence turns out to have almost certainly been this Battle Field 2 recording and the “narrator’s voice” mentioned in the Reuter’s piece is dialogue stolen from Team America.

In other words, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence got pwned by a parody passed off by idiot contractors and defense department officials as a genuine terrorist production.


Islamists using US video games in youth appeal. Reuters, May 4, 2006.

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