British spies have reportedly baked Al Qaeda's plans to recruit terrorists via a new English-language magazine by replaced bomb-making instructions on the website with recipes for cupcakes.
The Daily Telegraph reported Friday that the terror group's online magazine "Inspire" had contained a 67-page guide for its followers on how to "Make a bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom" by "The AQ Chef."
However, after intelligence agency MI6 — partnering with the U.K. Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ, also part of a Her Majesty's Government's Signal Intelligence — hacked into "Inspire," followers of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula were instead greeted with a web page of recipes for "The Best Cupcakes in America" published by the "Ellen DeGeneres Show."
The would-be terrorists could then learn how to make a mojito cupcake made of white rum cake and draped in vanilla butter cream, and the Rocky Road Cupcake, which carried the message "warning: sugar rush ahead!" — instead of making a lethal pipe bomb using sugar, match heads and a miniature light bulb attached to a timer..
After the MI6 attack, the web page declared that "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."
The spy agency's cyber attack also reportedly removed articles from Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, along with an article entitled "What to expect in Jihad."
U.S. intelligence officials had also planned to launch a cyber attack against the terror network after the online magazine launched last June, but the CIA blocked the operation, arguing that it would expose sources and methods, according to the Telegraph.
Both intelligence agencies have both developed a variety of cyber-weapons such as computer viruses, to use against enemy states and terrorists, writes the Sydney Morning Herald.
Al Qaeda was reportedly able to reissue the magazine two weeks later and had gone on to produce four further editions, but one source reportedly said that British intelligence was continuing to target the magazine, viewed as such a powerful propaganda tool.