Speed Reads

devil eyes

The CIA's harebrained scheme to fight terrorism with an Osama bin Laden toy

From The Washington Post, a story about a ludicrous CIA plot to counter Al Qaeda's influence by manufacturing an Osama bin Laden toy whose face morphed into that of a demon:

Beginning in about 2005, the CIA began secretly developing a custom-made Osama bin Laden action figure, according to people familiar with the project. The faces of the figures were painted with a heat-dissolving material, designed to peel off and reveal a red-faced bin Laden who looked like a demon, with piercing green eyes and black facial markings.

The goal of the short-lived project was simple: spook children and their parents, causing them to turn away from the actual bin Laden. [The Washington Post]

The reported code name for the project? "Devil Eyes," of course.

The CIA did not dispute the report, though it said the toys never got past the prototype stage. At any rate, the U.S. government decided to take a more direct approach to countering bin Laden in 2011, which proved far more effective.