The Time British Spies Used Cupcakes To Stop Terrorists

James Bond has mastered some pretty incredible gadgets over the years, and they usually match his cool and sophisticated persona. Entertainment Weekly notes that some of his best include a laser Polaroid camera, exploding toothpaste, and a wearable crocodile submarine.

Despite these cinematic gadget triumphs, cake-related gadgets have sadly been lacking in those movies (imagine the chaos a detonated birthday cake could cause — all of the baddies would be scrambling around to devour whatever delicious piece they could find, allowing Bond to slip away).

Fortunately, the real British intelligence service has developed a brilliant way of combating enemies of the state that does involve a type of cake. Bribing bad guys with delicious treats is a tactic that was proven to be worth trying. Mental Floss reported how crafty intelligence agents in the United Kingdom intercepted a dangerous terrorist document. Cleverly, they replaced some sections of it with articles related to the best cupcakes in America.

Terrorists receive cupcake recipes

The cupcake initiative was developed after the terrorist organization, Al-Qaeda, launched an online magazine to encourage recruits. The publication also included tips on how to carry out horrific atrocities. According to Mental Floss, authorities in the United States and the United Kingdom were incredibly concerned that people could be susceptible to the glamorous way the material was produced.

Originally, American officials intended to ruin the material by infecting it with multiple computer viruses, rendering it useless. However, the CIA halted the plan because "it would expose sources and methods and disrupt an important source of intelligence," (via The Telegraph). Britain's MI6 subsequently picked up the gauntlet, launching Operation Cupcake (via The Washington Post).

The Washington Post reports how the clever coding changes by MI6 replaced messaging about bomb-making with recipes from the Ellen Degeneres Show's Best Cupcakes in America, including caramel apple and Rocky Road cupcakes. The infiltration also removed articles from extremist figures, including Osama bin Laden. While the initial hack was a success, ABC7 Chicago reports that inflammatory material from the magazine continues to be published. However, as of the publishing of the 2011 Washington Post article, British agents had not ruled out similar disruptive campaigns targeting the publication in the future.