Monday, September 10, 2007

Terrorist Mastermind for Dummies

Interested in being a terrorist mastermind, but not sure where to start? Well we’re here for you! Follow these steps below and you too can find yourself courted by the UN, appeased by Europeans, and bombed by Predator drones.

Checklist of items to be a terrorist mastermind:

An Enemy

There’s only one real enemy left in the world for would-be terrorist masterminds, the United States. If you want to be in the major leagues, you have to target these guys. Who else are you going to go after, Slovenia? France? I didn’t think so. The downside, though, is they’re not exactly a “soft target.”


It’s not necessary for this to be coherent or consistent. For real terrorist mastermind fun, try using a Mad-Lib approach to developing an ideology by mixing Kyoto, Marxism, and some old-fashioned religious fundamentalism with a heavy dash of wild-eyed, historically inaccurate conspiracy theories.

Top-notch disguise kit

This is absolutely necessary to protect you from spies, and it also helps impersonators step in to fill the gap left by you should you become a smoking crater in the ground.

Message Coordinator

This is always a problem for would-be masterminds. In order to effectively terrorize you really need some “boots on the ground” people with the cultural experience to help you formulate chilling messages. Often, though, these people are just morons who foam at the mouth and are filled with narcissistic self-loathing. Since these clowns are scarce, you have to take what you can get.

High-Tech Recording Device

Not really necessary, since even a chiseled message on a rock would be regarded by some as “increasingly sophisticated.” After all, you would have proven you could cut stone! You need something, but don’t sweat the small stuff on this item.

Well-Appointed Hideout

Remember the ABC’s of a well-functioning hideout: Ambulatory, Bunker, or Cave. Anything that doesn’t fit one of these three categories is not for you. Because choosing a hideout is hopefully not your last decision as a terrorist mastermind, you need to approach it like you would an orgy with 72 non-virgins: think first about protection, second about performance, and only lastly about comfort.

Underlings with Poor Math Skills

Let’s face it, you’re going to fight lots of “30 terrorists killed, 2 coalition soldiers die” battles. And you don’t really want to employ any budding CPAs who can do the math to figure out that at that rate you’ll need about a million terrorists to kill 250,000 enemies, and that there are only about 8,000 of them available. Those guys are nothing but trouble. Instead you want guys who can’t count past 10 without taking off their shoes. Actually, the ones who can’t get past 8 because of lost digits are even better.

Broadcast Media Assistance

You’ll want to be getting your target message out to the billions worldwide who will fear, loathe, and admire you (not necessarily in that order). But who has time or resources to launch satellites, develop programming, and screen actors to fill in the periods between your illiterate rants against the world? Not you; you’ve got to delouse your turban. So that’s where these broadcast services come in. History has shown that they’ll pretty much broadcast anything you put out, so long as you remember to blame the US for every worldwide problem from deforestation in Brazil to gingivitis. Think of them as “Propaganda Offsets” that the US provides to the rest of the world.

Intelligence Gathering

You’ll run into several problems trying to get your intelligence service off the ground. First of all, spies-for-hire are like assassins: the ones that don’t already work for the CIA are incompetent. Secondly, you’ll repeat the same problems here that you experience finding a “Message Coordinator.” Fortunately, there’s an intelligence brief that is published every day that will help detail US government actions against prospective enemies called The New York Times. Be sure you have one delivered to you, or check the on-line edition. Just be sure not to fall for that whole “pay for special subscribers section” scam, because that stuff’s all crap.


So you’ve got everything together and you want to issue your angry demand to the world, complete with shoe-polish beard and sweaty-eyed rant. But you’re struggling to find le mot juste, and your confidence in the traitorous moron you’ve hired as “Message Coordinator” has begun to wane as you realize that he wets his bed. Never fear! There are a handful of sites on the internet where you can go to get your message to synchronize perfectly with the wishes and desires of the lunatic fringe of American political thought, like Daily Kos and Huffington Post. Just check out the comments, cherry-pick out a few of the more salacious crumbs, and you’re off to the races!

Political Enablers

Afraid your latest massacre went too far? Worried that no sane person could possible condone your actions? Never fear! Every few years in the United States, there are wild-eyed morons ready to legitimize you, meet with you, pander to you, and generally offer you a better deal than your own family would give you. For best results, be sure to blame the “Zionist Crusading Infidel Jews” for something; that will at least get rumored statesman Jimmy Carter to come out of the woodwork.

Best of luck to you in your enterprise, and don’t forget what they say: you can’t hear the whine of the predator drone until it’s too late.