Friday, July 16, 2010

Taliban Training Monkey Terrorists?

Discovery News
Analysis by Jennifer Viegas
Monkeys have been trained by the Taliban in Afghanistan to use machine guns and trench mortars against U.S. military forces, reports People's Daily Online.

According to this Chinese media story, monkeys can now operate the Kalashnikov, Bren light machine gun, and have the ability to identify and attack U.S. soldiers based on the appearance of their uniforms.

The below photo has been widely distributed over the Internet.

The report indicates the Taliban was inspired by none other than the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, which it claims used peanuts and bananas to train "monkey soldiers" in Vietnam. This information was, in turn, attributed to a "British media" report from last month. 

The story ends by saying, "A senior U.S. military source confirmed the existence of the Taliban monkey soldiers, military experts call armed monkeys 'monkey terrorists.'"

So we have a story built on rumor, with no named sources, quoting a media source of unknown origin. Personally, I think a clever monkey could be behind the whole thing.

Blogger Jeff Schogol, who calls himself "The Rumor Doctor" investigated the monkey terrorist claims.

NATO spokesman Lt. Col. Todd Breasseale told Schogol, "We have absolutely nothing that leads us to believe that this tale could be even remotely based in reality."

Christopher Coe, director of the Harlow Center for Biological Psychology, also is quoted as saying, "While you could train a monkey to shoot a gun, I certainly wouldn't want to be anywhere in the neighborhood after that. I rather doubt you could trust its aim," he said. "In addition, the noise would certainly scare most animals and make them stop."

Coe added that he'd heard rumors before about monkeys wielding grenades when India and Pakistan were at war, but no one has yet been able to prove that actually happened.

CNN put together a full video report on the supposed Taliban monkeys. You can watch it here.

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