FBI to Test Televised Sting Operation with Who Wants to Be a Terrorist

New York, July 24, 2008 -- The FBI has announced an innovative plan to root out potential evildoers with the launch of the new game show, Who Wants to Be a Terrorist. The show, the first nationwide televised sting operation of its kind, is expected to result in "between zero to one arrests of confirmed terrorists or terrorist sympathizers per episode", according to Johnny Pistol, FBI Deputy Director.

"We have high hopes for this operation," Mr. Pistol said. "It's a real departure from our normal way of doing business, which usually involves following up on tips, tracking down evidence, and all of that pedestrian folderol. This has a lot more high-tech razzle-dazzle and should shed light on our anti-terrorist operations to the American public in a new and appealing way. It's a brand new front in the war on terror."

Who Wants to Be a Terrorist is partly an outgrowth of the practice of including, on the entry forms foreign visitors are required to fill out on inbound airline flights, the question "Are you a terrorist or a terrorist sympathizer?" Similar questions also appear on the application forms for many federal and state jobs.

While Mr. Pistol admits that written questionnaires of that kind have netted, to date, "very, very few real terrorists, to be honest, but quite a lot of people who should know better than to joke about that sort of thing", he said expectations are much higher for the game show format.

"Who Wants to Be a Terrorist will give us the chance to probe much deeper into the psyche of a potential terrorist or terrorist sympathizer than you can do using a one-line yes or no question on a form," Mr. Pistol said.

According to Sid Brownfeld, who will be producing the show for ABC, the format will be quite reminiscent of the hit program Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, with a series of 15 increasingly difficult questions leading up to the big-money finale, which will always be the same question: "Are you a terrorist?".

"If they answer 'yes' to that one," Mr. Pistol said, "we will know that that person is a terrorist."

Despite the FBI's optimism about the show, with the first episode scheduled to air live on ABC late next month Mr. Brownfeld and associated producers of the ground-breaking program are reportedly concerned that the field of available contestants is "worryingly small".

"It's a mystery to me," Mr. Brownfeld said. "People will usually do almost anything to get on TV, even if it means making a complete fool out of themselves or potentially subjecting themselves to waterboarding or indefinite incarceration. But so far our applicant pool is pretty much dry. However, with more and more terrorists and terrorist sympathizers being born every day, I have high hopes we'll have enough contestants to go live on schedule."

By Ion Zwitter, Avant News Editor

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