back to article 'al-Qaeda suicide cat' sends US Iraq war robots out of control

Control over heavily armed US war robots fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan was lost last year after a cat climbed into machinery at an American command base and "fried everything", a US officer has confirmed. The news comes from Colonel Grant Webb, describing technical problems at Creech Air Force Base outside Las Vegas, Nevada …


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  1. Arkasha

    They do say that

    curiosity fried the cat...

    As the programming term "debugging" reputedly came from having to remove insects from the contacts of early switch programmed computers, are we going to get the term "decatting" to refer to getting a complex electronic system back up and running after a failure?

  2. Random Noise

    Pussama Bin Laden

    First the cats, next thing we know it'll be the bomb dogs.

    1. Arkasha

      The Russians tried it but it failed

    2. Anonymous Coward

      re:randon noise

      You mean terrierists

  3. frank ly

    Ahhhh, long term operational considerations

    Our automated lethality delivery system has passed all functional requirements and environmental specification testing. Now we are confident that nothing can go wrong.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I wonder...

    ...what the moggy was promised in the afterlife? sixty four unopened cans of Felix ... and a can opener?

    1. Ian 31

      None of that tinned crap thank you.

      If ours are anything to go by it would have to be chicken, prawns, mince beef or melon.

      Yes melon.

      We worry about Lenny sometimes.

    2. Gilbert Wham

      Yes, but...

      ... he forgot to ask for thumbs...

    3. Dan 10


      Wouldn't it need opposable thumbs as well?!

    4. Anonymous Coward


      64 Cheezburgers?!

  5. prathlev

    I for one...

    ... welcome our new feline roboplane sabotaging overlords!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What happened to the cat

    Does this mean the cat was fried too, or it just pissed onto the electrics and scarpered when sparks started flying up it's arse?

    Aren't the robots rain proof then? If a cat can get inside, so can the rain.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    atleast we have discovered a new weapon against ROTM

    a highly trained squadron of moggies...

  8. Anonymous Hero

    Cat-astrophic failure?

    I'll get me coat.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is it wrong...

    ...that amidst all the horrors of the Iraq war, I'm more sympathetic to the plight of an errant cat than any of the other stories of tragedy I've seen?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Would someone please think of the animals!


      but yes, so am I, more sympathetic to that poor cat.

  10. Robert Carnegie Silver badge


    As for the incident:

    (1) It's Jurassic Park meets Terminator on the set of Black Hawk Down.

    (2) I feel sorry for the cat. Electrocuted by those mean Americans.

    And you can't get cats to do anything for you. Except what they wanted to do anyway. Ask Krosp. He'll tell you. And then probably start crying. It's just not what they're for.

  11. Daniel 1

    Clearly Al-Qaeda have been taking notes from the CIA

    Maybe the cat was actually trying to obtain surveillance - and met a similarly abrupt end to its spying career, as its American predecessor?

    Certainly, a wire inserted up it's tail would explain the devastating effect on electrical contacts.

  12. Sekundra

    Cat 7?

    Well I for one welcome our electro-magnetic pulsing feline overlords...

  13. LinkOfHyrule



    1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge


      High-velocity tea met keyboard!!

  14. Anonymous Coward


    that nobody seems bothered about the poor cat

  15. Steve Evans

    A cat?!!

    Good grief, they really need to look at the gaps in their panelling!

    They should be thankful it was only a cat. a rat or mouse would get through a far smaller hole and chew random cables quite happily. They should thank the cat for keeping the rodents out!

  16. Dave 156

    bad title

    This title implies that the cat was strapped with a bomb or something and purposely sent to disable the equipment.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    So was it a Persian cat?

  18. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Anonymous Coward

      "No-one bar the president even needs to know"

      ...and the IT guy, who put linux on it and is using it as a web server.

  19. Martin Nicholls
    Black Helicopters


    "This is famously the location from which US Air Force "Predator" and "Reaper" robot aircraft are controlled during missions overseas*"

    Also 39 Sqn RAF operate their MQ-9's from there until they possibly eventually come back and operate from RAF Waddington as some time possibly in the distant future after the Rapture or whatever, just to bring in a angle.

  20. RW

    @ Ian 31

    Don't worry about Lenny's fondness for melon. I used to have a cat that adored cantaloupe; after eating a slice for breakfast, I'd put the rind out on the sundeck and the cat would spend an hour gnawing away at it.

    Nice cat; sadly, run over by a speeding car one dark night.

  21. SisterClamp

    @Random Noise

    Dogs are haram (forbidden). So no al-Qaeda bitches. Only pussies.

  22. Winkypop Silver badge

    Cat-o-nine fails


  23. David Pollard

    Watch out for CBW then

    We have to hope that cats (or their owners) aren't gearing up for a major offensive in the biological warfare that they support through being a vital vector for toxoplasmosis. Besides causing symptoms similar to schizophrenia, infection has also been suggested as a significant factor in road traffic accidents.

    Toxoplasmosis does present a severe problem. I can't immediately locate figures for the UK, but "225,000 cases of toxoplasmosis are reported [in the USA] each year, resulting in 5000 hospitalizations and 750 deaths"

  24. TeeCee Gold badge

    Questions raised.

    Is this part of a cat-alogue of failures?

    Has it given their commanders paws for thought or do they feel their current security arrangements are purr-fectly sound?

    If they are making any changes, what was the outcome of the as-is and tabby analysis?

    Have they a get-out claws if it happens again?

    On a brighter note, they've been cleared to fly through Thai airspace. Yes, they've been Siam-eased........

    Mine's the one with the well thumbed copy of "1001 really crap cat jokes" in the pocket.

  25. Secretgeek

    Wrong section.

    Surely this should be under Rise Of The Moggies.

    I'll get me coat.

  26. Francis Offord
    Black Helicopters

    Whoopee do!

    I'm glad you told me this. I can now sleep soundly in my bed, if I can find it.

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