back to article Videogame TRAINS TERRORISTS, yells pundit

Modern combat-inspired first-person shooter series Call of Duty may have unwittingly influenced the attack on Moscow's Domodedovo airport, it has been claimed. The allegation was made by TV channel Russia Today and arises from a mission in CoD: Modern Warfare 2 called "No Russian" in which a player goes on a rampage gunning …


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  1. Rich 30


    what a crock....

    Not sure why Reg are printing.

    1. hplasm

      I'm not sure

      where Reg inserts the paper, never mind the ink...

  2. Caff

    radicalised already

    The key phrase quoted ""I think those who have been radicalised already" ... he's right!! But why stop at games, the obvious manual of choice for would be terrorists is surely Tom Clancy novels? Or even Die Hard 1-3... they could even be planning cyber terror attacks by watching Die Hard 4.0!!!

    We must band together to end this maddness

  3. g e


    Or maybe they just watch Diehard2 over and over. Or anything else with an airport getting harassed with munitions

    Thank god the guys at Cern/LHC don't play Halflife!

    ... or do they?

  4. Chad H.

    If El Reg had Jon Stewart

    We'd be cutting to a clip From Penn & Teller's BS where they got a video game playing kid to fire a real gun on a rifle range.

    He ran crying for Mommy.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    should that not be ...

    Foundation for Defense against Democracy?

  6. Anonymous Coward

    The game trained her to do a different thing?

    I don't understand. The game has you shooting civilians, not blowing yourself up - if this woman used the game for training she clearly wasn't paying attention.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I dunno

      My wife is hopeless at these games and quite often blows herself up.

      Maybe this woman just pushed "detonate" when she meant to press "pickup/drop".

  7. Paul_Murphy

    Jumping on the hobbyhorse again.

    1- Training:

    Because pressing a mouse button and using WSAD is SOOO much like firing a real machine gun while running around.

    2- Similarity to attack

    Of course a suspected widow blowing herself up is so much like a team of machine-gun wielding mafia/ex-soldiers or whatever.

    'See how this apple looks so much like this orange?'

    3- violent games make you anti-social

    It's more likely that sitting for hours in front of a computer makes you anti-social - not what you are doing on the computer.

    Stupid people, just because it sounds like a simple idea it doesn't mean it's a correct idea.


  8. Jango

    Just like farmville ...

    ... encouraged people to take up farming in their gardens

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's amazing

    The similarities between a group of terrorists shooting up an airport in the game, and a real life suicide bomber.

    If a group of crazy people had gone around the airport shooting civilians randomly, i could almost understand the comparison. This isn't even close!

  10. seanj

    I think the principal from Billy Madison said it best...

    "What you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul."

    Stupid "make a tenuous link, then blame it for all social ills" idiot people, I doubt even God would have mercy on your souls...

  11. David Lawrence

    Yeah right

    Video Games are to blame. I knew there was a simple explanation. Let's ban them all, and crush all the consoles and PCs now. That should nip it in the bud....wait - what? There's been another one? D'oh!!!!!!!! what can we blame this time?

  12. TeeCee Gold badge

    Video games?

    "....walked into the baggage claim area at Domodedovo airport and blew herself up..."

    Tsk, tsk, she won't win if she keeps fragging herself like that. Didn't she learn anything during all those (alleged) hours playing CoD?

    I blame "Mavis Beacon's International Terrorism Tutor" meself anyway.....

  13. deadlockvictim

    dammit, is it so obvious?

    I'm still looking around for railguns that rotate in the air that automatically appear in my hands when I go over them and make a satisfying bing noise.

    And it is true that I have repeatedly slaughtered (and been slaughtered) by my flatmates. Maybe it is better that I turn myself in before I slaughter them again. I personally prefer the crossbow. I know now how to use a crowbar correctly too. I had been using wrongly all these years.

    On a similar note, were any of the previous U.S. administration arrested for their overplaying of Civilisation or Risk or is that different?

    We need a Tom & Jerry icon because television (and, by extension, video games) turn our vulnerable youth into psychopaths and mass-killers.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    if they were following the game they wouldn't have used TNT and blown themselves up.

  15. Domus


    Just how much training do you need to blow yourself up?

    1. Annihilator


      Probably would help them to have a simulator - let's face it, they can't do a live trial.

      Think it was Billy Connolly who pointed out the worst job was the trainer's: "Right lads, pay attention, I'm only going to show you this once"

  16. The Fuzzy Wotnot

    OMG! Help me I played Fallout 3 last night!

    Now I want start a nuclear war and see the world turned into wasteland so I can try to survive it!

    I also watched Fawlty Towers and I have a urge to run a very dated hotel with annoying guests, an incompetent waiter and lose my marbles at every opportunity!

    My wife watched some 24 episodes last night, so be on the look out for a small lady in her mid-thirties, around 5' 1" taking on world terrorists armed with a laptop and a pistol!


    Jesus wept, so life imitates art and next thing every piece of interactive fiction involving some form of weaponary is a training simulator for every nutjob on the planet? FFS! Did it occur to any of these so called experts that perhaps, just perhaps these nutjobs were so pissed off about something that the only recourse they could find was to blow something up for attention? Perhaps, and this is a big one, perhaps they they had been brought up in a circle of family and friends that held the same beliefs, that violence is a solution, no one will help you unless you do something about it?

    I am not for one single minute even thinking about agreeing with these nutters, but sometimes you need to try to get inside the mind of your average nutjob and fathom out what the hell has happend in their lives to screw up their values and beliefs so badly they have to kill innocent targets to get the attention. That does not make me a terrorist Mr UK Gov Politician, that makes me a human being with empathy for other human beings, through understanding the present you can try anticipate the future and perhaps prevent this sort of thing happening again.

  17. Llyander


    Because, of course, a game where you walk around shooting people in an airport trains you perfectly in how to be a suicide bomber. I mean the connection's so obvious!

    Morons. Standard media hysteria, stirred up by people with an axe to grind and only two braincells to rub together.

    1. Anton Ivanov

      So how about shooting people in a theater or in a primary school?

      Shooting kids in the face from point blank range? Shooting innocent theatre goers? Any different?

      Frankly, the game is beyond the pale in terms of bad taste. Manhunt was a walk in the woods by comparison. I do not get disgusted easily and that one shook me a bit. Shooting a innocent child in the face at point blank range?

      I would not try to draw any parallels between the game and fanatic actions though. First of all the lot who happily shot kids in the face from point blank range at Beslan, who used pregnant women in their 9th month as human shields at Budyonnovsk and wired only women as subhumans deemed disposable with dead-man-switch explosives at the Nord Ost incident needed no games to radicalise them.

      They were radicalised as it is. They needed no further radicalisation.

      Similarly, whoever wrote that scenario does not need to be blamed as a terrorist to have his head examined under the mental health act. There are limits to what normal human society finds acceptable and IMO shooting kids in the face for sport used to be one of those.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        I'm no prude but...

        I'm no prude but I watched that sequence and I felt pretty grossed out.

        The graphics of games and the AI of the bots are getting so realistic now that it is almost too good, it's easy to forget that you watching something cooked up by your graphics card.

        You have to wonder that at some point people might be affected by watching some of this stuff.

        It's fine saying that it is just a game and real life is different, and that's true as far as it goes, but it's kinda getting difficult to tell the difference. People do get emotionally involved in films and games and saying it aint so doesn't change that.

  18. lglethal Silver badge


    And Tom Clancy described using airliners to crash into the White house as part of a terrorist attack in one of his books prior to 9/11. So we should ban all books just to be safe! And im sure i saw a terrorist using a bomb in a movie at some point - so BAN ALL MOVIES too. And television is just like movies, it shows real terrorist attacks on the news - BAN TV...

    yadda, yadda, need i go on.

    1. Matt Siddall

      Steven King was firrst

      Tom Clancy may have had the idea for airliners as weapons published in the 1990s, but Stephen King (writing under the pseudonym of Richard Bachman) had the idea in 1982 in The Running Man (the book of which is a heck of a lot better than the film - and ends rather differently - this may constitute a spoiler).

  19. Anonymous Coward

    When i saw a russian airport had been bombed

    i did think of this mission - and how someone, somewhere would blame it for it.

    Shepple, you just know where and what they are going to do.

  20. CADmonkey

    Speaking as a long-time fan of COD, MOH and GTA.....

    .....that clip was f**king horrible.

  21. Anomalous Cowherd Silver badge

    Valuable training

    In other news, CCTV footage of the terrorists showed them running up, down, up and down the stairs, before darting left and right a couple of times and shouting "B" then "A".

    Fortunately snipers took them down before they could shout "Start" and achieve immortality.

    1. Joe 19


      Any word if they had a 10 meter knifing lunge?

  22. Anonymous Coward

    Utter horse sh1t

    Basic difference aside, The game is a level based on heavy machine guns and gunning people down. The unfortunate event didn't involve any and was more akin to a baghdad scenario.

    Airports are likely targets because it is a large enclosed area filled with people and if you are lucky, flammable things. It is also an area frequented by foreigners which would attract more headlines and interest from overseas.

    It's happened for decades. The game simply does what terrorists have been doing for far longer.

    What next, revelations that terrorists can learn how to make a bomb with a mobile phone and C4 because of the 3 second movement you get when Disarming / Arming a bomb in multiplayer Cod4 MW2. Or how to make a nuclear bomb because you get one if you kill more than 25 people in a row online. (or if you collect some funny green crystals that grow out the ground, so you can collect them and then build a temple of NOD.)

  23. Rhubarb

    Just like

    Leisure suit Larry trained us all to go out and shag hookers....

    1. James Hughes 1


      To that!

    2. Annihilator

      You jest

      Do you not remember the GTA / "Hot Coffee" scandal, which pretty much had the same charges leveled at it?

  24. Eden

    It makes you wonder

    How on earth did those poor terrorists, martyrs, freedom fighters, sucide bombers ever get along a scant decade or so ago before the era of FPS and XBOX!

    Back then we were stupid enough to think there may be REASONS for their actions (you occupation or having your friends and family killed by "those guys") but it seems they were just the early beta testers for FPS games, oh how obvious it seems now looking back!

  25. DrXym Silver badge

    I thought it was terrorists who train terrorists

    Russia has had terrorism for years. Enough for Wikipedia to have a page listing recent incidents:

    Note that most in recent years are Muslim related, probably due to Russia's heavy handed / brutal entanglements with former Soviet states.

    I rather doubt this suicide bomber chose his action based on a plot of a video game. More likely he / she suffering real / perceived oppression at the hands of the Russians, was radicalized, was trained to be a suicide bomber and finally performed their act. No video game was required at any stage. Perhaps he / she did have some downtime to enjoy playing COD but somehow I doubt it.

  26. Debe

    @The Fuzzy Wotnot

    oh dear god... what happens if you watch Big Fat Gypsy Wedding? cos... i have a "friend" who did lastnight...

    1. Annihilator


      "oh dear god... what happens if you watch Big Fat Gypsy Wedding? cos... i have a "friend" who did lastnight..."

      They turn to a lifetime of alcohol abuse in order to try to forget the experience - I think. Don't think they harm others though, so you should be fine.

  27. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    Someone, quick!

    Arrest Tom Clancy! He clearly wrote the instructions for 9/11 in the Debt Of Honor (published in 1994) and gave the teenagers the idea how to shine laser pointers in pilots' eyes...

    He also explained exactly how a terrorist nucular device should be delivered and exploded in order to kill the US VP or POTUS (can't remember which one) in the Sum Of All Fears.

    He must be detained and sent to Guantanamo IMMEDIATELY!!

    Also, arrest Arthur C Clarke! He conspired with Clancy on newclear terrorism and suggested Vatican as a target in the Rama books. Oh. wait. he's dead...

  28. andy gibson

    Die Hard trilogy for the PS1

    Circa 1996. The second part opens with "There's terrorists in the terminal" and you have to go on a gun toting rampage to shoot them.

  29. Anonymous Coward

    You know what else terrorists use to train?


    Sticks should be banned.

  30. Miek

    Black Ops

    Perhaps constant server disconnections and freezing in Black Ops made these people go out and do it the 'ol fashioned way "Take that n00bs!!"

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I don't

    I don't want to sound prejudice but I somehow doubt the individual that blew itself up could afford a modern console + games + power + TV

    But anyway another example of idiots trying to shift the masses to their particular mental opinion and using any example of pointless mass murder (or any other hot topic) to do so. They aren't as bad as the mass murderers, but they're pretty low down on the food chain, as are those swayed by them.

    I don't call them terrorists btw, just mass murderers, they wont stop me going about my daily business and if they do kill me, then such is the way of things, I'm far more concerned with getting run over by a car or mugged by a chav.

  32. SpaMster


    Couldnt the same be said about super mario picking up Ba-Bombs and throwing them at enemies?


    Whole things just getting ridiculous now.

  33. Mike Richards

    Well I don't need any more evidence than that

    It's quite clear that MW2 also inspired time-travelling terrorists to attack Vienna and Rome airports in 1985:

  34. Peter Bond

    I suspect many people

    are wondering why the level wasn't set in a "fictional" airport near London or New York or Berlin.

    Setting it in a real country, any country, was a tasteless and crude, but highly effective, PR stunt by the game makers.

    Clearly it has nothing to do with the recent attack but I can see why many Russians are pissed off. If the game level had been set in the UK and it was one of our airport's arrival lounges that had been blown apart I think we would all be a little less dismissive.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Not just that

      If it was set in the UK the BBFC would have refused giving it a rating which would have simply eliminated its retail sales altogether.

      However, being set in an airport of the "enemy" is kind'a cool you now. At least for some people.

  35. Swarthy Silver badge

    Jack Thompson?

    When did he move to Russia? ..and can we persuade them to move him to Siberia?

  36. Ben Bawden

    I really wish

    That I lived before the time of video games where no-one ever killed anyone

  37. Alastair McFarlane

    @g e The guys at Cern/LHC don't play half-life...

    Mine's the one with the crowbar in the pocket

  38. A. Lewis

    I wondered how long it'd take.

    When I heard about this tragedy I thought there would inevitably be media comparisons to MW2. This sort of insensitive conservative game-hating reaction is getting very predictable.

    Yeah, you might be able to tell: I don't agree. There's much worse in films and on TV than in MW2, so when people single out a form of entertainment they don't like (and so by extension its players too) for superficial reasons it annoys me a bit. I'm not saying that games don't influence some people in negative ways. I really couldn't call that one either way, but these kinds of automatic "OMGZ that happened in a game, ban this sick filth" is infuriating because of its lack of balance and perspective.

    Still, I think before too long we'll reach the point where every conceivable scenario will have been covered in at least one computer game or another. Then such people can have a field day and blame everything on games.

  39. Anonymous Coward

    To paraphrase the Simpsons...

    I did a little research and I discovered a startling thing... There was violence in the past, long before video games were invented. The Crusades, for instance. Tremendous violence, many people killed, the darned thing went on for thirty years.

  40. Erroneous Howard

    No comparison really....

    If the real terror attacks were modelled using experiences from MW2, I'm pretty sure that at some point before the explosion the terrorist would get "pwn3d" by a 12 year old who would then repeatedly tell them how badly they had been beaten.

  41. The Infamous Grouse

    Angry Chechens

    It now looks as though the tragic deaths in Moscow were the act of an individual or individuals prepared to blow themselves up in order to kill their perceived enemies and/or damage their infrastructure. Logically, this gives the event more correlation with Angry Birds than with Modern Warfare 2, whose only real crime seems to have been an unfortunately prescient choice of locale for its terrorist scenario.

  42. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge


    Why blow yourself up ?

    1, make bomb

    2, put bomb in luggage

    3, leave luggage with bomb in unsecured area

    4, leave before bomb blows up

    See that's what happens when you pop out of the briefing before the last powerpoint slide.

  43. Marco Alfarrobinha


    At some in their lives, all these terrorists drank milk. Milk is the cause of all evil.

    Ban milk.

    Beer, because not many islamic fanatics drink one.

  44. Eddy Ito

    What is this?

    The headline clearly indicated this was about "TRAINS TERRORISTS"! Now I read it and find out it's not even about PLANES TERRORISTS!

    Seriously, would they have said anything different if it had been a night club instead of an airport? Well, perhaps it would be a different game. Of course next week travelers may find the perv scanners have been moved to the building entrances.

  45. hplasm

    In other news-


    Film at 11.

  46. teebie

    Ban SplodeyMan

    Or give less airtime to simpletons like the RT employee who commissioned the report

  47. Ben Bawden

    And also

    In that MW2 level, you don't *have* to shoot any civilians, it's entirely up to the individual.

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