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Suspects Were Terrorist "Stooges," Say Officials

07/06/2006 12:37 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales announced the foiling of "a terrorist plot" by an obscure and eccentric cult called "The Star of David," while acknowledging that there was no imminent danger of an attack ... "In terms of plans, it was an aspiration, not an operation," an FBI agent said.

The Attorney General today announced that a successful sting operation resulted in the arrest of a terrorist cell known as the "Three Stooges." The cell's members are believed to be part of an offshoot of Al Qaeda known as "Why I Oughta," a phrase that appears regularly in their verbal communications. The President hailed today's arrest as "a major breakthrough in the global war on terror."

Details of the plot are sketchy, but officials painted a portrait of three desperate men tormented by a violent leader who routinely attacked them without provocation. These assaults included hammer blows, knocking their heads together, and injuring their toes with a foot or heavy object. In a particularly gruesome ritual, he would often poke them in the eyes after forcing them to choose the fingers with which they would be punished.

The men allegedly possessed a very long ladder, which officials explained could have been used to "attack a tall building, possibly the Sears Tower." The plot might have succeeded, agents added, if the men hadn't kept knocking each other down while attempting to move the ladder.

The conspirators were nabbed shortly thereafter for a plot that the Attorney General described as "an aberration, rather than an operation."

An FBI official told reporters that the cell leader's name is "Moe," which intelligence officials suspect is short for "Mohammed." The other members of the cell are known as "Curly" (or "Qurli") and "Larry." The official also discussed the possible existence of a mysterious "fourth terrorist," who may be named "Abu Shemp."

The Attorney General interrupted the FBI spokesman to interject: "Or, is that 'a rumination rather than an operation'?"

Officials said that the terrorists exchanged coded messages by employing sounds that included high-pitched whines and "repeated glottal vocalizations" such as "whoop" and "nee-yuk."

The three men were lured into the plot by a government agent who gained their trust by teaching them to play piano. "Hey, it's Paganini!" one of the conspirators shouted on a secret wiretap, only to be chastised: "That's page nine, you idiot!"

"Perhaps it's 'an implication rather than an operation,'" Mr. Gonzalez mused.

The government agent soon joined with the violent sect, and encouraged them in their scheme to hijack a rocket ship and send themselves into orbit around the earth. The agent suggested they submit a request for materiel to Al Qaeda's high command. They responded with a note that read as follows, according to officials:

"Dear Mr. Al Kinda: We want boots, three periscopes, a large rubber mallet, eyeglasses with little mirrors so you can look behind you, those other glasses that make pretty girls look like they're naked, a knuckle-cruncher, and one of those whistles that makes all the dogs in the neighborhood bark."

"Could it be 'a gene-mutation rather than an operation'?" "Ssh, sir."

This arrest follows a series of recent arrests in a program the government labelled "Operation Street Sweeper." That initiative yielded a number of "aspirational terrorists," according to sources, including someone from the planet Bok and a homeless man who had been monitoring CIA radio transmissions using the fillings in his teeth.

Also arrested in "Operation Street Sweeper" was a person in pasty makeup, described only as a "mime." Officials said the suspect refused to give his name.

The silent suspect's interrogation was conducted with the aid of an "interpreter for the speaking-impaired." The mime declined to answer any questions directly, but complained about jail conditions. "He says he's in a box," the interpreter explained. "The box is getting smaller. Now he's going downstairs ..."

The Attorney General was then heard to ruminate in a half whisper, "maybe it's a 'dance sensation that's sweepin' the nation,' rather than an actual, uh, operation ..."

The press conference dissolved in confusion when an intelligence official squeezed the red rubber nose impounded from another recent raid, creating a sound that drew a squadron of policemen on unicycles and a bright red firetruck filled with clowns.