Fact Check

Terrorists Poison Coke

Have al-Qaeda terrorists poisoned one in five cans of Coca-Cola with anthrax and arsenic?

Published May 6, 2005

Claim:   Al-Qaeda terrorists have poisoned one in five cans of Coca-Cola with anthrax and arsenic.

Status:   False.

Example:   [Collected on the Internet, 2005]

Al Qaeda terrorists infiltrate Coca-Cola Factorys

Dear Reader,

This is a category one ALERT from CNN.

CNN have learned from government sources today that the Coca-Cola factories that supply the United States of America and our friends in the United Kingdom have been infiltrated by Al Qaeda terrorists.

Traces of arsenic and anthrax have been found in one out of every five cans of Coke tested. Reports have been sent out to all major networks and newspapers to put out a "Red Alert Category One", warning all drinkers of Coke to make their way to the nearest hospital for a check-up.

If you have drunk or bought Coca-Cola on or after the 25th of March 2005 then do not panic, just inform your nearest medical centre and make your way there as soon as possible.

In the best interests of The USA and our friends in the UK could you forward this mail to all Coke drinkers you know, we will be posting more updates as they come in.

James Martin

Origins:   Our first


sighting of this breathless warning dates it to 1 May 2005. Rest assured that this is not a
real communiqué from CNN — that news organization's e-mail alerts look quite different (e.g.; 6 July 2004 breaking news alert) and are far better written.

While CNN's online news service does make it possible that you would first hear about an important story via e-mail, you can be certain that were al-Qaeda operatives slipping deadly substances into popular beverages, by the time you turned on your television or radio, coverage of these poisonings would have been blaring at you from whichever news channel you'd tuned into, with most other non-news channels periodically breaking away from their regular programming to update listeners and viewers about developments as they unfolded.

No such reports have surfaced, neither at CNN nor at other news outlets.

Barbara "hoax-a-cola" Mikkelson

Last updated:   6 May 2005


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