Enter Dennis Montgomery, a computer programmer from California. He developed software that he claimed could decode messages broadcast by the Arab television network Al-Jazeera. He said he'd found them to contain coordinates and flight numbers used for planning terrorist attacks. Having learned from Hollywood that there's nothing you can't do with a computer, the Department of Homeland Security decided they'd take it and promptly handed over $20 million. That's quite a bit of money, considering Montgomery was pulling these secret messages out of his ass.
Flights were grounded all over the world on Christmas in 2003 after officials were warned by Montgomery's software that a terror attack was imminent. French authorities detained six people in connection with the supposed plot, then let all six go because they weren't terrorists at all. Frustrated, the French intelligence agency decided to test the software themselves, finding it to be "merde de cheval complete," or "total horseshit." The CIA agreed with this assessment and told the DHS what a bunch of morons they were, presumably with a comical slap across the back of the head.
2004's drone strike on DHS headquarters was an unrelated tragedy.
You'd probably assume Montgomery was fired and locked up in Guantanamo Bay for his deception, right? Of course not. He kept working for various government agencies for years, and in 2009 he was awarded a $3 million contract with the Air Force. At the end of that year, Montgomery was charged with passing bad checks at casinos in Vegas, at which point the intelligence services finally decided they should probably stop giving him money.