ISIS Keeps Chasing A Terrifying Superweapon (That's A Scam)
ISIS is the closest thing that the world currently has to a bunch of supervillains, so it's only apt that they are dedicating an inordinate amount of time, money, and energy towards acquiring an actual superweapon capable of annihilating the world as we know it. Fortunately, they're more like the Bebop and Rocksteady sort of bad guys, because they kind of suck learning from past mistakes.
Case in point: ISIS really wants red mercury, which is the terroristic equivalent of a rickroll -- and they're only the latest in a long line of evildoers to fall for it.
This substance is never going to make you cry or hurt you.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, rumors began to spread about an experimental substance known as "red mercury" developed by the USSR. On its own, red mercury is said to be a harmless compound, but when combined with conventional explosives, it's capable of generating enormous nuclear bomb-sized explosions. Or rather, it would, if the concept of red mercury didn't violate all of the laws of chemistry, physics, and, fuck it, let's throw in biology just because it's that unnaturally stupid a scheme.
But this didn't stop ISIS. In 2014, midway through their sell-out Calpihappetite For Destruction Tour, they tried to place an order for $4 million of red mercury from a local weapons smuggler. And just in case the smuggler (rightfully) didn't know what they were looking for, they sent him some pictures of it on WhatsApp.
The only photos ever sent through WhatsApp that contained zero penises.
Not wanting to be the guy to tell ISIS that they're a bunch of fucking morons, the smuggler eventually told them he had found someone with the connections to get their hands on some of the magic dust. Only this other, totally not-made-up person wouldn't sell to ISIS. They had standards, you see, and a Canadian girlfriend to impress.
This failure is basically pretty much the exact same story for every other dumbass terrorist group who have tried to get their hands on this mythical compound. In 2013, a group of domestic terrorists was arrested in Turkey after touting their totes-real red mercury on social media (which is where ISIS got the above photo from, by the way). In 2006, the Tamil Tigers tried to acquire a cache of the material as part of their long-running secessionist crusade against the Sri Lankan government. Osama bin Laden even wanted to get his hands on this Armageddon-helper back in 1999, only to be undermined by the "nuclear novices" that he'd sent to negotiate on his behalf.
"You didn't get the red mercury? Oh well, time to drown my sorrows in HeadOn and internet dick growth pills."