Did al Qaeda Inspire Some GTA IV Attacks?

Spiegel Online International speculates as to whether some of the attacks in Grand Theft Auto IV were inspired by al Qaeda tactics:

Islamist forums are abuzz with a new theory: The designers of the video game Grand Theft Auto IV, they say, were inspired by killing methods developed by al-Qaida. But did the idea for the car bombs and suicide attacks in the game really come from Osama bin Laden?


For user "Abd al-Wahhab," it is obvious. It isn’t just military men all over the world who are studying the murderous methods employed by the terror group al-Qaida. Rather, designers, developers and graphic artists in the video game world, he argues, have realized that "al-Qaida is a killing school."

To support his premise, Abd al-Wahhab posts five YouTube videos. We’ve included one here, depicting a car bomb, at an airport, detonated by cell phone. Hmmmm…. Catch the rest of the videos with the Spiegel Online story.

Spiegel games writer Christian Stöcker, however, doesn’t think much of the theory:

To say that al-Qaida influenced Grand Theft Auto IV is just as absurd as claiming that al-Qaida invented violence… No way. You can carry out a suicide attack in almost every video game that contains bombs and grenades, simply by not running away.



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  1. Anonymous says:

    Exactly, YouTube is like Speakers Corner in London, you could stand up and say anything you wanted there, it used to be a great public forum, it ended up filled with nutcases, hecklers and people trying to sell you doughnuts.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Looking at that post, however, this person only manages to make themselves look bad, it does, at least, prove that the War isn’t just on Terror, it’s on Ignorance, on both sides of the divide.

  3. Scazza says:

    Spiegal should sit down and stop trying to give credit where credit is clearly not due.  The carbombs in the game are inspired by the troubles in N.Ireland, as clearly pointed out NUMEROUS times by Packie in the game.  Not that I endorse it, but there were people doing a better job of blowing stuff up long before AQ showed up on everyones minds.

  4. Timothy says:

    The jail cells blasted open in Afghanistan were done with rockets, not car bombs.

    Interestingly, there were these Sicilian super-courthouses meant to try and convict hundreds of Cosa-Nostra defendents at once while keeping all occupants safe in Sicily. The courthouse was specifically built to defend against rocket/RPG attacks.

    Did Al-Queda get the ideas from the mobsters?

    I wonder what he would think of the rumor that GTA 3 ended with a plane being flown into Donald Love’s tower, but was cut for 9/11.


  5. mlucky says:

    car bombs have been in GTA since the begining. this is a ridiculos cliam by a morals crusader.


  6. Anonymous says:

    Seen any good gangster or mob movies?  Some have car bombs.  THe movie Sum of All Fears?  Car bomb.

  7. Anonymous says:

    You can lock yourself in a car with Propane bottles, get high on the fumes and screw up entirely, ending up with fatal burns and a black eye from a Scotsman in GTA IV?

  8. Aliasalpha says:

    The shadows used terror very effectively too. There were a few terrorist stories in ST:TNG, DS9 & Voyager (Bajoran resistance & the Maquis in particular). As for star wars, there was this whole rebel alliance thing…

    Has anyone checked to see if there’s a trademark on the term "Car Bomb", maybe al quaeda bought it and this is the first part of filing a trademark infringement.

  9. Christian Bech Astrup ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Actually, i read that as Al Qaeda having an ego trip and being convinced that everything revolves around them.

  10. NovaBlack. ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    Could you wipe this guys post and ban him if you get a chance? Qraze its people like you that make Gamers look bad. Cheers GP 🙂

  11. GdRobotUs says:

    Not to mention the changeling net incident, the mad-bomber incident, the Centauri bombing of the transport tube etc etc.

    Of course, all acts of violence since the beginning of time until the end of it were all inspired by Al Quaeda…

    Must say thanks to GP though, everytime I read this guys claims, I get a real belly laugh 🙂

  12. Anonymous says:

    Didn’t you know, Sheridan destroying the Blackstar was inspired by Terrorist plots before they even happened…

  13. Anonymous says:

    How many games have the American Revolution in it?  The King of England could have called all those damn, ungrateful, snoobish, peon-type colonists, terrorists (if the concept were around at the time).

    Or, how many games are about war, in which you must use some sort of explosive to either ambush or attack the enemy?

    The curious thing with games, is, it allows a window in to reality, without getting hurt.  Think of it this way, metaphorically:  How many episodes of Babylon 5, Star Trek, Firefly, Star Wars, Battlestar Galatica, etc, dealt with situations and events, that could be considered in RL?

    Radio bombs, are nothing new.  They were using them back in WWII.

  14. GRIZZAM PRIME says:

    Huh? What the fuck are you talking about?

    -If shit and bricks were candy and tits, we’d all be livin’ large.

  15. bb says:

    It makes me think that spiegal got this idea from searching youtube and connected the titles of "GTA Terrorist" to Al qaeda.

    Makes me think that anyone can make a judgement on anything from searching youtube because media is a reflection of what idiots we really are.

  16. Qraze says:

    fuck al-qaeda, lets send a message by killing people who had no problem with us before. fuck you and the donkey you fuck too. get ready for another crusade. because you fncking people don’t deserve your land or your god. come find me mother fucker! i’ll beat the shit out of you until you’re almost dead, heal you back to normal then beat the shit out of you again until you’ll want to fncking die and renounce your religion. american made bitch. fuck your false prophet muhamid and fuck you up your ass. muhamid is gay. muhamid is a rapist. muhamid is a box o rocks, crack rocks. muhamid had sex with elephants. muhamid wasn’t real. muhamid is in league with the kwanza bot. muhamid is a cocksucker. muhamid was a girl. muhamid is piece of shit. Jesus kicked muhamids ass in hebrew school.muhamid never existed. God hates muhamid and muslims.muhamid won at the circle jerk.muhamid is a japanese kid playing dance dance.muhamid has a penis in his ass.muhamid DID write a book and its called “if i did it”.muhamid is a faggot

  17. Pyri ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    At last, Christian Stöcker reported something meaningful. By the way, he once called both "Motorstorm" and "Burnout Paradise" "porn" – he seems to be kinda funny guy, the only problem is I just don’t get his humor, nor his magazine articles. Totally beyond me

  18. sabre_justice says:

    Even the terrorists have the hilarious idiots in their ranks.

    Anyone else gonna sleep a little easier tonight thanks to this?

  19. Marvin the Maniacally Depressed Robot says:

    Don’t bring your conspiracy theories here mike. This is not the place for it.

  20. Anonymous says:

    In GTA3 you had to drive a bomb rigged garbage truck into a fish processign plants that was a frotn for the mob, and in an earlier mission i nthe same game you rigged a car with a bomb as a surprise for a mob member, and in San Andreas you drove a bomb rigged car int oa cocaine plant.

    In all three you were taking out illegal activities.

  21. Mike says:

    Al Qaeda was created by the CIA, so I doubt they used that as a model.  Al Qaeda is a boogeyman created by the US government to keep the populace in a state of fear in order to slowly turn thE US into a police state.

    9/11 was an inside job.

    Do your research people.



  22. -Jes- says:

    Well yes and no.. Most MMO’s out these days DO tend to mimick WoW gameplay to the extreme, somehow expecting it’s that part of WoW that’s given it it’s large playerbase.

    If that was the case, why aren’t EQ2, UO, Lineage 2 and DAoC all megapopular as well? WoW ripped every one of those off bigtime.

    As Yahtzee put it: "Enough trial cds to make a cape and matching hat!"

  23. -Jes- ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Correct. You actually drive an explosive-wired tanker truck into the courtyard of a police station, then run for cover as it explodes, taking out the entire building.

    See kids? Al Quaeda ain’t got nothing on this.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Come on, one of the early GTA games had a car bomb mission(GTA 1 or 2), and I do know that GTA 3 had one where you rigged some guy’s car to explode.

    Suicide attacks?  I have been doing such things from the NES game era, and there are lots of games since that you could do such last desperation attacks.  BUT unlike in real life, you might have an extra life and another chance, and the last GTA I’ve played you usually failed the mission, end up in the hospital, and have your weapons removed.

    This stuff is just as absurd as people over here calming that Microsoft Flight Simulator teaches you everything about being a pilot and crashing into things, and same for Counter Strike, Second Life, MMOs…

    After the bit with Fallout 3, seems like an easy "PR" way to claim credit for and glorify things that have existed for ages….  Not to mention Hollywood along with all the movies they have released and their special effects. 

    What next, them calming credit for Independence Day?


  25. BaronJuJu says:

    I love how people love to throw the Al Qaida label on any type of violence they see. A multitude of other terrorist organizations have used car bombs as a method to attack, nothing new here. Al Qaida sympathizers will use any event and point to it as inspired by Al Qaida in an attempt to show strength and power through inspiration.

    This is like watching new MMO’s come out now a days and folks claiming that everything was ripped off of WOW, like there were no MMO’s before it.

  26. Anonymous says:

    I believe the Oklahoma city bomber used a car bomb, and that was before even the first GTA was released.


  27. GRIZZAM PRIME says:

    Heh. GTA invented the car bomb which invented the Al Queda who invented GTA. Bleh!

    -If shit and bricks were candy and tits, we’d all be livin’ large.

  28. Icehawk says:

    Starting to wonder if Al Queda invented Stupid.  No, even that existed before they were anything of note.. points at jackie thompson or the US govenment.  Those are stiff competition for stupid, but Al Queda (or at least this story) does seem to be running an inside track.

  29. Corey says:

    Suicide attacks are not even beneficial for making progress in the game. All missions that involve killing require that Niko survives the encounter in order to complete it. The only reason there is to commit suicide attacks is for your own personal enjoyment. And remote explosives have been in fictional stories for a very long time. I must admit though, it is quite fun to call the police and attach a bomb to their car while they look around then blow it as they go to leave. 

  30. Loudspeaker says:


    This just in!  Al Qaeda invented violence…  More at 11.

    "Volume helps to get a point across but sharp teeth are better."

  31. TheEdge says:

    Holy f*ck,they’ll do just about anything to diss games.Instead of blasphemising games,why don’t you try,say,………………………………….TRY TO DO SOMETHING USEFUL FOR A CHANGE!!!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

    Honest to Christ,if the government spent as much time trying to fix our gas crisis as much as these idiots try to diss games,we’d have nickel a gallon gas prices(Okay,maybe not THAT low,but you get my point!).

  32. StealthKnight says:

    And terrorists like to train on video games and dumb AI is a realistic representation of how people act. By the way, when has Al Qaeda been using car bombs? The only bombs I’m aware of that have been used are IED’s

  33. jadedcritic says:

    How is this news?  Terrorists have been inspiring games for years.  There’s only so many politically-correct "safe" groups you can use as your villains.  Lemme see:  aliens, nazis, undead, robots, demons and terrorists.  The terrorist thing started picking up after the cold war.  Counterstrike is the first major example I can think of.   I guess what I’m trying to point out is, heck, they’re in good company.  Didn’t I see an article somewhere about an iranian game that lets you play as a member of the revolutionary guard?  (shrug) It’s obviously not the sort of thing I’d download, but hey – whatever lets you sleep at night.

  34. Smarty Pants says:

    Car bombs have been in the series since the 1st game. They’re 10 years late to this party.

  35. Quintin says:

    Of course we can carry out a suicide attack in almost every video game that contains bombs and grenades, simply by not running away. But I don’t like violence on TV and in games.

  36. Quintin says:

    Of course we can carry out a suicide attack in almost every video game that contains bombs and grenades, simply by not running away. But I don’t like violence on TV and in games.

  37. Quintin says:

    Of course we can carry out a suicide attack in almost every video game that contains bombs and grenades, simply by not running away. But I don’t like violence on TV and in games.

  38. Al-bol E Queso says:

     Very Casual Urban Association of the proven most civil nations with least civil means is pretty cool.  Would I want to be Sweded film or a clean takeout from any lesson involving sharps, shrapnel and burning…?  Where do I stand on Doing It Anyway when it won’t affect others’ decisions about my ability to choose healthcare?  Shouldn’t I have my Overweight Golden Book of Arab versus merely {cough} Arab-Regional answers?


       I’m Belgian!  I can get you unsafe food!  Psst!



    Indeed, for people who already have all the Obvious Shiny Object Data Storage and Obvious Image Encoding IP they can, plus maybe some AI engines, shading…what’s left but to throw down for properly signed credentials and standards from The Nation Inspired By Elbonia? 

  39. AY200 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    That title would make a terrific article at The Onion. Which is what I thought you were linking to at first.

  40. Anonymous says:

    The first GTA, long before Al Queda gained their current noteriety, had car bombs.


    Another example of those who don’t know history talking out of their ass.

  41. Haggard ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I did think it was a bit prejudiced of them to have it as "hey, I’m Irish, I can get you car bombs".

  42. DeusPayne ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahaha *big breath* ahahahahahahahahahahahah

  43. jdmdsp911 says:

    I was more inclined to think IRA since you do get the car bombs from a person with Irish decent in the game.

  44. feckin dead on says:


    There is quite a well documented history of car-bombs going off in the UK and Ireland. I am not going to get bogged down in a history or politics debate – so hopefully without standing on any toes, I think its fair to say that it is fairly realistic [in this characterised and fictional setting] for an irish crime family to be using the old car bombs.

    I think you’ll find, Mr Muslim extremist, that us Europeans thought of them all by ourselves – on account of us having cars and terror groups long before you 😛


  45. Anonymous says:

    Should have included this:

    DISCLAIMER:  ‘Al Con Queso’ is the terrorist group that is frequently brought up for discussion on the WKTT radio station in Grand Theft Auto IV.

    Most of the people here probably knew this already but I figure I should probably throw down the disclaimer so there’s no doubt.

  46. Arad ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    It’s Al Qaeda is the terrorist group from yester-year.  The terrorists we DO need to worry about are from Al Con Queso.  *sage nod*

  47. NovaBlack. says:

    and you were right.. so i posted about GTA 1….

    lol i was never saying you were wrong i was AGREEING with you!

  48. Cheater87 says:

    I suicide bomb Niko all the time in single player and in multi player I do suicide car bombings in race mode and death match to kill my  enemies. Just drive up to them holding the button and BOOM I take them out of the race and they have to case me down angerly on a lil moped haha.

  49. HalfShadow says:

    Yeah, because nobody anywhere ever used car bombs or suicide attacks before now…

    Jesus Christ.

  50. Dog Welder says:

    This is the equivalent of Jack Thompson claiming credit for getting Howard Stern thrown off of terrestrial airwaves.  Sorry, terrorists, but detonating a bomb via cell phone (or a remote device of any sort) is nothing new in the world of fiction.  It was being done in movies long before Al Queda existed.

  51. Tallimar ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    i remember carbombs in gta 1, i killed myself a couple times by not getting out of the car soon enough.  *hears the word "WASTED" echoing through my head*  cant remember if i was successful in getting a bomb on a tank though… -.-

  52. NovaBlack. ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    actually i remember them being in the original top down GTA 1 ! You could drive into a garage n get a bomb fitted n then set it off with a timer.


    Al Quaeda wasnt a hot topic then, so ..  yeah.. looks like the idea they inspired it is BS.

  53. Monolith says:

    Car bombs have been a part of the GTA universe since at least III. I highly doubt Al-Qaeda gave them the idea.

  54. Belgarion89 says:

    In Elder Scrolls IV:  Oblivion, you can give money to beggers.  Clearly, ES4 was inspired by Jesus.


    So speak I, some random guy.

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