Al-Qaida Hijacks Mars, Attempts To Crash It Into Earth
(Thursday, August 28, 2003)

EARTH - U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge revealed today that the Pentagon, the White House, the Washington Monument and other historic symbols of American liberty narrowly escaped destruction Wednesday night, when operatives of Al Qaida - the noted terrorist organization with reputed ties to Islamic fundamentalism - hijacked the planet Mars and attempted to ram the Earth, in another one of their spectacular Hollywood-esque attacks on "imperialist western values."

The announcement confirms a plethora of wild speculation that swept the United States in the wake of Mars' teeth-rattlingly close pass of the planet Earth last night, in areas where the sky wasn't overcast.

Secretary Ridge refused to go into details, but insider sources at the disturbingly-named Department of Homeland Security suggested that the most probable scenario is that "sleeper agents" stowed away on the Mars Rover, and, once activated, quickly seized control of the planet armed with toenail clippers and a can of hairspray.

"They probably met with very little resistance from the native population," said a NASA informant, who went on to add, "Oh God, no - wait - can I take that back? I didn't mean to say that! You did NOT hear that from me. There is absolutely NO life on Mars!  Listen, just forget what I said before . . . if you know what's good for you."

Unsubstantiated rumors hint at the possibility that the attack may have been diverted at the last second after Al-Qaida learned that it might interfere with a concert by The Dixie Chicks. The controversial trio is known to be a favorite of many Al-Qaida members due to lead singer Natalie Maines' outspoken criticisms of President George W. Bush. "The enemy of our enemy is our friend," declared an anonymous Al-Qaida spokesperson, "besides - those ladies really know how to put on a great show. And have you seen the little fat one in a tight leather miniskirt? Hubba-hubba!"

According to sources within the astronomy community who asked not to be identified, Mars is the fourth planet from our sun, and is popularly referred to as the "red" planet.

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