CIA planned to distribute Osama bin Laden 'demon dolls' in Pakistan
The CIA planned to use toys to turn Pakistanis against Osama bin Laden, a report released Thursday shows.
The government reportedly commissioned toy manufacturer Hasbro in 2005 to create dolls of bin Laden that could morph into demons. The project was code-named "Devil Eyes."
According to the Washington Post, the initial plan was to distribute toys and school supplies to children in Afghanistan to increase a pro-U.S. sentiment. The CIA approached Hasbro executive Donald Levine to complete the job. Hasbro is the company responsible for the popular G.I. Joe action figures.
Levine, who passed away in May, was a "dedicated patriot and proud Korean War veteran" according to a statement released by his family. "When called on, he was honored to assist our country."
After dispensing backpacks and notebooks to Afghan children, the CIA asked Levine to create a bin Laden figurine. The doll's face was intended to peel off to reveal a "devilish" version of the terrorist leader underneath. The demon face was red with black marks covering it and bright green eyes.
The CIA acknowledges that the "Devil Eyes" project was real, but denies that any dolls were shipped to Pakistan or Afghanistan. However, a source told reporters that hundreds of the dolls were manufactured in China, and sent to Karachi, Pakistan in 2006. Additionally, the Post reports seeing one of the figurines.
CIA spokesman Ryan Trapani countered the findings.
"To our knowledge, there were only three individual action figures ever created, and these were merely to show what a final product might look like," he told the Washington Post.
"After being presented with these examples, the CIA declined to pursue this idea and did not produce or distribute any of these action figures. Furthermore, CIA has no knowledge of these action figures being produced or distributed by others."