Fearing an imminent terrorist attack, Chinese officials searched thousands of pigeon bums to find bombs
Fearing an imminent terrorist attack, Chinese officials searched thousands of pigeon bums to find bombs (representative picture)Reuters

Not ones to repeat the error in judgement Trojans made in accepting the wooden horse from the Greeks, Chinese officials left no rocks unturned, or in this case, no pigeons unchecked before they were allowed to be released to celebrate the National Day in Tiananmen Square.

The bums of around 10000 pigeons were checked thoroughly before they were released to the sky, despite the presumably tiny space for a bomb to be stashed in there.

State-run media outlet People's Daily China reported that the "anal security check for suspicious objects" took place at the start of the week before Wednesday's celebration - due to government fears of a potential terrorist attack.

The officials were anticipating a terrorist attack owing to ongoing violent atmosphere in Beijing. The thorough check of the insides of pigeon bums were followed by a once over of the legs and feathers as well.

Fortunately, no pigeon bum was equipped with bombs and no reports of explosions at the National Day celebrations in Tiananmen Square have surfaced.

While a pigeon bomb attack seems unlikely and ridiculous, it is believed that a large group of birds all carrying small devices could create a big explosion if they were to all land at once. In fact, the idea of stuffing pigeon bums with bombs is not even that outlandish, especially since a similar sneak attack idea was considered by the British spy chiefs during World War II. 

BBC has reported that British intelligence set up a "pigeon committee" at the end of World War II to ensure expertise gained in the use of the birds to carry messages was not lost. War Office intelligence section, MI14 had proposed training pigeons to carry explosives into enemy searchlights, while, Wing Commander WDL Rayner suggested: "A thousand pigeons each with a two ounce explosive capsule, landed at intervals on a specific target, might be a seriously inconvenient surprise".

Around the same time, the US military also experimented with 'bat and pigeon bombs' in Japan, wherein bats and pigeons were drafted to make surprise bombing raids on enemy forces.