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Last Updated: Friday, 4 July, 2003, 18:53 GMT 19:53 UK
WMD spoof is internet hit
George W Bush
The web page ridicules the US President
A website lampooning the failure to find weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) in Iraq has become one of the biggest hits on the internet.

The site, which is designed to look like an error message, is the top result when the words "weapons of mass destruction" are entered into one of the web's most popular search engines, Google.

The page, which is five months old and was started as a private joke by a pharmacist, is now attracting over a million hits a week, its creator said.

Linking to the site from Google brings up the message "These Weapons of Mass Destruction cannot be displayed", and suggests that the country might be experiencing technical difficulties.

It went off and created its own life
Anthony Cox

The page also ridicules the US president with the joke: "If you are George Bush and typed the country's name in the address bar, make sure that it is spelled correctly (IRAQ)."

It was written by 34-year-old Anthony Cox, a pharmacist from Birmingham.

He said: "It started off as a private joke for a few friends. Then it got passed on.

"People emailed it around and it ended up a few mailing lists. It went off and created its own life."

Mr Cox said he created the site in February before the Iraq war, when the debate about alleged Iraqi weapons of mass destruction began.

He added that the site clocked more than a million visits this week, more than in the past three months combined.

Mr Cox, who said he was not opposed to the war on Iraq, also included several links in his message.

One reads: "Click the bomb button if you are Donald Rumsfeld."

The link leads to a page on internet book, music and video seller Amazon, offering a DVD version of the classic 1963 anti-war film Doctor Strangelove.

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