Is puppet in this Vodafone ad planning bomb attacks? - video
Egyptian prosecutor launches probe into claim Abla Fahita is sending coded messages to terrorists
EGYPT'S top prosecutor is investigating whether a puppet that appears in a TV advertisement for Vodafone is delivering coded messages about terrorist bomb attacks.
Officials at the British phone company have been questioned about the puppet, which stands accused of sending covert messages to the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, The Independent reports.
At first glance, the puppet – an elderly widow called Abla Fahita – appears to be an unlikely terrorist. The ad, which shows her trying to find a SIM card used by her late husband, also seems rather innocuous.
Fahita tells a friend that she has asked to use a sniffer dog at a shopping mall to help search for the missing SIM. She also discusses another character she calls Mama Touta.
Egyptian prosecutors were alerted to the ad's alleged subtext by a video-blogger and youth activist called Ahmed Spider. During an appearance on Egyptian TV, the 25-year-old claimed the mall and the dog were code words for the locations of bomb attacks. Mama Touta, said Spider, is a code word for the Muslim Brotherhood.
"These elements tell us that there will be a big mall and an explosion after a dog fails to find the bomb in a car," Spider said. Vodafone has denied the allegations.