Human IED threat elicits DHS warning

The Homeland Security Department issued a warning July 6 that terrorists might try to slip surgically implanted bombs through airport security lines, according to ABC News’ Brian Ross, Jason Ryan and Anna Schecter.

In a notice posted on the Transportation Security Administration’s website, foreign travelers to the United States might face extra security before boarding an airplane. As Today Online of Singapore reports, explosives sensors might not be able to sniff out a bomb implanted inside someone. The bomb-makers would detonate after a chemical injection aboard a plane, according to ABC News. So in response to that threat, TSA said in its notice, travelers might encounter increased interaction with security agents, pat-downs or enhanced security techniques.

According to Today Online, DHS’ security warning references Colombian drug traffickers accused of trying to smuggle drugs by implanting them in people. DHS cited warning signs such a distended stomach or visible discomfort during a pat-down.

Given the rash of bad publicity about U.S. travelers’ emotional discomfort with pat-downs, this security warning could lead to chaos. A doctor told ABC News reporters that a skillful surgeon “could indeed package a bomb or explosive device…inside the abdominal cavity.” And experts told Today Online that explosives could be nip-tucked into the buttocks or breasts. British secret agents already believe that some women are signing up for such explosive breast implants, according to Fox News.

Imagine the public outcry if TSA agents are instructed to feel the breasts, buttocks and abdomen for unusual sensitivity near a surgical scar.

However, some say body bombs reflect how desperate al Qaeda and other terrorist networks have become. Wired.com shared an e-mail from a reader who claims to be an explosives specialist at DHS and believes the extreme difficulty of surgically implanting a bomb that could be set off by an injection on demand without initially killing the carrier makes the threat far-fetched, at best.

Reader Comments

Wed, Jul 20, 2011 Jay

The statistical risk for accidental death due to hospital borne infection or staff error in an American hospital is the equivalent of a 747 going down every day. Neither political party is criticized for our 37th rate health system so there's no money to fix it. But the fear of partisan criticism is so great there are billions for agents to feel breasts and squeeze genitalia for some imagined "security". And “citizens” put up with it. Ah, the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Tue, Jul 19, 2011 Concerned Citizen

Theres a fiction book called The Raggedy Edge by Michael S. Turnlund, which actually deals with this, however the attackers go after politicians and basically shut down government and the grid. Who would have thought terrorists would use airliners to bomb US buildings and kill thousands. If it can be done most likely it will. We need to be able to develop better non invasive techniques for detecting things like this before it happens.

Thu, Jul 14, 2011 The Shrimper

Another argument for clearly targeted and unapologetic PROFILING. Do not forget - Political correctness will get us all killed.... it did on 9/11.

Wed, Jul 13, 2011 earth

One might consider that the intent is not to actually blow up a plane but to cause self imposed disruption and humiliation. First there was the shoe bomb that didn’t go off. Then the underwear bomb that didn’t go off. (If they had been successful it would have been more difficult to inject humiliation and disruption at the point of inspection. Due to the destruction of evidence.) With this, TSA will need to get all touchy feely with breast implants, ect. So how would a TSA agent determine whether the fluid in a breast implant hasn’t been replaced with the chemicals of a binary explosive? I had expected a bomb suppository to be next but this is actually a bit better from the “frogs in the pot” viewpoint. TSA would have to visually inspect for recent puncture marks. Just how many husbands and wives, fathers and mothers are going to accept that?

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