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Now TSA will really be up our asses .... literally

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Airlines are being warned by the government that terrorists are considering surgically hiding bombs inside humans to evade airport security. As a result, travelers may find themselves subjected to more scrutiny when flying in the heart of summer vacation season, especially to the U.S. from abroad.

The FBI and Homeland Security Department sent a memo to security officials around the country on Wednesday about "body packing," describing it as a "criminal tactic with possible terrorist application."

The memo, obtained by The Associated Press, cited a 2005 incident in which Colombian men were accused of surgically implanting narcotics into human couriers.

The memo offered possible indicators of surgically implanted contraband, including a distended stomach or other unusual bulging, and visible physical discomfort from a pat-down.

Bombs-in-the-body is not a new idea, but recent intelligence indicates a fresh interest in using this method. People-scanning machines in airports aren't able to detect explosives hidden inside humans. Still, there is no current information that points to a specific plot involving surgically implanted explosives, a U.S. security official said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss such sensitive matters.

As airport security has increased since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, so has the terrorists' creativity in developing methods to get around it. Aviation continues to be a special target, and evidence from Osama bin Laden's compound showed that the al-Qaida leader retained his fascination with attacking airplanes until his death in May.

Last year, it was reported that British officials uncovered intelligence that al-Qaida was seeking to surgically implant bombs inside people, a move some believed was prompted by the use of full-body imaging machines at major airports around the world.

"This is something we've been concerned about for quite some time," said J. Bennet Waters, a security consultant with the Washington, D.C.-based Chertoff Group and a former Transportation Security Administration official in the Bush administration.

The U.S. government has been working with foreign air carriers and governments to identify ways to discover hidden explosives, including bombs potentially hidden inside of humans. Officials did not want to discuss specific security measures under consideration so as not to tip off terrorists who could seek ways to get around them.

Once a terrorist finds a willing suicide bomber, secures the explosive material and makes the bomb, carrying off this tactic is not that difficult, said Chris Ronay, a former chief of the FBI explosives unit.

"It's rather easy and the damage could be rather severe," Ronay said.

Surgery to implant explosives could be done a couple of days before a planned attack, said James Crippin, an explosives expert in Colorado. In order for it to work, there would need to be a detonation device, and it's conceivable that if the explosive was implanted in a woman's breast, the detonator could be underneath the breast so that all the operative would have to do is press downward, Crippin said.

But Jimmie C. Oxley, a chemistry professor at the University of Rhode Island and explosives expert, said it would be tough to carry out such an effort successfully. She said there are only so many places to hide a bomb in the body, and a suicide bomber would have to recover enough from the surgery to travel and set off the device.

The al-Qaida offshoot in Yemen has emerged as the most inventive terror organization these days and has been behind two plots that nearly brought down planes over the U.S. The group, known as al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, was behind the Christmas Day attack in 2009 when a Nigerian hid a bomb in his underpants and nearly brought down an airliner over Detroit.

AQAP operatives also concealed bombs in printer cartridges last October, shipping them to Chicago addresses. That attack was thwarted because of specific intelligence about the plot.

In late December, the U.S. received intelligence that the Yemen group was considering hiding explosives in the insulated lining of beverage containers and carrying them aboard airplanes. There was no information pointing to a specific plot with insulated beverage containers, but, like the recent intelligence about the implanted bomb tactic, the Transportation Security Administration warned domestic and foreign carriers to be on the lookout.


Asked by -Eilish- at 11:13 AM on Jul. 9, 2011 in Politics & Current Events

Level 28 (33,578 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (25)
  • But it's to keep us safe! If you don't want to bend over and spread your cheeks for some underpaid stalker with a record , then just stay home or drive! No dignity is too important to give up to the government, if they can keep us safe by randomly  cavity checking babies and grandma's in wheelchairs, while letting through grown men with no valid boarding pass so no one accuses them of profiling.


    Answer by SuperChicken at 11:35 AM on Jul. 9, 2011

  • Terrorists love how much people freak over this and also love how much we give up. They don't have to attack they have gotten us to change how we live and do things they won.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:22 AM on Jul. 9, 2011

  • So why do they not want us to fly?

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:27 AM on Jul. 9, 2011

  • Why? My guess would be control, but beyond that IDK.

    Comment by -Eilish

    I agree, it's all about controlling us...

    Answer by agentwanda at 2:19 PM on Jul. 9, 2011

  • Dear God in heaven! I bet every damn sick pervert out there can't wait to get a job with the TSA! This is nuts! I guess they will be cavity searching white grandmas too..while the typical suspects walk on by..wouldn't want to be acused of profiling.

    Answer by tnmomofive at 7:09 PM on Jul. 9, 2011

  • Didn't see your post yet superc lol GMTA

    I'm telling ya who in their right mind would support this bs? Americans support this shit? Next thing ya know there will be checkpoints to strip search us all right out of our vehicles...thats what it will come to if dumbasses allow it to.

    Answer by tnmomofive at 7:12 PM on Jul. 9, 2011

  • Rather live feeling free than deal with this shit..Guess we are turning into communist Russia for christ sakes..too many skeerdy cats that would hand over everything including their damn dignity for so called 'safety'.

    Answer by tnmomofive at 7:30 PM on Jul. 9, 2011

  • AND I hope Eilish does keep posting about needs tobe posted about.When I see a post on this I will open my cake hole to in support of the post.

    Answer by tnmomofive at 7:34 PM on Jul. 9, 2011

  • heh, flying to Ireland next month should prove interesting!

    Answer by Zakysmommy at 11:14 AM on Jul. 9, 2011

  • wonderful... flying to Texas from canada in a month and a half should be fun.... wonder if that means you'll have to be at the airport 3 or 4 hours in advance now instead of 2 for international flights?

    Answer by RigPrincess85 at 11:16 AM on Jul. 9, 2011