Brittany Dolan

C  Users bdolan2 Pictures American AirlinesOfficials have reported that terrorists are actively seeking new ways to smuggle explosives onto airlines. According to recent intelligence, jihadists are planning to use surgically implanted explosive devices as the next potential tactic when boarding flights.

Although underwear bombings and bombs disguised as printer toner cartridges have been traced back to the al Qaeda affiliate in Yemen (AQAP), officials have not yet specified the origins of this latest threat. However, the Department of Homeland Security has issued a statement that AQAP has shown an interest in recruiting surgeons to implant explosive devices in the bodies of extremists, specifically through online exchanges.

The proposed operation involves the insertion of a plastic, explosive PETN packet, detonated by an injection of TATP--a tactic that allegedly cannot be traced by current technology. However, experts state that it would be extremely challenging for operatives to implant a bomb big enough to cause catastrophic damage.

Nevertheless, officials say that passengers should expect to see a heightened security presence in airports, even more so than what has already been seen since the death of bin Laden. The augmented security can include an increase in a variety of existing procedures ranging from pat-down searches to airport interviews. It may be that the only way to detect this type of device is with X-ray screening.

We have seen a similar plot in September 2007, when extremist Abdullah Hassan Tali al Asiri built a bomb which his brother implanted into his body in attempt to assassinate Saudi Arabian Prince Mohammed Bin Nayef. Experts believe the explosive was detonated electronically and that the operatives’ body suppressed the force of the blast and as a result the suicide bomber was the only one to be killed. There is a considerable debate whether or not the device was truly embedded in his body cavity or carried in his clothes externally.


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