American officials have warned airlines that they believe al-Qaida is developing "belly bombs" to beat airport security and allow suicide bombers to launch terror attacks on board passenger planes.There is a solution which works, though the world is loath to use it -- profiling.
The department of homeland security has sent a bulletin to airline executives saying it has identified a potential threat from terrorists who could "surgically implant explosives or explosive components in humans".
Although many airports use advanced imaging technology that can "see" through people's clothing, the technology might not pick up a bomb which is hidden inside a body.
"Due to the significant advances in global aviation security in recent years, terrorist groups have repeatedly and publicly indicated interest in pursuing ways to further conceal explosives," said Kawika Riley, spokesman for the department's transport security administration.
"As a precaution, passengers flying from international locations to US destinations may notice additional security measures."
Experts say the explosives could be implanted in abdomens, buttocks and breasts allowing suicide bombers to pass undetected through airport body scanners. Explosive compounds such as pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN) could be implanted, then the person's wounds allowed to heal, making the material difficult to detect. On board the plane, the material could be detonated by injection. Guardian
Its been working successfully in Israel for years, and without overly invasive technology that does naked body scanning. Focus on the person and their intention; not 90 year old grandmothers or 5 year olds. Despite the rare slip up in which a weapon did get on board a plane from Israel's Ben-Gurion airport, it was never used in a terror act because the person was not a threat. Guns and bombs aren't the primary threat -- terrorists are. And they don't even need a bomb to bring down a plane, it can even be a box cutter.
hat-tip: Purple Parrot :)
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