From the Dept. of It Had to Happen, comes a homeland security warning on terrorists boarding airplanes with surgically implanted bombs. Mount the photo taken from a Batman movie, the one where the Joker has implanted an explosive cell phone in one of his henchmen. Problem: As seen in movie, extreme pain and disability in mule. Which doesn't matter if you're in jail. But which does matter a great deal if you're waiting in line at some airport in Africa or trying to make your way through checkpoints.
"The Department of Homeland Security has identified a potential threat from terrorists who may be considering surgically implanting explosives or explosive components in humans to conduct terrorist attacks," the advisory to foreign counterparts said, according to the U.S. security official.
Such a threat is likely to come from overseas rather than domestically, but precautions were being taken on both sides, [an] official said on condition of anonymity.
I wrote of this back in 2009, at the time of the failed underwear bombing plot, as the next thing people would get worked up over.
Even then it was old. A New York newspaper -- not the Times -- had made a big joke out of stories about an alleged al Qaeda "butt bomber" who supposedly carried explosive in his rectum
This turned out to be untrue. It's discussed here.
The problem that's easy to grasp with surgically implanted bombs is one of disability.
It's real hard, almost impossible, to carry toxic chemicals -- which is what explosives are -- in your body. For any length of time. Without giving yourself away, being rendered immobile, or dieing.
Can you imagine all the al Qaeda volunteers lining up, now that bin Laden is dead, to test what kind of packaging and surgical implantation will work best for these kinds of things? In Yemen.
Get maimed or die of agonizing sepsis in testing. That'll sure bring in all the hardened jihadis.
Al Qaeda is demonstrably an enfeebled organization after ten years of being leaned on by the US security apparatus and it has a real problem in finding capable operatives. Which is why its underwear bomber failed. And why it went to failed bombs placed in printer cartridges.
And so the organization is faced with a question of reliability.
When you can't find anyone capable to carry out plots with reasonable chance of success, you think about taking the human element out of the equation. And when even that fails, you go to ... whatever.
Realistically, it's hard to know exactly where this warning came from. Is it actually based on reasonable intelligence?
That would seem not to be so, if one uses any common sense.
Did it come from some out-of-control threat assessment unit within the US government, one casting around for something "new" to warn about now that bin Laden is dead?
That would seem more likely than the former, although it is not a given, either.
In any case, I'd bet against seeing anything come of this in the near future. With only a slight chance that some young man from Pakistan or Yemen, very mentally ill or extremely crippled in some way, being netted at a checkpoint with a failed bomb wedged into him in some very painfully odd way.
Since the idea of surgically implanted bombs is inherently ridiculous, even though some may think otherwise, a music and humor break is furnished for comic relief.
This post was originally published at Dick Destiny blog. Join the fundraiser now.