Air Travel Officials Keeping An Eye Out For Surgically Implanted Threats

It’s come a long way from underwear and shoe bombs, as authorities now say they’re focusing on explosives that could be surgically concealed inside someone’s body. Tonight is a year from when President Obama announced the death of Osama bin Laden, which has caused security at airports in Europe and the Middle East to be stepped up.

ABC News says authorities are on the look out for surgically implanted dangers, fearing that a terrorist will try to explode a body bomb on U.S.-bound aircraft.

And lest you think it can’t be done, well, the experts say the body is a veritable ideal location for explosives to hang out in.

“The surgeon would open the abdominal cavity and literally implant the explosive device in amongst the internal organs,” Dr. Mark Melrose, a New York emergency medicine specialist, explained to ABC News.

This isn’t news to authorities, as John Pistole, administrator of the Transportation Security Administration, said they were treating this kind of information seriously last year. They’ve been warned that al Qaeda has been working on bombs with no metal parts in order to get past security at airports.

There isn’t any credible information about an impending attack, however, so it will likely be the same old hassle as ever at airport security.

“We have no indication of any specific, credible threats or plots against the U.S. tied to the one-year anniversary of bin Laden’s death,” Department of Homeland Security spokesman Peter Boogaard said in a statement on Monday.

Officials Watch for Terrorists With Body Bombs on US-Bound Planes [ABC News]


Edit Your Comment

  1. MutantMonkey says:

    Awesome. Anal probes for everyone now.

    • RevancheRM says:

      Let’s be clear about one thing: this type of explosive delivery system HAS been used at least once already in an attempt on a Saudi official 2-3 years ago.

      However, it was FAR from effective. The patsy was ‘close’ enough to be a very significant threat IF he had been wearing a suicide vest, but since it was internal, a lot of the energy was expended on exiting through the body. The target WAS hurt, but not seriously. The patsy, of course, did not survive to see the futility of his death.

      Until they pack the cavity with shrapnel (lots of it), this will be one of the least effective methods. Its more the fear of this happening TO YOU that gives it any weight. Ff course, you took a much greater risk driving on the interstate to get to the airport.

      I don’t know about ya’ll, but I spend a LOT more time worrying about the more natural causes of death that are statistically much more likely to happen to me than a terrorist strike.

    • eturowski says:

      Given the TSA’s line of thinking, they might one-up to exploratory laparotomies instead of anal probes.

    • bluline says:

      Good thing I didn’t fly when I had a chemo port implanted in my chest and connected to a portable pump. All those tubes, wires, and batteries would have scared the bejeezus out of the clueless TSA gropers and I probably would have been handcuffed and locked up in a small, windowless room.

    • Skipweasel says:

      Yes, it’s true, my bowels are a weapon of mass destruction.

  2. MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

    Good thing the Kardashians can fly charter, they’d never get through security in time for their flight.

  3. Hoss says:

    Ok if we open up your abdomen? There are reports of weapons of mass destruction.

  4. Blueskylaw says:

    So now people have to worry about being showered with SILICONE???

  5. The Porkchop Express says:

    That would be a gutsy move.

  6. GMFish says:

    If you come across a guy complaining about a stomach ache where a surgically implanted cell phone is, you might want to run as fast as you can. Just an FYI, really.

  7. Hoss says:

    You can go through now — that shadow was just a tumor…

  8. catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

    this just reinforces my decision not to fly. not that i am afraid of kidney-bombs, but because as a person with attached/implanted medical devices, i suspect the TSA will want to dissect me now, not just search me.

  9. shepd says:

    There’s a really really crap movie about this sort of idea. Cold Night Into Dawn.

    Yes, I remember stupid things like this. But that was in 1997. You mean to tell me they didn’t watch that movie for 15 years? Aren’t they lucky.

  10. MrEvil says:

    I’m no medical professional, but it is my understanding that you can’t just shove a foreign object inside of someone. How feasible would this be to have an IED implanted by a competent surgeon and the bomber actually make it to an aircraft without being deathly ill? I thought that in addition to molesting children most airport security also looks for obviously ill people to prevent an infectious disease from spreading.

    More FUD spread by our illustrious Department of Homeland idiocy.

    • Hoss says:

      If a doc can implant a plastic boobs — why not bombs?

    • MrObvious says:

      You are correct about one thing, you are not a medical professional.

    • Thousand says:

      you could always just shove a stick of dynamite up your ass and just leave the fuse sticking out

    • eturowski says:

      “I’m no medical professional, but it is my understanding that you can’t just shove a foreign object inside of someone.”

      Millions of recipients of internal pacemakers, artificial hips, Lap-Bands, silicone breast implants, Norplants, and other sundry medical and cosmetic implants beg to disagree.

    • Sarek says:

      If he’s going to blow himself up in a few days, I doubt he’ll be too concerned about infection.

  11. petermv says:

    Ooooo the threat of terror must be falling, so of course the government introduces a new thing to make the sheeple worry and praise the almighty TSA for the fantastic job they are doing keeping us safe to be groped and harrrased by civil? servants.

    I like the “no credible information” line. In other words, our braniacs thought of a new way we can scare the population into submission with.

    Maybe they can take it seriously too.

  12. RecordStoreToughGuy_RidesTheWarpOfSpaceIntoTheWombOfNight says:

    Fuck the TSA. Fuck Homeland Security. Fuck the War on Terror. We’re Americans; our reaction to terrorism should be two middle fingers and business as usual. Edward R. Murrow said we should remember that we’re not descended from fearful men. We’re Americans. It’s time to start acting like it again.

    • dolemite says:

      I agree. We are going the complete opposite direction though. Our government wants complete control of the internet, they want to be able to monitor every piece of mail, email, phone, websites we visit. They can lock us away without right to trial or lawyer, and even assassinate us and there is no repercussion. The next logical step is to turn everyone against anyone speaking against the government (essentially changing the definition of “terrorism”, and after that, detecting and “re-educating” anyone against the government. We’ve come a LONG way towards complete fascism since 9/11, and it’s staggering how fast we’ve gotten to this point.

      • Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

        Wow, somebody sees things the way I do. All this time I thought I was alone.

        • dolemite says:

          I think it’s because it seems so surreal. Straight out of a sci-fi novel, but you can’t argue with what’s happening. I don’t want to seem like a kook, but facts are facts. It’s just scary that you point out things, and everyone just shrugs, but then they fly into a rage about the President not mentioning God during his YouTube Thanksgiving video.

          • HogwartsProfessor says:

            They’re using God and religion and anti-gay, anti-abortion sentiments to distract us.

    • RobHoliday says:

      I agree. 9/11 was a one time event that will NEVER be repeated. The only reason it worked for the terrorists was, at the time, when a plane is hijacked, there is a ransom and eventually everyone goes free. When the flight that crashed in PA found out about the towers, they tried to retake the plane because they knew their fate.

      Now, a plane hijacking will NEVER work again. The passengers would never allow it. The only way a plane could be taken over, is by a member of the flight crew (pilot, co-pilot).

      Box cutters, nail files etc.?????? Come on man! Not even a loaded gun could be used take over a plane. Again, the passengers would NEVER allow it. Some might die, but the plane would be secure.

      Blow up a plane? Why not pick something easier like a train or bus?

      9/11 was allowed to happen because our “intelligence” community were not working together. It was “our” fault. All of the signs were there. One of the 20 was in FBI custody because he only wanted to learn to fly, not take off or land. HELLO!? Where was our “intelligence” community then???

      WE NEED TO GO BACK TO PRE- 9/11 STATE. Just work together and be vigilant!

      • ktetch says:

        AHrdly. It’s happened before.

        Heck I was watching an old A-Team episode on Hulu (before it goes cable-only) and it had an aircraft hijacking, where the hijackers were going to ditch the aircraft in the sea, with the passengers, after getting the ransom. It was called “The Beast from the Belly of the Boeing” and was a first season ep that aired 29 years ago (less 2 days)

        (as for covering and identifying terrorism, and the TSA’s motives, I covered that last July on my Time100 friend’s site –

  13. Straspey says:

    Looks like this guy would have never made it past the TSA geniuses…

    “Man, 103, dies – after 95 years with bullet in head”

    26 April 2012

    William Lawlis Pace, the holder of the Guinness World record for living the longest with a bullet in the head, has died aged 103.

    It is almost 95 years since he was shot – by his older brother, in 1917, accidentally with their father’s .22 calibre rifle.

    Pace, who was a cemetery custodian, was left with one damaged eye.

    His son said doctors in his home state of Texas left the bullet in place for fear surgery might cause brain damage.

    It was reported that the centenarian died in his sleep at a California nursing home on Monday.

    He was crowned in 2006, in the category of “unwanted cranial ammunition acquisition”.

  14. bugpwn says:

    Why do they keep saying this stuff publicly? Especially idle speculation like this. They keep everything else secret, so the terrorists supposedly don’t know how much we know about them. I’m hoping it’s just because it’s election season, and not because they have a new scanner and *shudder* the inevitable “enhanced pat-down^H^H^H^H in”.

    • Hoss says:

      If you need to instruct TSA — you’re basically telling the public. They ain’t CIA

    • RobHoliday says:

      It’s all to scare you. We need to be afraid of “terrorists”.

      Your phone tapped? just trying to save you from “terrorists”

      That invasive pat-down? just trying to save you from “terrorists”

      That too-revealing body scan? just trying to save you from “terrorists”

      Your personal emails read? just trying to save you from “terrorists”

      Your bank account being monitored? just trying to save you from “terrorists”

      Give me your freedoms, and I’ll give you security.

    • amuro98 says:

      It’s to try to convince the public that “they’re taking it seriously.” And OBVIOUSLY the solution to a supposed increased threat is just to cram more security actors into the crowded choke points.

  15. Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

    There is only one reason I can think of that they’d come out with this story now:

    “You know, now the terrorists are IMPLANTING their bombs, so be happy we’re just feeling you up and photographing you from the outside!”

  16. giax says:

    Well, aren’t a bunch of boob jobs explosive even when they were not advertised as such?
    So extra “freedom gropes” and a complimentary TSA mammogram for any lady whose front seems to be unusually large for her size or whose ‘tools’ seem too perky or large for her age?

  17. FredKlein says:

    “The surgeon would open the abdominal cavity and literally implant the explosive device in amongst the internal organs,”…
    This isn’t news to authorities, as John Pistole, administrator of the Transportation Security Administration, said they were treating this kind of information seriously last year

    I’ve been saying it for 10+ years. And it’s only “last year” the TSA has wised up??

    Useless twits.

    In any case, an implanted bomb isn’t the big deal some think it is. The human body (aka Ugly bag of mostly water) would damp out the explosion. Sure, a few might die, but the plane wouldn’t be destroyed or anything.

    I’m more concerned about (how to put this delicately…) explosives that can be molded into a cylinder, shoved up… somewhere. Then, once past security, push it out, combine with the explosives the other conspirators have smuggled the same way… and you have a bomb of almost any size.

    Don;t worry,though- the TSA will get around to worrying about a scenario like this in about 8-9 more years.

  18. EccentricJeff says:

    Pardon me Miss, those implants could be dangerous. It’s time for the tongue test!

  19. Chip Skylark of Space says:

    “Did anyone pack your abdominal cavity for you today?”

  20. SPOON - now with Forkin attitude says:

    Worked for the joker

  21. frankrizzo:You're locked up in here with me. says:

    I’ve only flown a few times since all that titanium was screwed to my spine. I’ve never set off a detector nor been “wanded”. I wonder what they would say when I take my shirt off and have a torso that looks like John Rambo’s?

  22. dush says:

    I’m surprised everyone isn’t required to bend over and spread when trying to get on an airplane.

  23. redskull says:

    As far as I’m concerned if you’re willing to to go so far as to willingly be cut open and have a Goddamned bomb implanted into your body, then by God you deserve to blow up the plane I’m on with no arguments from me.

    • Jillia says:

      Came here to say just this! Like locking something up in a vault but some guy takes the time and effort to break into it. Obviously they wanted it more. You wanted us to die more than we wanted to live. You win sir.

  24. lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

    I’d be more worried about a terrorist being purposely infected with some sort of weird tropical disease than carrying a surgically implanted bomb.

  25. who? says:

    It’s a good thing we spent all that money on the full body scanners…oh, wait. The full body scanners can’t see anything like this.

  26. cynner says:

    Eating at Chipotle or Taco Bell will create weapons of ass destruction.

  27. jerry101 says:

    Yeah TSA, we saw that movie, too.

    It was called The Dark Knight. No, the Joker isn’t a member of al Qaeda.

  28. ThunderRoad says:

    Maybe this is the real reason they wanted all those vaginal ultrasounds.

  29. Radiating says:

    The intelligence agencies and not just US ones are always getting the most insane information. Usually it’s from a long line of he said she said they said etc etc or experts who are convinced by the most paranoid delusional thought process.

    All it takes is one random person to say “well once with my Al’Queda buddies we breifly talked about surgical bombs with no metal parts and never visited the issue again because we were too stupid and lacking in resources to pull it off”. Or one expert to say “well clearly it’s the logical progression of terrorism based on no evidence or research at all but I just have a feeling ya know?”.

    It’s not all intelligence agencies though during the cold war some random scientist said that the only purpose of the space shuttle was to drop nuclear weapons because it would have no civilian purpose. The russians responded by spending the equivalent of 60 billion dollars in today’s money to deal with the threat.

    Not all intelligence is ridiculous but a lof of the intelligence to deal with “potential threats” is especially because there’s a culture of thinking it’s best to be too paranoid rather than not paranoid enough.

  30. Sean says:

    Full body CAT scan machines being installed at airports everywhere in 3 . . 2 . . 1

  31. Kuri says:

    Someone took The Dark Knight way too seriously.

  32. Jimmy37 says:

    So what about the rest of us that can’t go through the metal detector because we have things like pacemakers, pins, plates, and other stuff?? Are they going to make us strip because we’ve got things bulging out of our body??

  33. CarlS says:

    Obviously, we are dealing with a group of people who are so dedicated to their cause ( if they were right-wing Christians, the left would call them “fanatics”. ) that they are willing to give up body parts and internal space to bring death and destruction down upon us. That being the case, perhaps it’s time we got serious about ending the threat. We could start, perhaps, with those in our government who refuse to focus on the enemy. They should be easily identifiable. But wait. That’s the real reason why the politically-correct are against profiling. Why, we would be profiling THEM.

  34. AdviceDog says:

    I guess they just got around to watching The Dark Knight.