It sounds like fodder for late-night comics, but reports from Britain indicate terrorists are developing disturbing new methods to smuggle explosives onto airplanes. As the Sun newspaper reports:
"Female suicide bombers are being fitted with exploding breast implants which are almost impossible to detect, British spies have reportedly discovered."
This shocking new tactic, which had been previously theorized in the intelligence community, involves surgeons inserting explosives into anatomically correct plastic shapes and sewing them into the bodies of female suicide bombers. According to the Sun, MI5, Britain's intelligence agency, has also determined that doctors may be sewing similar bombs into the buttocks of some male militants.
The average X-ray machines currently used in airports don't penetrate the skin, making the properly inserted implants virtually undetectable. The implants would be filled with PETN, the same chemical explosive used by attempted Christmas Day bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab and in Richard Reid's 2001 attempt to blow up an American Airlines transatlantic flight.
PETN is more difficult to detect than other explosives and came dangerously close to success for both Abdulmutallib and Reid. Explosives experts note that with as little as 5 ounces, enough damage could be created to cause a plane to crash.
According to MI5, the chatter about implanting such explosives into the body started within hours of Abdulmutallab's failure to properly detonate a PETN bomb inside of his underwear. British intelligence also noted that internet postings on this development emanated from Pakistan and Yemen, home to two of the world's largest Al Qaeda communities.
In addition, the Sun reports that the scientific knowhow may have come from some of Britain's leading teaching hospitals.
This use of Western trained doctors mirrors the use of American born terrorists to carry out attacks. Increasingly, terrorists are recruiting extremist, Western Muslims into the preparation and implementation of attacks. With the rise of ideologues like Anwar al-Awlaki, Western-born terrorists have even become involved in the initial radicalization, and thus complete the loop that starts with recruitment and ends in suicide missions.