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article imageTSA moves to tighten security for possible terrorist 'body-bombs'

By Jenna Griffith     Jul 6, 2011 in Travel
Obama Administration warns TSA about potential terrorist use of surgically implanted bombs that are increasingly undetectable by current security procedures and technology.
The Transportation Security Administration recently acquired new information from the Obama Administration that suicide bombers could and would attempt to board planes wearing surgically implanted bombs, said a U.S. official on Wednesday. “It’s more than aspirational. They’re trying to make this happen.”
This new intelligence tells of members of al Qaeda’s Yemeni branch, thought to be the most dangerous sect of al Qaeda, plotting and planning to make surgically implanted bombs a reality, according to The Wall Street Journal.
White House spokesman Jay Carney assured reporters that there hasn’t been a specific plot to be worried about, reports The Wall Street Journal, but as a result, additional security measures are being taken at many U.S. and international airports. According to Nick Kimball, a spokesman for TSA, “passengers flying from international locations to U.S. destinations may notice additional security measures in place.” These measures may include, “[TSA screener] interaction with passengers, in addition to the use of other screening methods such as pat-downs and the use of enhanced tools and technologies,” reports USA Today.
While the idea of implanting bombs inside our bodies may seem incredible, Frank Cilluffo, director of the Homeland Security Policy Institute at George Washington University, reminds us that, “unfortunately, it’s not science fiction. The reality is that al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in particular has come up with creative means to disguise explosive devices.” The same Yemeni group claims credit for the underwear bomb in 2009’s attempt on a Northwest Airlines flight near Detroit.
As long as we continue to fly we can expect new ideas about how to conceal bombs to surface. “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,” says Cilluffo, according to USA Today.
Currently, there are still issues with the practical use of a surgically implanted bomb. TSA Administrator John Pistole stated that if the detonator is made with traditional wiring, those wires would be detectable by current security technology, even if it is technically possible to insert the bomb inside the body, says USA Today.
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