By lex, on July 7th, 2011
Just when you thought things could not get any worse ** at the airport:
Airlines are being warned by the government that terrorists are considering surgically hiding bombs inside humans to evade airport security. As a result, travelers may find themselves subjected to more scrutiny when flying in the heart of summer vacation season, especially to the U.S. from abroad.
The FBI and Homeland Security Department sent a memo to security officials around the country on Wednesday about “body packing,” describing it as a “criminal tactic with possible terrorist application.”
The memo, obtained by The Associated Press, cited a 2005 incident in which Colombian men were accused of surgically implanting narcotics into human couriers.
The memo offered possible indicators of surgically implanted contraband, including a distended stomach or other unusual bulging, and visible physical discomfort from a pat-down.
Bombs-in-the-body is not a new idea, but recent intelligence indicates a fresh interest in using this method. People-scanning machines in airports aren’t able to detect explosives hidden inside humans. Still, there is no current information that points to a specific plot involving surgically implanted explosives, a U.S. security official said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss such sensitive matters.
(The answer of course is that your humble is too risk averse, what with kids yet to pay through college. Not to mention the daunting start up costs and certification hurdles. That, and we as a general rule are too flinty cheap with our hard-earned to pay anything like a premium on flying cattle class, and – at risk of mixing animal kingdom metaphors – we have become like the frog a-boil in the pot, who never noticed the gradual turning up of the flame until it was too late.)
** 10-30-2018 Original link gone; replacement found – Ed.