Nightmare of terrorists with bombs surgically implanted INSI Aug 10, 2013 16:38:46 GMT
Post by Focus on Aug 10, 2013 16:38:46 GMT
The clean-shaven young man with a winning smile had passed through Heathrow’s airport security without any problems. He was wearing jeans and a T-shirt with smart brown loafers, not baggy clothes or trainers.
The body search was perfunctory. His small backpack contained a couple of books and lads’ magazines. The small diabetic kit with the syringe attracted sympathy in one so young.
Safely on board, he settled down to read a magazine as the 747 took off for Chicago.
The new threat of the human bomb emerged amid a terror alert in Yemen - where Al Qaeda is regrouping - over imminent attacks planned on Western targets
Somewhere over Ireland, the young man went to the lavatory, where he injected his ‘insulin’ into his stomach. He quickly returned to his seat as the liquid combined with explosives implanted inside him.
He then blew up. The blast tore a hole in the fuselage and the fuel tanks exploded.
The insulin he had injected was, in fact, the liquid chemical explosive triacetone triperoxide (TATP), which detonated the plastic explosive in his stomach.
Flight Number 4201, with 416 passengers, disintegrated and fell from the skies. There were no survivors.
This is, of course, a fictional account of a terrorist attack, though the tactics and technique have been developed. They terrify counter-terrorism experts.
We are in the age of the human bomb.
This week, U.S. intelligence experts admitted that Al Qaeda’s master bomb maker Ibrahim al-Asirir has devised a way of concealing explosives inside the body that can avoid detection by sophisticated scanners.
They also claimed Al Qaeda had developed an undetectable liquid explosive that can be soaked into clothing and ignited when dry.
These new threats emerged amid a terror alert in Yemen — where Al Qaeda is regrouping — over imminent attacks planned on Western targets.
But the truth is that the ‘human bomb’ has already been used. In Kabul, it was recently confirmed that an attack made last year had been by a suicide bomber who had planted a bomb inside himself.
The target was Asadullah Khalid, head of Afghanistan’s equivalent of MI5, the National Directorate of Security. He comes from a political dynasty and probably worked with the CIA during the rebellion against the Taliban between 1996 and 2001.
An attempt was made to kill Asadullah Khalid, pictured, head of Afghanistan's equivalent of MI5, the National Directorate of Security last year. The bomber hid the bomb inside himself
In early 2007, Khalid survived a suicide bomb attack on his motorcade, with superficial injuries. In 2011, the Taliban tried to kill him again. They do not give up, especially with such a major target.
Then, on December 6 last year, Khalid was told that a ‘peace envoy’ had appeared, dispatched by the Taliban’s ruling Shura Council. He received this ‘envoy’ in a Kabul guesthouse.
Having already survived two assassination attempts, Khalid was taking no chances. Aides took the mystery visitor to a basement safe room, where he was ordered to strip under the gaze of closed-circuit TV cameras.
Satisfied that the man had no weapons or explosives, he was presented to Khalid.
At present airport scanners are designed specifically to identify explosive on the body, not inside it, and so would be unlikely to detect a bomb hidden internally
In that instant, the ‘peace envoy’ blew up. Khalid survived, but with severe abdominal injuries and wounds to his hands and arms.
It remains unclear where the bomb was concealed, though Afghan security experts think it was inside the bomber’s rectum or scrotum. How it was triggered is also unknown.
Khalid was flown to Washington’s Walter Reed Medical Centre, which has expertise in treating blast injuries. He returned to Afghanistan in early April, but had to be flown back to the U.S. after complications occurred.
Bombs inside the body can have a similar effect to those packed with shrapnel or ball-bearings. Twelve of the British dead and wounded in the 7/7 London Tube bombings in 2005 had bone shrapnel injuries, including one man blinded by a bone fragment from the bomber himself
The mystery bomber was not the first instance of a terrorist using explosives inserted into their body in an attempt to assassinate a well-protected target.
Another attempt was made on a member of the ruling royal family in Saudi Arabia in 2009.
Saudi Arabia has been trying to convert its own jihadists to non-violent citizens with generous terms enabling them to reintegrate into normal family life. They undergo a type of ‘decompression’ procedure, with art therapy classes and theological instruction.
If successfully ‘de-programmed’, they are helped with a job, accommodation and the wherewithal to get married and start a family.
A bomber attempted to blow up Prince Mohammed bin Nayef (pictured), Saudi Arabia's Interior Minister, in August 2009 using explosives hidden in a mobile phone in his rectum were detonated by a phone call
The Saudis are also active in trying to wean their Yemeni neighbours off terrorism — partly because that is where young Saudi jihadists go to train in the dark arts of their deadly trade.
Perhaps over-confident about the success of these measures, in August 2009 Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, Saudi Arabia’s Interior Minister, was informed that a young Yemeni had offered to surrender his jihadist beliefs — but only to the prince in person.
The bomber came to the prince’s luxury villa in Jeddah. Shortly after being extensively searched and introduced to the prince, he blew up when explosives hidden in a mobile phone in his rectum were detonated by a phone call.
The bomber’s body was blown to pieces, with his arm embedded in the ceiling. Prince Nayef was shaken but unscathed, apart from two bandaged fingers, visible when he appeared on television shortly afterwards.
The dead bomber was Abdullah al-Asirir, brother of Ibrahim al-Asirir, who, as I mentioned before, is Al Qaeda’s chief bomb maker in the Arabian Peninsula.
Nayef lived because there are inherent design problems with ‘body cavity’ bombs.
The blast is blunted by the body itself. Ninety per cent of the human body consists of water, which is a very effective blast absorber; and in this case it ‘shaped’ the blast to go up to the ceiling rather than across the room.
Despite this limitation, many intelligence agencies fear that we are witnessing the start of a disturbing new trend, and that bomb designers will eventually overcome such problems.
Nigerian 'Underpants Bomber' Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was trying to detonate a bomb conceal in his underpants on an aeroplane bound for Detroit in 2009 but was stopped when fellow passengers jumped on him
The syringe detonator which Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab attempted to use to detonate the bomb hidden in a specially made pair of underwear
Hiding things inside the human body is nothing new. Wartime U.S. intelligence agents often had tiny maps and messages hidden inside their rectums.
But experts on terrorism now fear a further technical escalation — which is not just to insert bombs into the body but to surgically implant them in such areas as the abdominal cavity, the buttocks or female breasts.
They were alerted to this after an intelligence agency picked up Al Qaeda operatives discussing the subject online: ‘What is your opinion about surgeries through which I can implant the bomb . . . inside the operative’s body?’ asked one.
Some researchers in this area believe bombmakers are now working on ways to actually use the physiology of the body to improve the bomb’s efficacy.
Positioned in the right spot in the body, the bomb could result in a fragmentation effect similar to one packed with ball-bearings or nails — except that this time the fragments would consist of human bone.
Twelve of the British dead and wounded in the 7/7 London Tube bombings in 2005 had bone shrapnel injuries, including one man blinded by a bone fragment from the bomber himself.
How would these implanted human bombs be set off, though?
The plastic explosive could easily be wrapped in a packet and inserted into the human body, and then detonated either using a mobile phone or a syringe filled with TATP that the terrorist can inject into the explosive.
That was what the Nigerian ‘Underpants Bomber’ Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was trying to do on an aeroplane bound for Detroit in 2009 when fellow passengers jumped on him — although his explosives were shaped inside specially manufactured underpants.
Experts say that the human body could house up to 5lb of explosives, depending on where it was inserted. And one could easily get a syringe onto a plane by claiming to be a diabetic.
One might imagine that all the explosives detectors and X-ray scanners in modern airports and secure buildings would pick up internal bombs.
The answer from companies like Rapiscan that make such equipment is they won’t, for scanners are designed specifically to identify explosive on the body, not inside it.
Until a safe technology is invented, the detection of these human bombs will still mainly be reliant on psychological profiling, and spotting would-be bombers before they act.
The fact is that we are engaged in a technological race with terrorist bomb-makers. They have sought to thwart detection with, progressively, exploding shoes, underwear and now the human body.
Doubtless, scanning companies will one day find a way to detect explosives hidden inside the body.
But the terrifying truth is that terrorists who are determined to find ways to kill people will always manage to circumvent any new system.
Meanwhile, we are going to have to learn to live with the age of the human bomb.
It's a great pity that these crazy b..tards are not blown sky high on their way to their target, then the only one to get blown to smithereens would be themselves!! - Fx