Forget Underwear, Fear the Butt Bomb

Explosives hidden in the rectum could prove undetectable

By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 7, 2010 4:44 PM CST

(Newser) – The Detroit Christmas bombing may have failed, but like the shoe-bombing attempt, it could have lasting implications for travelers, this time in the form of pat-downs that "are a little more, shall we say, intimate," writes Michael Crowley. How else, after all, to detect an unobtrusive amount of plastic explosives sewn into one's underpants? Sadly, even these intrusive measures won't save us from the even more ridiculous-sounding "butt bomb."

The concept of using the anal cavity to hide things is well-used by drug mules, and may have already been used in an attempt on a Saudi official's life last August. In theory, a terrorist could smuggle an explosive aboard a plane and extract it in the bathroom. A report by the National Security Center says even full-body scanners may not be able to detect anally hidden bombs. "You think taking off your shoes is bad?" asks Crowley in the New Republic. "Try bending over for a TSA worker wearing green surgical gloves."

In this photo taken Monday, Dec. 28, 2009, an employee of Schiphol stands inside a body scanner during a demonstration at a press briefing at Schiphol airport, Netherlands.   (AP Photo/Cynthia Boll)
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