Ass Bomber

Nobody tell the TSA, but last month someone tried to assassinate a Saudi prince by exploding a bomb stuffed in his rectum. He pretended to be a repentant militant, when in fact he was a Trojan horse:

The resulting explosion ripped al-Asiri to shreds but only lightly injured the shocked prince -- the target of al-Asiri's unsuccessful assassination attempt.

Other news articles are here, and here are two blog posts.

For years, I have made the joke about Richard Reid: "Just be glad that he wasn't the underwear bomber." Now, sadly, we have an example of one.

Lewis Page, an "improvised-device disposal operator tasked in support of the UK mainland police from 2001-2004," pointed out that this isn't much of a threat for three reasons: 1) you can't stuff a lot of explosives into a body cavity, 2) detonation is, um, problematic, and 3) the human body can stifle an explosion pretty effectively (think of someone throwing himself on a grenade to save his friends).

But who ever accused the TSA of being rational?

Posted on September 28, 2009 at 6:19 AM • 116 Comments

Comments

RalfSeptember 28, 2009 6:36 AM

Great News! Free medical checkup by an experienced proctologist when flying inside the US ;-)

(Just a matter of selling it to the people)

Clive RobinsonSeptember 28, 2009 6:43 AM

Time to buy shares in black rubber glove manufacturer's...

Oh and of course remember that not doing what a TSA officer says is grounds for them being unplesent in the extream.

So time to get fit enough that touching your toes is not going to be a problem...

DaveShawSeptember 28, 2009 6:51 AM

You'll just have to hope it doesn't explode when bending over to take your shoes off.

Although, that can solve problem #3. Just bend over and "let rip".

Paul RenaultSeptember 28, 2009 6:57 AM

Actually, someone needs to tell the TSA and hope that they start to implement plane-boarding proctological exams.

Maybe it can be a tipping point.

Clive RobinsonSeptember 28, 2009 6:58 AM

@ Bruce,

"For years, I have made the joke about Richard Reid: "Just be glad that he wasn't the underwear bomber." Now, sadly, we have an example of one."

Time for a new joke along the lines of,

"Now the Sh1t realy has hit the fan"

Or several other "bum jokes" along the lines of "now you've rectum" or "Q: What was the last thing to cross al-Asiri's mind?

A: his colon",

We have a number of expression in the UK about "wiping the smile of your face" having "egg on one's face" and also another about "being sh1t faced" I suspect that the all are going to appear shortly in jokes about al-Asiri...

But one thought springs to mind,

"The resulting explosion ripped al-Asiri to shreds but only lightly injured the shocked prince -- the target of al-Asiri's unsuccessful assassination attempt."

What bit of "al Asiri" "lightly injured the shocked prince" and was it "kosher".

ChrisSeptember 28, 2009 7:04 AM

"3) the human body can stifle an explosion pretty effectively"

In other words, pull the bomb out of your ass before detonating it.

Murphy's LawyerSeptember 28, 2009 7:16 AM

I note the report states the device was probably detonated by remote control. I suppose this is one case where the traditional method of setting off a grenade ("Insert finger through ring and pull") would have tipped the Prince off that something was wrong.

TerrySeptember 28, 2009 7:16 AM

From the article:

"It is quite likely that the group failed to do adequate testing with the device and did not know what its effective kill radius was. AQAP will almost certainly attempt to remedy that error before it tries to employ such a device again."

One could imagine a Monty Pythonesque sketch writing itself from this premise...

JuergenSeptember 28, 2009 7:20 AM

Time for a new movie script contest.

Hm... liquid explosive filled into breast implants, detonated by a fake pacemaker?

I bet you can fill a lot of explosives into two DD implants ;-)

iglooSeptember 28, 2009 7:23 AM

In another report it was stated that the prince escaped injury because the force of the explosion was directed downwards. 8-)

pile ofSeptember 28, 2009 7:43 AM

Perhaps one can't stuff a lot of explosive down one's rectum, but surely enough to take down an airline. Difficulties with detonation and the body stifling the explosion? Not so on the loo. Lots of time and privacy.

May be it is not much of a bother for mainland police, but hey, should the TSA not at least get sufficiently paranoid about it to quarantine all of us for a couple of hours before flying?

clvrmnkySeptember 28, 2009 7:54 AM

There was a plot point in a Stephenson book where a character had a nuke surgically implanted into his body and controlled by his limbic system. He used it as a sort of general "don't fuck with me" card, as it was known to all governments and agencies he had the ability to irradiate an entire city at will.

Naturally, there were fictional devices like dead-man switches and other things to make the story interesting.

In reality suicide bombers just leave chunks of themselves in any survivors. (Which, was a plot point in a Gibson story, I think.)

Clive RobinsonSeptember 28, 2009 7:56 AM

On a more factual note.

The artical mentions a Trojan Horse.

Now some people might know that a horse is a ruminant. And due to the way some ruminants digestive systems work a significant build up of highly flamable gas can build up to the point where the unfortunate creature will actually go bang.

Further the final product of the ruminante digestive tract is often highly flamable and under certain circumstances can be used to make explosives...

So for the next attack why not hide the IED up a horse or cammels back passage, the effect could be much more effective...

All of which remineds me of the Tom Sharpe's book "Indecent Exposure" where a bunch of (suposed) terrorists hid explosives inside six ostriches and set them free.

gregSeptember 28, 2009 8:03 AM

The linked news article reminds me of Tom Lehrer.

The start to the song "Who's Next?":

"One of the big news items of the past year concerned the fact that China, which we called "Red China," exploded a nuclear bomb, which we called a device......

I guess the whole IED rather than plain bomb is not unprecedented.

Ode to al-AsiriSeptember 28, 2009 8:04 AM

Farting can be so much fun
All you do is squeeze your bum
And out will pop a playful guff
I know it's rude but I like that stuff
But those with diarrhoea should digress
Lest you make an awful mess
Yes, you'll have to curtail it
Or else you'll do the al-Asiri split!

gregSeptember 28, 2009 8:05 AM

@RT

They are a lot rare than TV and movies would have you believe.

They have a habit of being the main cause of death....

Rocket ManSeptember 28, 2009 8:07 AM

And i think it's gonna be a long long time
Till touch down brings me round again to find
I'm not the man they think i am at home
Oh no no no i'm a rocket man
Rocket man burning out his fuse up here alone...

reletSeptember 28, 2009 8:14 AM

Every time I fly, I can just barely refrain from stripping down completely, and assuring the checkpoint officers that it's all just for their own security. But there just is no point in ridiculizing the procedure. Reality is always one step ahead.

TordrSeptember 28, 2009 8:17 AM

@Juergen
Girls can get breast implants (talk about explosive pair of .....).

But what about men? I know I have about 10 kilos of fat around my belly. So potentially someone could replace some kilos of fat with more explosive implants. Taking a clue from people who smuggle drugs, that person could potentially swallow another kilo, and then to finish it up use the al-Asiri method. For a total of 2-3-5 kilos of explosives. That could really pack a punch.

So TSA should really start to go after everyone who some sort of scar because of a operation. Because you never know who has gotten some explosive new look.

ytSeptember 28, 2009 8:24 AM

Well that certainly puts the "ass" in "assassin".

clvrmnky The character Raven in Snow Crash was rumored to have a nuke tied to his vital stats in a sidecar on his motorcycle. There was also a Boer grandmother in Diamond Age who had a small implanted nuke as a last resort.

ytSeptember 28, 2009 8:36 AM

@relet I've often felt the same compulsion. I would love to get a large group of people together and book flights, then when we get to the TSA checkpoint, we all strip. It would definitely be a very attention-getting protest.

HJohnSeptember 28, 2009 8:45 AM

lorenzo: "That's why we need cover-your-ass security, don't we?"
__________

more like cover-their-ass security. Or uncover-their-ass security.

I really don't think the TSA will do anything. We saw a video linked to on this very blow showing that a liquid bomb could do damage, so their wrong headed approach to other threats is at least somewhat understandable.

Only way this could be effective would be if several people did it at once. Guess it would be threat of ASSociation or threat of ASSembly.

PluggerSeptember 28, 2009 8:53 AM

I wonder how much C-4 one could actually get up there? You'd still need a detonator, but I'm thinking you could get a fairly substantial amount.

MuffinSeptember 28, 2009 9:18 AM

"Nobody tell the TSA, but last month someone tried to assassinate a Saudi prince by exploding a bomb stuffed in his rectum."

Oh, wow. For a minute, I thought that "his rectum" referred to the target's, not the perpetrator's...

Clive RobinsonSeptember 28, 2009 9:30 AM

@ Plugger,

"I wonder how much C-4 one could actually get up there?

Quite a lot actually.

There are a group of people who for whatever reason "wash out" their lower intestinal tract and some are known to get in excess of an imperial gallon (160flz) of fluid inside themselves. Which is just under 5ltr which is quite a large volume.

The easy way to get explosives in would be the same way as "drug mules" which is to swallow small quantaties that then accumulate in the lower digestive tract.

What I don't know is if the small pieces of explosive would chain explode or if the initial explosion would just disperse them along with the rest of the body.

ytSeptember 28, 2009 9:56 AM

Never mind trying to put the explosives in from that end - the stomach has quite an impressive capacity, especially for liquids. It's also relatively unprotected, so it might not absorb as much energy from the blast, allowing more damage to be done to people/things around you. As long as whatever explosives you plan to use are not immediately fatal, you could just swallow a few liters. The detonator is the tricky part, but you could probably find a sympathetic surgeon to implant one in advance. Of course, if anybody tries this one, we'll all be getting our stomachs pumped at the TSA checkpoint.

Tom MSeptember 28, 2009 10:00 AM

Bruce> For years, I have made the joke about Richard Reid: "Just be glad that he wasn't the underwear bomber." Now, sadly, we have an example of one.


So are you admitting you gave them the idea?

If Bruce suddenly disappears we'll know to look for him in Gitmo.

EricSeptember 28, 2009 10:20 AM

With respect to flying on an airliner, the aircraft is pressurized at altitude. It's essentially inflated like a balloon. Could such a quantity of explosives be enough to "pop" the aircraft leading to depressurization and even a loss of structural integrity?

A nonny bunnySeptember 28, 2009 10:25 AM

@Clive Robinson
"Now some people might know that a horse is a ruminant."

And they would be wrong. Unlike ruminants, horses only have one stomach.

GregWSeptember 28, 2009 10:43 AM

Bruce says the TSA isn't being rational, but I read the Stratfor article he links to... as they point out, who says the bomber has to keep the device in his rear after boarding the plane?

Thus the body-as-explosive-absorber limitations implied by Bruce's points 2) and 3) can be removed via a bomber visit to an airline restroom. Remove the device, place it in an empty ziplock bag to mitigate any smell, and put that in your baggy jacket pocket and return to your seat.

And regarding point 1) that there isn't much space, as Stratfor points out, the Reid shoe bomb was ~4 ounces, right? I have no idea if 4 ounces is possible "al-Asiri-style", but it seems plausible.

While I might agree with Bruce's TSA ridicule, I don't see how it follows from the particular facts in this particular case. Am I missing something?

RvnPhnxSeptember 28, 2009 10:43 AM

Do I hear a new or modified sense of the word "assignation"?
In any case, it sounds as if the apportioned their resources poorly--as it didn't work.

Alex StapletonSeptember 28, 2009 11:03 AM

You might not be able to fit much explosive material in a body cavity but I bet you can fit enough in one for the efficiency gained by increasing the directed focus of the blast can more than make up for that.

hmmmSeptember 28, 2009 12:04 PM

So if you could drink the liquid explosive without dying or becoming violently ill in short order, I would how much drinking down a whole pile of ceramic pellets mixed in with them would be?

VincentSeptember 28, 2009 12:18 PM

"1) you can't stuff a lot of explosives into a body cavity"

Are you kidding me? I've seen whole people come out of some body cavities.

Pat CahalanSeptember 28, 2009 12:25 PM

@ GregW

> As they point out, who says the bomber has to
> keep the device in his rear after boarding
> the plane?

I guess you haven't seen the "assman" episode of Seinfeld?

I am given to understand that typically, putting things in your butt is a good way to wind up at the emergency room, as it's often much more difficult to get the object *out* than it was to get it *in* in the first place. I haven't had this particular problem myself, but an ER doc of my acquaintance verified after that "assman" episode that butts are voracious orifices and typically don't divulge their non-GI-tract-produced contents without intervention.

I'm a little curious how one would go about getting a bomb out of one's butt on an airplane, in any event...

Impossibly StupidSeptember 28, 2009 1:09 PM

@Pat Cahalan
"I'm a little curious how one would go about getting a bomb out of one's butt"

You need to walk the world a little longer, then. At the risk of taking a post titled "Ass Bomber" a little too far, let me help you out: Anal Beads and Butt Plugs. Or simply realize, to give a counter datapoint to your doctor friend, that the only reason people show up in ER with things up their butt is because they didn't use something designed to be put up their up butt. And if convicts can stuff cell phones in their ass and get them out, I fully expect that the CIA/terrorists have even more advanced butt bomb technology.

John WilsonSeptember 28, 2009 1:37 PM

I'm not so sure that 'you can't stuff a lot of explosives into a body cavity" You can easily survive with one lung and most of your intestine removed.

A competent surgeon could produce a pretty big bomb. Detonation could be via some fairly innocuous action (pinching the nose hard, for example). Can an Xray machine easily tell the difference between a pacemaker and a detonator?

Do I see a movie plot emerging?

lunatickeSeptember 28, 2009 2:06 PM

Enough C4 to blow up the entire concourse can be stuffed up a politicians ass, or cunt, shaped like a dildo. A human body isn't capable of stifling that much C4. Mr. Lewis Paige should go back to kindergarten.

MiramonSeptember 28, 2009 2:22 PM

Anal explosives are obviously a risk that we as guardians of democracy cannot take too lightly.

But there may be worse to come.

Supposing a terrorist gets a hemispherectomy and replaces half his brain with plastique.

I respectfully submit that random trepanning of airline passengers may soon, regrettably, become a security necessity.

Obscura meaSeptember 28, 2009 2:22 PM

One inch diameter tube by 12 inch long adapted carefully from a vibrator could be filled and sealed with nobel's juice plus half that size as a triggering tamponade and you could remove a small structure as smithereens. Caveat vagina dentata a clear feminist threat without surgery suitable to be done to the unknowing mule as an extortion threat

VincentSeptember 28, 2009 2:53 PM

"(the prison slang for this practice is “keistering”)"

This has got to be a fiction.

I stopped reading closely at the point where "Paradigm Shifts" appeared as a section heading. I'm not willing to concede that we've shifted to an ass bomber counterinsurgency paradigm.

TimSeptember 28, 2009 3:35 PM

I don't know if it's worse that these people are trying to kill the Saudi king, or that they are persuading gullible people to stick bombs up their asses and detonate them. It's a crime on so many levels.

RoySeptember 28, 2009 3:36 PM

Thermite in powdered form could be bagged and inserted rectally. Remove the bag, put it on the floor of the airliner, insert the magnesium ribbon, and a flick of the Bic does the trick. The hull would breach and most of the stuff inside the aircraft is flammable, producing toxic smoke.

We used to have to drop our pants for the TSA. Now that may be reinstated, with an added cavity probe. Let me be the first to predict infuriated passengers will start flying commando -- no undies.

Clive RobinsonSeptember 28, 2009 3:38 PM

@ Pat Cahalan,

"that butts are voracious orifices and typically don't divulge their non-GI-tract-produced contents without intervention."

This is not the first time someone has had a bomb up their but...

Getting on for thirty years ago the bomb squad where called to a hospital near Brighton UK where a retired army officer had been admited with a Mills Bomb up his bottom.

Apparently he suffered from prolapsed piles and he used the device to work them back into place. Unfortunatly on this occasion he had pushed just a little to far.

The surgeon called in to remove the object realised that the bomb had not been deactivated and the bomb squad was called in.

What is not clear from the newspaper artical is what the unfortunate officer used from that point onwards to relive his discomfort.

Apparantly the hospital near Brighton regularly had people of "a certain age" both male and femail admitted to A&E (ER) with various afflictions caused to their lower regions by household implements being used for "off warrenty" practices unenvisioned by the manufactures...

CashmanSeptember 28, 2009 4:05 PM

I really don't see why this would be a big deal. I mean, the IRS has been asking us to bend over for years and nobody's ever complained! ;-)

ACSeptember 28, 2009 4:26 PM

The keister bomb is just a starting point, we'll be seeing surgically implanted devices - of significant power - fairly soon.

We are not up against stupid people - but sadly, we have put stupid people in charge of our security.

One suspects this will not end well.

Clive RobinsonSeptember 28, 2009 5:45 PM

@ Roy,

"Let me be the first to predict infuriated passengers will start flying commando"

What did your mother always tell you about clean underware?

Which makes me think that should the TSA take the unfortunate "Drop em" path, there might be a market in novelty underware that looks "disgustingly dirty" or has a "genitalia image" on whilst still being clean / modest for the wearer, much like those T-Shirts with a pair of breasts printed on them.

Especially if they also act as a reflector or absorber to those millimetric body radars.

Peter E. RetepSeptember 28, 2009 7:43 PM

LAX - An airline pilot today was terrorized by disarrayed toilet paper on a flight, resulting in the arrests of two men because one had used the restroom before takeoff today. see the NPR newsfeeds

MagnaFlapsackSeptember 28, 2009 9:08 PM

Part of Obama care: procotology exam with every flight boarding.

Change we can believe in.

BrianSeptember 28, 2009 9:52 PM

A Pan-Am 747 was blown out of the sky over Scotland with an explosive laden Walkman. A terrorist could put his butt against a window and detonate, or crap out explosive/detonator/timer and leave them between the window seat and fuselage for the next flight.

Either way, the new virtual strip search the TSA is rolling out is useless against anal grenades.

I am glad I have a pilot certificate, but TSA pinheads think I should go through security before flying ALONE!

tdcwilliesSeptember 28, 2009 11:44 PM

@ Peter E.Retep: nice palindrome.

Ass far ass a visit to the onboard restroom, I usually do so before gate departure, simply due to the fact that one doesn't know how long one will wait on the tarmac before acquiring the permission for take off.
All those beers at the gate lounge...

BTW, you all realize that due to the above comments regarding "how to properly detunnate" (misspelling intentional) means that we are now the tsa watch list.

Lube for cavity searches costs you extra.

AguirreSeptember 29, 2009 2:45 AM

We need to step up to the mark and ensure everyone is qualified to detect this new threat. In fact we all need to undergo appropriate training and certification:
http://www.asscert.com/

Seriously, I don't mind taking off my shoes at airports but am slightly uncomfortable about possible new search procedures that may be mandated.

PhydeuxSeptember 29, 2009 6:42 AM

Now you've ruined it! This should have been publicized as being VERY effective and having very nearly killed the prince if it weren't for an aide passing by at that very moment.

See, that way all his butt-bomber buddies would think this was such an effective campaign that they should continue it.

You'd have butt-bombers everywhere obliterating themselves and doing little, if any, damage other than a lot of messy mopping up after they're gone.

Of course, its a good thing Muslims don't drink alcohol. If this guy had been all liquored up on vodka he'd have been an incendiary device as well. This leaves so many jokes open. :)

L E JSeptember 29, 2009 7:39 AM

This is an excellent example of "Extra Super Colon Blow." Phil Hartman, RIP, would love a replay of this one. Skip the cereal, use the bomb!

Storm RiderSeptember 29, 2009 8:17 AM

"Um, Sir? That string hanging out isnt a fuse for a bomb. Its a .....tampon, yeah a tampon....thats it"

John WatersSeptember 29, 2009 10:37 AM

I left KSA in Jan 2009, the security in Jeddah was dramatically ratcheted up there significantly just after Hajj season. I suspect that the Saudis saw something coming. The usual fat/lazy/old compound guards with Steyr AUGs were replaced with young/lazy compound guards with MG3's and armored trucks. All over the city you could see more barriers and more guards, I was never so glad to leave a place in my life. Of course everyone there that I knew, lacking a security mindset, thought I was bonkers...

This guy was obviously just an a**hat, he did it during Ramadan as well... real nice job there, cochise. I hope that the prince isn't gunshy about speaking to subjects from here on out, it would really suck for the people of Jeddah if that were the case.

John CampbellSeptember 29, 2009 11:19 AM

There's one thing that AQAP will be upset over: becoming the butt of a HUGE array of jokes.

Mind you, we can always tell AQAP to "blow it out their ass"...

Really, the worst thing to happen to a terrorist is to not be taken seriously.

Major Variola (ret)September 29, 2009 11:50 AM

A grenade works via shrapnel which
a body stops. But an airplane bomb works
via blast --and 250g suffices when
pressurized at altitude. 500g
might work, and as others have said,
you could remove it and emplace it
better first.

With a female or a surgeon-helper you
could get more than a pound.

mcbSeptember 29, 2009 11:54 AM

@ John Waters

"I suspect that the Saudis saw something coming. The usual fat/lazy/old compound guards with Steyr AUGs were replaced with young/lazy compound guards with MG3's and armored trucks."

And now no one gets to sit on the Prince's lap when they come to apologize for joining Al Qaeda...bummer.

Pat CahalanSeptember 29, 2009 2:15 PM

@ Impossibly Stupid

> Or simply realize, to give a counter datapoint to your
> doctor friend, that the only reason people show up in
> ER with things up their butt is because they didn't use
> something designed to be put up their up butt.

Granted, but I really don't think suicide bombers are regular readers of Kink Quarterly. Sure, you can rig the thing so that it comes equipped with a removal capability, but I'm seeing way more problems coming out of this than solutions.

mcbSeptember 29, 2009 4:04 PM

@ Pat Calahan

"I really don't think suicide bombers are regular readers of Kink Quarterly."

Butt irregular readers of Kink Quarterly might be added to the terrorist watchlist on whatever the NSA is not calling the Total Information Awareness server these days.

"Sure, you can rig the thing so that it comes equipped with a removal capability"

Kink Quarterly, page 71, center column about halfway down...uh, never mind.

F2September 29, 2009 5:23 PM

I think the TSA does in fact inspect people with large scars already. For what I have seen, swab + chemical test - they kindly refrain from re-opening a surgical wound.

samSeptember 29, 2009 8:48 PM

Regarding airport security... Don't they already have conceiled xray scanners that scan everyone who walks through a particular area? If not xray, then another wavelength that does the job?

Dave XSeptember 29, 2009 10:20 PM

Since the size of a normal bowel movement exceeds TSA's boogyman liquid threshhold of 3.4 oz or 100ml, I'm afraid TSA will have to take this as a serious threat.

Assuming TSA was consistent, of course.

bodyshaverSeptember 30, 2009 4:57 AM

The original CBS news report says the would-be assassin was in the company of his target's bodyguards for 30 hours at the Saudi palace before he detonated his bomb trying to kill the prince.

As a gay man, I have occasionally experimented with modest sized butt plugs. I can also tell you that after just a few hours, the urge to expel them becomes overwhelming and uncontrollable, if only for the natural gas produced by the intestines.

Unless the suicide bomber had inside help who hid the bomb in the palace where the assassin could find it and insert it in private before his attack, which there has been absolutely no report of that I can find, then the bomber had it inside him for more than 30 hours.

This suggests to me that after the bomb was inserted in his rectum that a sympathetic doctor sutured his anus closed to prevent it from being forced out by the body involuntarily.

If this turns out to be the case, then it would tend to eliminate the scenario many have proposed where a lone suicide bomber boards an airplane with a large explosive concealed in his rectum, expels it in the plane's bathroom, then detonates it where it causes an explosive decompression because it would have to be stitched up inside him to keep it in.

On the other hand, a group of terrorists working in concert could insert small bomb components rectally in the airport terminal and then take turns expelling them in the plane's bathroom once it became airborne, to be assembled into a large bomb by the carrier of the last component.

Similarly, a group of terrorists working in concert could conceivably use easily obtainable urinary catheters to fill their bladders with liquids that could be used to make an explosive device. If left inserted, the catheters could be clamped to prevent discharge until they got into the plane's restroom, whereupon the chemical(s) would be expelled and collected in private, to be combined by the last terrorist in line for the john.

So it seems to me that the best way to thwart this latest tactic is NOT to confiscate everyone's shampoo bottles and do a body cavity strip search before everyone gets on the plane, but to station an armed air marshal in every restroom on every plane to make sure nothing unnatural comes out of any users' orifices. That way, if you go before you leave and can hold it until you land, you won't be inconvenienced.

BILLOFTHEDESERTSeptember 30, 2009 6:02 AM

First of all, how is this going to affect the recruitment program?
And second, how is Rush Limbaugh going to link this to healthcare reform?

bobSeptember 30, 2009 7:08 AM

Martin Caidin (author of Cyborg, the book that Six Million Dollar Man was based upon) had a smuggler who used women with large artificial
breasts that were actually hollow smuggling appliances, in a book he wrote >30 years ago (I forget which one).

I would think that a terrorist giving himself some really dangerous disease (Ebola, for example) and getting close to the target would be a good alternative technique. Maybe they should quarantine people for a week or so before letting them get close to the principals, then they would pass any internal objects and a disease (at least a hemorrhagic fever would) would become obvious.

AntonioSeptember 30, 2009 10:52 AM

Paranoia Sweet Destroyer!
I'll have to remember to bring flowers next time I travel to give them to the TSA employee giving me free DRE, is the least I could do.

I kid I kidSeptember 30, 2009 10:02 PM

Well, none of this would have happened if Schneier hadn't have "given him the idea" by thinking of it years ago. Such crimethink mustn't go unpunished. Good job Bruce, way to ruin "sticking stuff up one's rectum" for the rest of us...

McCoy PauleyOctober 1, 2009 4:23 PM

"3) the human body can stifle an explosion pretty effectively (think of someone throwing himself on a grenade to save his friends)."

I suppose I could whirl around, bend over, pry my cheeks apart and melt you with the plasma jet from shaped plastique. Of course, those little standoff legs glued to the seat of my trousers would be a dead giveaway. But if I could figure out how to blast-proof the outer shell of a buttplug, I'd be able to manually reload. Probably need asbestos gloves, though. Just sayin'.

meOctober 1, 2009 8:31 PM

I thought it was bad enough that throwing shoes as a symbolic act was being deprecated since the shoe bomber.

Now the security people are going to be able to justify shooting you dead if you appear to be getting ready to moon them.

Progress.

mcbOctober 2, 2009 3:19 PM

@ McCoy Pauley

"Of course, those little standoff legs glued to the seat of my trousers would be a dead giveaway."

Maybe the whole body cavity bomb idea is getting too complicated. How about two glass balls, one filled with Sarin component A, the other with component B. Connect them using a cord with a ring in the middle. Pull steadily on the ring to remove both spheres from their concealed location and start klacking them up and down against each other. Everyone will be confused, bemused, or amused by the spectacle until your "popper-knockers" shatter, mixing the binary nerve agent components. Scratch one miscellaneous royal and his retinue.

Peter E RetepOctober 3, 2009 10:43 AM

I wonder if this was a case of life [and its more limited denizens] imitating art:
[referencing a recent movie about a black vet doing bodyguarding in Mexico.]

Tina LouiseOctober 4, 2009 1:16 PM

A cavity search is a small price to pay for security while flying. You haters need to leave the hard working men and women of the TSA alone.

MillyOctober 4, 2009 2:43 PM

I think al-Asiri should be a principal candidate for a Darwin Award.

"..Supposing a terrorist gets a hemispherectomy and replaces half his brain with plastique..."

Who would notice?

mcbOctober 5, 2009 10:07 AM

Alarmed? Alarmed you say? Nobody does alarmed like Wm. Shakespeare.

"Awake, awake!
Ring the alarum-bell! Murder and treason!
Banquo and Donalbain! Malcolm! awake!
Shake off this downy sleep, death's counterfeit,
And look on death itself! Up, up, and see
The great doom's image! Malcolm! Banquo!
As from your graves rise up, and walk like sprites,
To countenance this horror! Ring the bell."
Macbeth, Act 2, Scene 3

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/terrorism-in-the-uk/6258137/New-al-Qaeda-body-bombs-that-can-beat-airport-security-are-alarming-terror-experts.html#

A note from your surgeon to authorize flying with sutures, coming soon to a TSA checkpoint near you. This public service announcement brought to you by Security Theatre.

mcbOctober 5, 2009 3:25 PM

@ .fr

"L'explosif en suppositoire"

Why is it everything sounds fun when you say it in French?

Clive RobinsonOctober 6, 2009 8:26 AM

@ mcb,

"Why is it everything sounds fun when you say it in French?"

It could have been worse, he might have survived and needed bandaging up. Remember the French word for bandage is "tampon"

Then there are several other European langs you could try as well...

Try German for instance, their word for nipple translats as "breast wart" and it gets worse from then on in...

pontificusOctober 15, 2009 8:43 AM

Now that shows the need for DEFENSE IN DEPTH though I wouldn't want to be the one doing the mitigating controls

A1americanDecember 4, 2009 3:46 PM

An ass bomb is nearly undetectable. The only machine in the world that can do it is made by a start-up American company, Valley Forge Composite, with their "Odin" full-body scanner.

http://www.vlyf.com/counterterrorism

FYI, their THOR system is the only thing around that will completely scan a cargo container.

squidbotJanuary 8, 2010 3:55 PM

And now we have yet another underwear bomber, and this one on a plane. And guess what we get? Virtual strip searches. Yahoo. Your joke was oddly prescient.

paul nixonJanuary 11, 2010 11:53 PM

I think his ass bomb was detonated by text message. I knew there was a reason I dislike that whole data thing. Why text when you can talk? For no extra charge? But it is said he was in the presence of Saudi Secret Service or equivalent for 30 hours!?! He must have gone before he left home, and I don't know...that is a l o n g time. And there is a video of him displaying the device. There is a world of jokes in there.

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