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← How was airline bomb made to be 'undetectable'?

How was airline bomb made to be 'undetectable'? - Comments

Sample's Avatar Comment 1 by Sample

Instead of just a counter-intelligence agency, why don't we also have a counter-stupidity agency? Disseminating non-scientific propagandist methods for bomb-making (like "telepathy triggers" and "homeopathic plutonium") would probably put the spotlight on a few would-be attackers as they bumbled around, no? I've seen crazier things! :-j

Mike

Tue, 08 May 2012 21:50:15 UTC | #940620

RobertJames's Avatar Comment 2 by RobertJames

There should be an atheist, reason stamp for passports, and only when you've earned it should you be allowed to fly. Religious people have proved themselves to be mentally unstable and should not be allowed anywhere near an aircraft. If their god had wanted them to fly he would have given them wings.

Tue, 08 May 2012 22:26:11 UTC | #940623

Rawhard Dickins's Avatar Comment 3 by Rawhard Dickins

Religion taken to extreme!

Tue, 08 May 2012 22:39:29 UTC | #940626

Neodarwinian's Avatar Comment 4 by Neodarwinian

Until the ultimate cause, religious nuttiness, is eliminated it is just a matter of time before one of these wackaloons gets on an aircraft with his explosive Fruit of the Loom briefs. Of course that is a future, no religious nuttery, that is so far away that I will be dust before it is realized.

Tue, 08 May 2012 22:40:29 UTC | #940628

Anvil's Avatar Comment 5 by Anvil

An Al-Qaida plot to bring down an aeroplane using a more sophisticated version of the "underwear" bomb used on Christmas Day 2009, has been foiled by US intelligence, it was revealed today.

The Mk2 is based on the British 'Jockey' 'Y-Front' whereas the Mk1 was built upon the american inspired 'Boxer'.

Significant improvements in comfort (chaffing) and support were reported during trials of the Mk2 - but the real increase in stealth was attributed to the anti-bacterial cotton/polyester mix used to mask odours. This was, ironically, originally developed by Mossad - but dropped for theological reasons.

The 'Scratch'n'Sniff' trigger mechanism, carried over from the Mk1, was easily disarmed by placing a sheet of kitchen foil, dull side down, between the mechanism and the fingernails.

This process, known as foiling, was developed by the FBI following the 2009 lingerie attacks.

Anvil.

Tue, 08 May 2012 22:49:35 UTC | #940629

hellosnackbar's Avatar Comment 6 by hellosnackbar

Some years ago I arrived at Heathrow early in the morning and there was a long delay due to examination of one's luggage. The chap looking through mine was called Mohammed Malik. I remarked that there was a serious irony in him looking through my baggage as it was his coreligionists who had effected all these security delays and yet it provided him with a job! He told me he was going to call the police! Some people to whom I've told this story accuse me of being nasty. I always give the quote that Liberty if it means anything is the right to tell people that which they may not want to hear!(George Orwell). Political correctness is suffocating dogma. Pity that he hadn't the wit to appreciate the empirical irony?

Tue, 08 May 2012 23:43:03 UTC | #940634

Linda Ward's Avatar Comment 7 by Linda Ward

Oh gosh, this means that there will be even longer security checks at airports while the witless, hired to screen passengers, are given even more intrusive leeway to insult us.

Tue, 08 May 2012 23:58:04 UTC | #940637

mmurray's Avatar Comment 8 by mmurray

Comment 6 by hellosnackbar :

Some years ago I arrived at Heathrow early in the morning and there was a long delay due to examination of one's luggage. The chap looking through mine was called Mohammed Malik. I remarked that there was a serious irony in him looking through my baggage as it was his coreligionists who had effected all these security delays and yet it provided him with a job! He told me he was going to call the police! Some people to whom I've told this story accuse me of being nasty. I always give the quote that Liberty if it means anything is the right to tell people that which they may not want to hear!(George Orwell). Political correctness is suffocating dogma. Pity that he hadn't the wit to appreciate the empirical irony?

You're lucky you got your plane:

http://richarddawkins.net/discussions/645112-david-jones-and-the-muslim-security-guard

Does anyone know what happened to the Fireman Sam case ?

Michael

Wed, 09 May 2012 00:12:40 UTC | #940640

Naturalist1's Avatar Comment 9 by Naturalist1

Sorry...I could not resist posting this....a friend sent it to me a couple of weeks ago....too tongue in cheek.....

Israel's new Cutting Edge Airport Security

TEL AVIV, Israel. The Israelis are developing an airport security device that eliminates the privacy concerns that come with full-body scanners. It's an armored booth you step into that will not X-ray you, but will detonate any explosive device you may have on your person.

Israel sees this as a win-win situation for everyone, with none of this crap about racial profiling. It will also eliminate the costs of long and expensive trials.

You're in the airport terminal and you hear a muffled explosion. Shortly thereafter, an announcement: Attention to all standby passengers, El Al is proud to announce a standby seat available on flight 670 to London . Shalom!

Wed, 09 May 2012 00:14:07 UTC | #940642

All About Meme's Avatar Comment 10 by All About Meme

Comment 9 by Naturalist1

LOL

Unfortunately, just imagine the lawsuit when someone's non-terrorist Aunt Hilda gets exploded "by mistake". The lengthy delays during cleanup following a "detonation" would be bothersome, also.

On a more serious note, airplane manufacturers could conceivably design passenger jets that isolate (and therefore protect) passengers by placing them into separate, explosion-proof compartments. Sure the costs are prohibitive, but a market (comprised of mostly well-heeled clients and the ultra-paranoid) may indeed exist after 9/11. I'm sure concepts are on the drawing board already. This may be the future price of security in air travel.

Cleanup in Seat 9-E, anyone?

Wed, 09 May 2012 00:36:21 UTC | #940646

El Bastardo's Avatar Comment 11 by El Bastardo

So, can I keep my shoes on the next time I fly?

Wed, 09 May 2012 02:30:40 UTC | #940654

zengardener's Avatar Comment 12 by zengardener

Someday we will all fly in the nude, and purchase new clothes at our destination.

Wed, 09 May 2012 03:32:39 UTC | #940662

IDLERACER's Avatar Comment 13 by IDLERACER

Comment 12 by zengardener :

Someday we will all fly in the nude, and purchase new clothes at our destination.

That wouldn't prevent anything. Muslims have been known to stick explosive devices in their rectums.

Wed, 09 May 2012 06:01:02 UTC | #940679

Eyerish's Avatar Comment 14 by Eyerish

Bombs in underwear!! Now I know they are most likely virgins and their god prevents them from natural ways of relief but this is going a bit far to get their 'rocks off'?

Wed, 09 May 2012 08:57:00 UTC | #940689

Stafford Gordon's Avatar Comment 15 by Stafford Gordon

Why do the media keep calling them terrorists? They are Muslim religionists.

But where is the outcry from that particular religious cummunity?

Again, they are suspected of having "emerged" from Pakistan, whose "Government" professes to be in alliance with America.

It always strikes me as profoundly hypocritical that those of an antediluvian mentallity, who denounce the West and all its doings, are so keen to use Western materials for destructive purposes. Much like children throwing other toddlers toys out of their pram because they don't have them themselves.

Denouncing the Western Infidel calls for the denouncers to behave in accordance with their denunciation, and to spurn the fruits of the Westerners' labours; eschew, mobile phones, aeroplanes and air travel, cars, computers, TVs, the internet, sky scrapers, modern medicine, longer lifespans, etc, etc, etc.

Oh no, no, we'll have those!

Wed, 09 May 2012 10:07:43 UTC | #940698

SaganTheCat's Avatar Comment 16 by SaganTheCat

Comment 2 by RobertJames :

There should be an atheist, reason stamp for passports, and only when you've earned it should you be allowed to fly. Religious people have proved themselves to be mentally unstable and should not be allowed anywhere near an aircraft. If their god had wanted them to fly he would have given them wings.

in fairness they should be allowed to continue using magic carpets, flying horses or any other faith-based form of air travel. don't want to be accused of agressive secularism

Wed, 09 May 2012 10:19:32 UTC | #940700

mmurray's Avatar Comment 17 by mmurray

Comment 2 by RobertJames :

There should be an atheist, reason stamp for passports, and only when you've earned it should you be allowed to fly. Religious people have proved themselves to be mentally unstable and should not be allowed anywhere near an aircraft. If their god had wanted them to fly he would have given them wings.

So you'd be OK getting on a plane with Real IRA, Chechen rebels. Those kinds of people.

Michael

Wed, 09 May 2012 10:37:57 UTC | #940703

Agrajag's Avatar Comment 18 by Agrajag

Comment 13 by IDLERACER

That wouldn't prevent anything. Muslims have been known to stick explosive devices in their rectums.

...which is where we get the expression,
"Rectum? Hell, damn near killed 'em!"
;-)
Steve

Wed, 09 May 2012 10:41:34 UTC | #940705

Naturalist1's Avatar Comment 19 by Naturalist1

Comment 15 by Stafford et all: Back to a more serious note if we please. One of the best background articles on Pakistan I have read was by Christopher Hitchens called "From Abbottabad to Worse". Hitch postumously received the 2012 National Magazine Award for this essay and two others he publishes in Vanity Fair in 2011 while he was so gravely ill. It is classic Hitch....amd really makes one wonder...what the hell are we thinking when addressing questions regarding Pakistan.

http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2011/07/osama-bin-laden-201107

Wed, 09 May 2012 11:18:34 UTC | #940708

RobertJames's Avatar Comment 20 by RobertJames

Comment 11 by El Bastardo :

So, can I keep my shoes on the next time I fly?

No. The shoe bomber remember? It's stark bollock naked from now on, and if you're STILL carrying an offensive weapon you have to keep your tray in the upright position.

Wed, 09 May 2012 13:08:09 UTC | #940721

GPWC's Avatar Comment 21 by GPWC

Comment 17 by mmurray :

So you'd be OK getting on a plane with Real IRA, Chechen rebels. Those kinds of people.

Michael

I think the Chechen rebels have quite a lot to do with Islam.

Wed, 09 May 2012 14:07:08 UTC | #940725

faithless1's Avatar Comment 22 by faithless1

Fruit of the Boom.

Wed, 09 May 2012 15:55:56 UTC | #940737

Stafford Gordon's Avatar Comment 23 by Stafford Gordon

Comment 19: by Naturalist 1

I've just read the Christopher Hitchens article you recommended, and it is indeed The Hitch in full light.

But it's made me feel that I should never set pen to paper again; boo hoo!

However, I'm still going to re-read it.

Wed, 09 May 2012 17:17:19 UTC | #940751

All About Meme's Avatar Comment 24 by All About Meme

@ Naturalist1 :

Yes, I'd like to join Stafford Gordon in thanking you for linking to that powerful Hitchens piece. Not to sound trite, but nobody can say our hero didn't go down swinging. Christopher's exasperation with Pakistan's own version of the religio-industrial complex is quite palpable (and quite justified, of course). Once again I learned much from this man.

Unfortunately, reading this piece also brought back the crushing realization that there simply won't be any more essays like this one.

Wed, 09 May 2012 18:17:42 UTC | #940757

glenister_m's Avatar Comment 25 by glenister_m

I suppose it's because I like puzzles, but I've often thought about ways to get around airport security. There was never any attempt on my part to try it, more of identifying a weakness in the system with the vague idea of contacting the authorities and possibly getting paid for helping them.

Back in the 80's I used to wear steel-toed boots, and realized that I could hide a small gun or knife in my boot, and while the walk-through metal detector would beep, before 911 you could just point to the steel toe, and after a quick test by the handheld metal detector continue on to your flight.

As any high school chemistry teacher knows, there are plenty of chemicals that will react explosively when mixed, so the articles comments about wires, batteries, and matches are completely unnecessary. The only issue is how to keep them separated until you want them to mix, for which there are lots of low tech solutions.

I trust I've been vague enough in my last example, but made my point that a clever terrorist could get around whatever security precautions the TSA cares to put in place. I don't want to be like Rod Serling (of Twilight Zone fame) who had to regret a plane thriller script he wrote as it lead to numerous crank bomb threats.

Wed, 09 May 2012 18:28:02 UTC | #940758

kev_s's Avatar Comment 26 by kev_s

Probably just an attempt by airline security to get justification to frisk women's underwear. I recommend wearing dirty undies to make their experience as bad as possible.

Wed, 09 May 2012 19:00:57 UTC | #940763

faithless1's Avatar Comment 27 by faithless1

I think the explosive material in the undies may have been "dark matter".

Wed, 09 May 2012 19:06:26 UTC | #940764

Vorpal's Avatar Comment 28 by Vorpal

I'm surprised that the article didn't mention dogs and their capacity to sniff out just about anything. Whatever bomb al-Qaeda is able to devise not detectable by magnetometers or x-ray scanners or millimeter wave scanners is likely to be detectable by well-trained dogs.

Wed, 09 May 2012 21:18:25 UTC | #940775

Klaasjansch's Avatar Comment 29 by Klaasjansch

What has always intrigued me about this whole exploding underpants thing is the perfect timing. I can remember a discussion going on about whether or not it was acceptable to install body scans on airport security stations. There was a lot of talk about privacy and the likes but hey presto there is the ludicrous underwear bomber. Suddenly there is no more need for discussions, the people are frightened again so there is a lot of room for large, costly (who got rich of this one?) solutions, this time in the form of the body scan. It's just too much of a coincidence. (to me at least) And now, after the dust has settled, there is the second underwear bomber. (did you forget about the other one, well they haven't) Maybe it was just too obvious that this couldn't have been one of Osama's boys. He's dead remember. So the CIA admits they infiltrated the network and managed to secure one of their IED's. Wow, they're good. It's almost like James Bond. Shame the whole action hasn't been recorded by one of those reality TV show camera crews.

Come on people, how more obvious can it be?

Thu, 10 May 2012 17:25:26 UTC | #940897

KenChimp's Avatar Comment 30 by KenChimp

I'm with Klaasjansch and some others on this.

Hmmn. Let's say you're a firm believer in the nonsense of Islam, and not only a firm believer, but a radical terrorist firm believer. You just know (sorta like Frank Herbert's whole "move without moving", folding space thing....except without the powerful halucinogenics) that if you kill yourself doing the will of Allah (as revealed to you by some other radical terrorist firm believer) you will go immediately to paradise and be doted upon in all ways by 72 dark eyed virgins. Sounds great!

Now, some Mullah or other "holy" man of the patriarchal cult calls upon you to martyr yourself for god (Holy, as in "Holy shit! How can you believe this mung?!"). He hand you a pair of undies with some suspicious looking junk already within and tells you to board an airplane full of infidels and detonate the "package".

I don't care how crazy or deluded one may be, no self-aggrandizing terrorist wanna-be of ANY patriarchal cult on the planet is going to blow off his nut sack to get into the "Mile High, 72 Virgins" club!

This "Fruit o' the Boom!" Spy vs Spy stuff is a fantasy concocted, not by Islamic extremists in the Middle East, but by lock-step fascist extremists in Langley, VA.

Thu, 10 May 2012 18:45:16 UTC | #940912