British intelligence service MI5 has discovered that Muslim female suicide bombers are getting explosive charges inside their breasts, using a similar procedure to breast augmentation. This makes bombs almost impossible to detect at airports. But there's something strange here.
The explosive devices are made of pentaerythritol tetranitrate - also known as PETN - one of the most powerful explosives in existence. The surgeons performing the operations - reportedly trained in the United Kingdom - place the PETN devices inside bags, just like the ones used to hold the silicone gel inside breast implants. PETN is difficult to detonate, however, even while it's more sensitive to shock and friction than TNT. It has an explosive energy of 5.810 kilojoules per gram, which means that an explosive cup C - with just a few grams of PETN inside - would be able to open a large hole in an aeroplane's fuselage, effectively causing a crash.
Allegedly, the MI5 - who picked up the information from Middle East terrorist chatter following the failed crotchbomber attempt - has also pointed out that some men terrorist are getting PETN-based devices into their buttocks, using the same surgical procedure.
It sounds scary. It is scary. When they are inside clothing or bags, you can easily detect PETN using scanners or chemical test swabs. But the report says that these bombs would be almost impossible to detect when they are inside a body... unless you install human body scanners at airports.
And that's when things get oddly convenient for some companies, pushing hard for the installation of not-so-effective airport body scanners. Just in the middle of the debate, which has rights and privacy watchers pup in arms, here's a report that says that the only way to stop these highly dangerous naughty bits are body scanners.
I don't doubt that the intentions of the MI5 are good this time - even while they weren't good at all back in the ramping up of misinformation before the Iraq invasion - but there's something here that feels really weird in all this. [Fox News and Wikipedia]