Tuesday, May 08, 2012

New Terrorist Underwear Threat: Here We Go Again?

Uh,oh. Watch for the trusty security state to ramp up theatrical operations at the airport checkpoints, now that another underwear plot has been uncovered, so to speak.

I'm always wary of stories that claim the news is "worthy of Hollywood," and yup, here we are in the L.A. Times: "WASHINGTON -- The successful blocking of an ambitious Al Qaeda plot to bomb a U.S.-bound airliner was an international sting operation worthy of Hollywood, with spies tricking terrorists into showing their cards."

According to the news accounts today, Saudi Arabia’s intelligence agency, working closely the CIA, used an informant to pose as a would-be suicide bomber from the Al Qaeda franchise in Yemen. The scam was for him to get the Yemen terrorist branch to provide him with what is described as "a new kind of non-metallic bomb that the militants were designing to easily pass through airport security."

A couple of flags get hoisted in my head right off the bat.

One: Saudi Arabia. Uhhh.

Two: This the guy was an "informant." Uh-oh. We know how well these "informant" and other double-agent stings have been working out ... don't we, Mr. Holder?

Three: "... New kind of non-metallic explosive." Wait a minute: I thought these hundreds of strip-search machines -- the whole body imagers --- that the TSA has been busily installing in airports to replace the metal-detecting magnetometers had one main purpose. That is, to detect non-metallic explosives on bodies, including those tucked into someone's skivvies. The whole-body imagers are designed to detect mass on the body, not metal.

But the "new kind" of non-metal bomb foils the machines? Huh? How's that?

It'll take the credulous media a while to get around to asking, while they swoon like bobbysoxers over the story right out of Hollywood involving a double agent.

Meanwhile, get ready for more groping at the airport checkpoints as hysteria reigns, as it always does.

And incidentally, every security expert I know discounts the "one-off," that is the threat of a single terrorist managing to blow up a single airplane. Not enough impact, though there is great concern about multiple, simultaneous explosions.

Whatever. Let's get some answers while we grab all the grannies at the checkpoints once again.

What exactly are those invasive whole-body scanners supposed to do? I mean, exactly. And how, exactly, was this "new kind" of explosive, concealed on a body, supposed to get around that?

Could it be, as critics have said for years, that the whole-body imagers, designed to detect non-metallic explosives on any body, are in fact an expensive joke?


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