Oh, great: MSNBC reports,
Airport screeners in this country and overseas are on the lookout for suspicious pillows, coats and even stuffed animals after U.S. intelligence concluded that al Qaeda operatives are being trained to apply special chemicals to the material inside to transform them into bombs.
AMERICAN INTELLIGENCE OFFICIALS have picked up several indications that al Qaeda is attempting to create a chemical called nitrocellulose to fashion explosive devices that could be smuggled aboard jetliners, according to a warning the Department of Homeland Security sent in August to airlines and airport security officials around the world.
“We judge this type of threat to be real and continuing,” the department said in the Aug. 8 warning. It noted there has been “persistence [in a] line of reports from several credible, independent sources” that al Qaeda is training to build such bombs. Among other things, confiscated al Qaeda training manuals show the sophistication of its preparations, the document said.
Explosives experts said that the detonating power of a nitrocellulose bomb depends on numerous factors — but most particularly on how tightly the cottonlike material is packed into an area. If small free-standing wisps of it are set on fire, they could blaze up quickly and die down just as fast. But large wads of it tightly crammed into a container of some kind could create a booming detonation, they said.
This is going to make getting through airport security fun.