TSA: Terrorists Looking To Surgically Implant Bombs

A new warning from the Transportation Security Administration:

The U.S. government has warned domestic and international airlines that some terrorists are considering surgically implanting explosives into humans to carry out attacks, The Associated Press has learned.

There is no intelligence pointing to a specific plot, but the U.S. shared its concerns last week with executives at domestic and international carriers.

People traveling to the U.S. from overseas may experience additional screening at airports because of the threat, according to the Transportation Security Administration.

“These measures are designed to be unpredictable, so passengers should not expect to see the same activity at every international airport,” TSA spokesman Nick Kimball said. “Measures may include interaction with passengers, in addition to the use of other screening methods such as pat-downs and the use of enhanced tools and technologies.”

Placing explosives and explosive components inside humans to hide bombs and evade security measures is not a new idea. But there is new intelligence pointing to a fresh interest in using this tactic, a U.S. security official told the AP. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive security information.

It’s hard to tell if this is a real threat, or just speculation by the TSA based on “chatter.” Nonetheless I am sure it will lead eventually to even more intrusive TSA searches.


FILED UNDER: National Security, Terrorism, , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Cynic in NY says:

    More thugerment fear mongering is more like it.

  2. I think someone has watched “The Dark Knight” one too many times.

  3. legion says:

    Wow. I think this may be the most literal example yet of what Bruce Schneier derisively calls ‘movie-plot terrorism’.

  4. Franklin says:

    You can NEVER EVER be too safe, folks!

    The TSA should be immediately granted the right to surgically open us up to check for explosive devices. Or maybe we should submit to swallowing a “safe” radioactive dye that they can trace for three days while we stand in line (typical wait time in the new Amerika).

    / It’s a shame this news happens just when we are all getting used to the nut grabbing and anal probing.

  5. It’s hard to tell if this is a real threat, or just speculation by the TSA based on “chatter.” Nonetheless I am sure it will lead eventually to even more intrusive TSA searches.

    Or option three: it’s a TSA ass-pull based on absolutely nothing that was created in another clumsy attempt to silence criticism of the agency.

  6. Bernieyeball says:

    See the USA in Yer Chevrolet!
    Since my first journey from the Midwest to the West Coast (fly west, hitchhike back to Stink Lewis. 1971) I have flown or driven the trip many times. Flying was great at one time. I wouldn’t get on a plane today. I just refuse to submit to the security.
    I love to drive and I am fortunate enough to have the time and resources to do it.
    The first time I drove the Mother Road in 1973 the only checkpoint was at the California State Line. “Any fruits or vegetables please?”
    Since I had done some research before the trip and knew the border stop was coming my rider and I had smoked up all our dope by the time we got there. We passed right through.
    I’ve made the same trek 3 times in the last 18 months and it’s pretty much the same routine.
    “This is a State Agriculture Inspection Station..” said the friendly, hippie looking officer at Needles in April 2011.
    “The doors on my camper shell are unlocked if you need to look in.” I said accommodatingly.
    “No need. Enjoy your stay!”
    There may be other states that that stop and inspect but I do not remember anything other than a toll booth.
    Am I off the mark or could this unencumbered travel be due to “…nor shall Vessels bound to, or from, one State, be obliged to enter, clear, or pay Duties in another.” Art. I Sec. 9 Par. 6 USCon?

  7. matt says:

    This was one of the things I always brought up back when we were still discussing the ineffectiveness of the new scanners. I cannot wait to be completely stripped so they can check for inserted explosives…

  8. Nightrider says:

    So how do they check for it?