The United States government has issued a warning to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) after receiving new information that terrorist groups are considering surgically implanting explosives to avoid security.
According to U.S. intelligence, there is no indication of a definite plot, but the information shows al Qaeda militants in Yemen are considering methods to implant devices to bypass security.
Since existing scanners do not easily detect bombs implanted under the skin, travelers should expect heightened measures of security.
TSA Spokesman Nicholas Kimball announced that travelers should expect heightened measures of security.
As a precaution, passengers flying from international locations to U.S. destinations may notice additional security measures in place. These measures are designed to be unpredictable, so passengers should not expect to see the same activity at every international airport.
However, the additional security, including pat-downs, bag screening and explosive trace detection swabs will be implemented as precaution to both domestic and international flights into the U.S.
Experts say that full-body backscatter scanners added in recent years can only detect explosives on the body, not in the body, but Kimball did not confirm or deny claims that current metal detectors and scanners were unable to detect implanted bombs.
The warning from the Obama administration is to prompt airline security officials of techniques for potential attacks by terrorist bombers, especially since the death of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in May.
The Department of Homeland Security warned of the possibility of body bomber attacks, in which the explosive, Pentaerythritol Tetranitrate (PETN), in 8 oz. plastic bags would be surgically implanted and detonated using a hypodermic needle to inject Triacetone Triperoxide (TATP).
Though there was no indication of an imminent plan by terrorists reported, the TSA warned all airlines and leaders abroad of the identified threat.