Our first impulse will be to laugh at the new tactic from al-Qaeda, but you won’t laugh for long when the BBC reminds us what this new development means for our existing security structure. A terrorist managed to blow himself up inside one of Saudi Arabia’s palaces by pretending to surrender himself to the head of counterterrorism. The prince had the terrorist flown to the palace to be debriefed, when the hidden explosive in the man’s colon exploded and “debriefed” him in a completely different way. The prince escaped serious harm, but as you can see, the explosive was effective otherwise (via HA reader Robert and BlogBis):
This bomb made it past several security points, presumably including the ubiquitous metal detectors. It took another person to trigger it with a cell-phone call, which makes it a little difficult to use in mid-air flights, which is perhaps why AQ used it for a political assassination attempt instead of a large-scale series of attacks on commercial airlines, like what they attempted in the UK with the liquid bombs or Richard Reid and his shoe bomb. Still, it won’t take long for AQ to create a work-around for the cell phone activation, especially after seeing the effect of this bombing.
After each of those two thwarted attacks, we changed transportation security procedures significantly. How will we protect against this kind of attack in the future? Airport security is a headache already, but will that pain start traveling … south?