US 'wary of human bomb implants on planes'

2012-05-02 12:28
Wellington - The United States is monitoring the possibility of terror groups trying to down aircraft by implanting explosives in the human body, Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano said on Wednesday.

Napolitano stressed that there was no evidence of an imminent threat from a so-called "body bomb", but said the prospect was one of the ever-changing attack strategies that security officials had to combat.

She cited the case of Nigerian "underwear bomber" Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who tried to blow up an airliner in 2009 with explosives hidden in his pants, as an example of the innovations adopted by militants.

"It is fair to say that there are a number of ways our adversaries have explored to get explosives aboard airplanes, such as the underwear bomber," she told reporters in New Zealand.

"Another, of course... is actually implanting explosives inside an individual.

"Do we have specific, credible evidence of a threat today? I would not say that we do. However, the importance is that we all lean forward and that, as people are travelling, we are sensitive to the ever-evolving threats that we see."

Napolitano, in Wellington to sign an information-sharing agreement with New Zealand, did not specify what measures were being taken to monitor for surgically implanted bombs.

"We're always making changes, part of what we do is predictable unpredictability," she said.

"We don't want our adversaries to be able to predict exactly the kinds of measures that they will see in any given airport at any given time."

International problem


Underwear bomber Abdulmutallab managed to smuggle more than 76g of the explosive Pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN) on board a Detroit-bound Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam on Christmas Day in 2009.

But the al-Qaeda plot failed when the bomb did not detonate properly, instead causing a fire as the plane began its descent to Detroit.

Passengers and crew members were able to restrain Abdulmutallab and extinguish the blaze, allowing pilots to safely land the plane.

He was handed four life sentences and an additional 50 years behind bars in February.

Napolitano said the case demonstrated the global nature of the threat.

"There were people from 17 countries aboard that plane who would have perished if he had successfully detonated the PETN aboard the flight," she said.

"So this is indeed an international problem and that is why these international agreements and international interactions are ever more important in today's world than perhaps any time in our history."

- SAPA
Read more on:    al-qaeda  |  us  |  security
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
3 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

This is what South Africans Googled in 2014!

Find out who and what South Africans were most curious about in 2014!

 
 

I love summer.24

This hilarious song is your new holiday anthem
The world's least visited destination is breathtaking!
LOL treadmill fail!
Google’s top searches of 2014

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be emotionally defensive or reserved today. You need to step up today as there may be extra responsibilities to deal with....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.