The Underwear Body Bomb Problem

There’s a problem with this latest underwear bombing, and it’s not that this poses some sort of significant threat against the people of the United States. Logistically speaking, and I say this in a strictly hypothetical sense as someone who is highly trained in planning and executing military operations: I wouldn’t build a bomb halfway around the world (especially Yemen) and then transport it to its target destination. Any half decent terrorist is going to steal it locally. Several news organizations mention the bomb is using PETN, which sounds really fancy until you learn that it’s actually the main ingredient in Semtex, a general use industrial explosive used by mining and demolition companies all over the world. Which is convenient, for a terrorist. Security checks at John F. Kennedy Airport, New York. (BBC File image)

It’s what any competent insurgent would do. Take it from someone who’s actually fought these guys face to face in their own backyard. They know how to operate effectively. Even without the TSA, it takes years of planning and training to pull off a significant attack like September 11th. What’s worse is that the TSA is taking this opportunity to tell the public how safe it is, that their full body scanners would have detected this one. We know, TSA, your body scanners can detect if a woman is 3 days pregnant! Flying in commercial aircraft is still safer than driving on the highway by an order of magnitude.

Let’s not get caught up in the hype. The CIA found a bomb in Yemen, which is just surrounded by all sorts of warfare, poverty, and conflict, and we’re supposed to believe it’s headed to the US? I don’t buy it. The BBC states that the gentleman dispatched by Yemen-based Al-Qaeda was, in fact—drumroll, please—a double agent. So he’s undercover and volunteers for an assignment where he can take a single bomb back to the US as a “foiled plot?” Shit, in Iraq my squad once found about 30 artillery shells rigged as IEDs, and that wasn’t even the biggest find that week. Hell, a single suicide vest wasn’t a big find. An underwear bomb would have been a joke. Twenty underwear bombs would have been downright hilarious.


  1. It would be my worse nightmare going through customs and having to drop my pants to reveal my underwear. I sometimes have some funky ones one that are only for my partner to see not the whole airport

  2. Hi Mark has your book been published yet> would like to order if it has.
    take care laura

    • Oh, my god. I am so jealous that Canada gets this show and doesn’t share it with the US lol. I love WWII htsroiy, especially the stories of the women on the homefront, and this show seems awesome. Your recap was hilarious. I totally forgot about that song from Grease 2 now it’s stuck in my head! 🙁

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