Al-Qaida's new method of delivering a deadly payload — in effect a plastic explosive suppository — would make security experts nervous, you might think.
It is not easily spotted by conventional detectors.
But it does have some who know their explosives busting a gut.
A month ago in Saudi Arabia, a terrorist named Abdullah Hassan Tali' al-Asiri reportedly walked past palace checkpoints with a small bomb inserted in a body cavity. Judging by the al-Qaida video featuring him proudly holding a device before committing the deed, it was about 3 inches long.
He wanted to blow up a Saudi prince but succeeded only in blowing off his own bottom half and destroying the floor, killing himself in the process.
His intended target, Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, and others in the room were largely unharmed. A Saudi news service quoted the prince saying, understatedly, "He surprised me by blowing himself up."
Suffice to say al-Asiri's technique has given rise to the term "keister bomb" online.
"It sounds almost like drunk logic, where an idea sounds great until the next morning and you're sober, going, 'Noooo, that won't work,' ' said Paul Worsey. "Unless you're actually hugging somebody, nobody's going to get badly hurt.”
Worsey can explain the physics, if he must, to quell any fears that this brand of terror will take off, making our trips to the airport ever more onerous.
"The force of such an explosion would be in the direction of the easiest exit," said the Missouri University of Science and Technology researcher and inventor of explosives, who more or less laughed off the threat.
"The rest of the body would work like a sandbag against the blast… though it would be a mess."
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