TSA warning: If terrorists hide bombs inside their bodies, current screening measures may be useless.
Jack Kurtz/The Arizona Republic/AP/File
Airlines are being warned by the government that terrorists are considering surgically hiding bombs inside humans to evade airport security. As a result, travelers may find themselves subjected to more scrutiny when flying in the heart of summer vacation season, especially to the U.S. from abroad.
The FBI and Homeland Security Department sent a memo to security officials around the country on Wednesday about "body packing," describing it as a "criminal tactic with possible terrorist application."
The memo, obtained by The Associated Press, cited a 2005 incident in which Colombian men were accused of surgically implanting narcotics into human couriers.
The memo offered possible indicators of surgically implanted contraband, including a distended stomach or other unusual bulging, and visible physical discomfort from a pat-down.
Bombs-in-the-body is not a new idea, but recent intelligence indicates a fresh interest in using this method. People-scanning machines in airports aren't able to detect explosives hidden inside humans. Still, there is no current information that points to a specific plot involving surgically implanted explosives, a U.S. security official said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss such sensitive matters.
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