Plastic Surgery and Terrorists

Lately I’ve been hearing a lot about a new method of suicide bombing involving female terrorists getting breast implants filled with a liquid explosive, or terrorists having the explosives inserted into their buttocks.  According to various news stations, a report by M15 indicates that a British trained plastic surgeon is doing the operations.  The implants would be almost impossible to detect without a full body scan.

While this sounds terrifying, in reality this isn’t likely to become a terrorism “trend.”  To begin with, the body of the terrorist is going to absorb much of the energy of the blast.  To counteract that effect, you would have to increase the amount of explosive used or use a more powerful explosive like C4.  This would cause the implants to weigh too much, to the point that the incisions would probably not heal and the implants would not look normal.

Another issue would be detonation.  In addition to absorbing shock, the body would also block radio signals, making remote destination or any type of wireless detonation very difficult.  The terrorist would have to inject a liquid detonator directly into the implant in order for this to work.  That is not realistic in a crowded area where lots of people are going to be able to see what is happening, especially for someone who is extremely nervous.  And it would need to be very quick.

This is certainly a fascinating story, almost like something out of a summer blockbuster action movie, but we’re probably not going to see much of it in real life.

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Plastic Surgery and Terrorists

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