New Generation Of Bombs Undetectable By Airport Scanners: What's The Solution?

Tyler Durden's picture

Authored by Mike Shedlock via,

In response to Homeland Security Ponders Laptop Ban On All International Flights: Surefire Way to Stop Bombs on Planes reader Brindu sent a pair of interesting links discussing new bombs that airport scanners cannot detect.

Please consider U.S. Believes ISIS’ Bomb-Making Research Includes New Generation of Explosives.

Amid the bombed-out ruins of Mosul University, U.S. officials say they have uncovered evidence that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) was developing a new type of bomb that could pass through an airport scanner undetected.


CBS News joined Iraqi Special Forces in Mosul just days after the hard-fought battle to recapture the University in January. It’s long been believed that Mosul University was the center of the militants’ bomb-making projects, using the school’s equipment and labs.


Now, U.S. officials believe that research includes a new generation of more powerful explosives that could be concealed in a computer.


When ISIS overran Mosul in 2014, they also captured the city’s international airport. And with it, all the modern security scanner and screening equipment necessary to test their new bombs.

Professional Pilots Discussion

The Professional Pilots Rumor Network, PPRuNE Website, has a discussion on undetectable bombs.

Dubaian: What’s to stop ISIS putting this clever new ‘undetectable’ stuff in pretty well anything a PAX might take on board. And it’d be easier than replumbing a laptop.

Peekay4: A working explosive is composed of several elements. These elements can be disguised within a laptop, large tablet, etc. Put them into a box of chocolates or a can of Pringles, they would be very easy to detect.

EDLB: What can they detect in checked luggage but not in a carry-on?

Peekay4: Not going into specifics but part of the reason for requiring them in checked luggage is not only for detection but also isolation (containment).

Lomapaseo: Containment from what? If they go boom as baggage the damage is variable as hell based on location. If they go boom in the cabin the damage is predictable based on seat location and/or overhead storage which is specific by PNR (boarding pass). And then there is the fire hazard from a typical LI cheap battery in passenger luggage. In the overhead or cabin, it’s specific in location and ability to assess and contain.

Infrequentflyer789: If they go boom in the cabin the damage is predictable based on exactly where the attacker decides to set it off, which is nothing to do with a boarding pass. A small boom set by a clever attacker in the right place is going to be as big a threat as a large boom placed randomly, and that’s before we get onto stuff like shaped charges and really clever placement.

Edmundronald: This will make Chromebooks and other net-connected empty-shell computers the tool of choice for biz travelers. Rent one or buy a cheap one as soon as you touch down.

RTD1: Rather, this will result in a massive push towards video conferencing/telepresence in lieu of business travel. I’ve been a management/technology consultant flying weekly for 20 years now, and if this ban were extended to all domestic and international flights, I’d likely either find an alternative to in-person meetings or switch careers if it were not feasible. I haven’t checked a bag (save for gate checking carry-ons on puddle jumpers) in years. I keep my timelines from landing to meeting starts pretty tight, and I count on flying time for working. I’m not unique, such a rule would be devastating for business travel.

Pax Britanica: There is always an element of business travel that is not really necessary but its hard line to draw between beneficial and essential. There are also events like conferences where most of the attendees don’t’ actually attend but meet with peers from other companies and do business just because a lot of people from one industry are in the same place. Ie the conference itself isn’t really ‘necessary’ but it’s a good opportunity to meet clients and suppliers without doing separate trips. Video links are usually fine for inside the company work and some external stuff but many cultures like the physical presence bit.

Mickjoebill: What about camera crews and photographers who carry kilos of lumpy electronic gear onboard? It is trivial to provide enough power to activate a camera to make the battery appear unadulterated when the cells have been repacked with something deadly.Unless every item is sniffed, a laptop ban seems half arsed.

ISIS Knows What We Know About Them

The preceding comment by Mickjoebill gets to the heart of the matter. And that was the point of my satirical suggestion on a  Surefire Way to Stop Bombs on Planes.

ISIS knows, that we know, that they had been working on laptops. As a result, ISIS will likely shift to an electronic toy or camera equipment (as I suggested in my post).

FAA Traffic by the Numbers

In 2105, the FAA Traffic by Numbers website shows some interesting air traffic statistics.

  • There were 8,727,691 commercial flights in 2015.
  • There are 7,000 planes in the sky at any given time.
  • There are 23,911 flights a day

Convenience vs Safety

Does it make sense to ban all laptops on all flights as they are discussing now?

Banning laptops alone is insufficient. It is impossible to eliminate all airplane risk without banning all flights.

Reader Maxx offered this pertinent thought:

At some point to unravel a knot, you have to start pulling on the other end of the string. Technology chasing technology only goes so far.


For all the time spent harassing a new mom about baby formula, we could be using those hours to interview a 20-year-old “quiet” male with no real friends and an extensive Facebook trail to a Pakistani ISP.


When are people going to wake up and realize politically correct bull&h!t is FATAL. This is costing our economy enormously.

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poetic justice's picture

Let everybody carry cross bows then.

SoDamnMad's picture

I haven't had enough coffee too so I can't remember. If you tell me when you are flying next I wil be able to tell you when the next mid-air bombing will be.

nmewn's picture

lmao!...that always seems to be the way it goes doesn't it?

A_V's picture

Mid air bombings are covered up with "plane malfunctions"...

BlindMonkey's picture

"when was the last bombing of a commercial jet in flight?"


metrojet 9268 on Oct 31, 2015

nmewn's picture

Now see! If Russia would just stop invading countries and creating those terrorists!

(Oh boy, now you've done it

opport.knocks's picture

The Russian flight from Egypt was alleged to have been a bomb in a soda can, according to the perps wanting to claim credit (or those wishing to divert attention). Though I have doubts about that story. 

The 9-11 17 Arabs/Pakistanis with box cutters was a myth from the start. No real footage of any of them boarding the planes? Right.

Ghordius's picture

ah, for once an article by Mish on ZH with which I somewhat agree

yes, that political correctness stuff is idiotic and an hindrance

yes, the granny with her grandchildren in tow won't commit acts of terrorism

but the biggest issue is still the same: Americans were completely unused to terrorism until 9/11, and they are still somehow grappling with the whole concept. including the still persistent naive thinking that there is something like total security in front of terrorism

nope. there is no total security, regardless how much money and efforts you throw at it. no, that guy in an uniform is, most of the times, there to give you a sense of security. the guy that is supposed to do the real security work is elsewhere, and watches with cameras, and checks databases

nmewn's picture

No, the real security are the air marshal's who always seem to be on a different flight than the one picked by hijackers. 

MaxThrust's picture

terrorism is state sponsored and enabled by the intelligence community. Many of those who work in IC have no clue about who is pulling the terrorism strings but that is the reason for black ops. Off the record units of ex military types whose job it is to recruit train and let loose the evil jihadis.
Keep the goyim shit scared and the deep-state in power.

spag's picture

heres a novel idea, why not stop creating more terrorists in the first place by destabilizing their homes and countries?

Rjh's picture

Bad people will be bad people regardless of their home country being destabilized. Instead, let's start fighting wars to be won. That means erasing entire populations of Muslim countries. Men, women and children. No survivors; no exceptions. Period.

The 9/11 highjackers were from Saudi Arabia. I don't ever remember invading Saudi Arabia. But it sounds good to blame the U.S. for all the terrorism that goes on in the world, right? Especially on a site full of doom and gloomers. 

ZeroHedge: Where hating America is cool...


Faeriedust's picture

Because a similar attempt to erase an entire population worked SO WELL for Germany in 1939-45. Extermination only works on very small, localized populations with no international connections.  For the Arabs, that would have been about 1500 years ago.

AustrianJim's picture

We did "invade" Saudi Arabia. We had bases there, and that really pissed some people off.

dlweld's picture

Trouble is that if you do this, you automatically become a member of the bad people club - you have become the evil you seek to get rid of. They've converted you and you've lost.

Faeriedust's picture

Sad fact: it would almost inevitably result in the end of the petrodollar and thus the complete collapse of the American economy.  We will have Oil Wars until we die.

land_of_the_few's picture

Maybe stop paying training and arming them.too ...

DeaconPews's picture

Start profiling these jagwads. 99.9% of these scumbags are of middle eastern descent between the ages of 17 and 35.

Boom, I said it. At this point who gives a fuck other than the kool-aid drinkers.

dlweld's picture

Maybe, like a driver's license we could have a "flyers" license - you need one in order to get on a jet, you'd have to be profiled before you get your license issued and it would have to have some biometric link to the owner so it couldn't be counterfeited - a hassle for sure but it would save a ton of time and effort now spent screening folks and their luggage time and time again.

Herp and Derp's picture

With so much commercial shipping going on passenger planes, I don't really see how bans are going to stop anything.

They are not going to stop parcels from having electronics, and even now they don't catch illegal battery shipments unless snitched on or customs happens to notice the violation during their random one in a thousand searches.

I think it is about time Richard Branson launch some sort of first class members only airline.  Everyone gets vetted, gets decent customer service, food, laid, etc.

Ghordius's picture

Mr. Branson would possibly answer that private jets are taking up that niche

he might point out that they even have apps giving you a price for let's say "Kingsbridge, London to Paris", as an ad I saw recently

A_V's picture

No cargo...passenger jets...human only and their pets...all luggage. Cargo...on another plane. Plan your trip wisely so you can be reunited with needed luggage....

BarkingCat's picture

I had that idea more than a decade ago.

It just seemed togical to keep them separated.

Faeriedust's picture

Actually, that's an excellent idea.  A completely PRIVATE flyers' club for businesspeople who need to travel regularly, but not often enough to buy their own planes.  One step down from the personal jet or charter, but out of the cattle-cars available to anyone with a credit card.  And subject only to their own security because they aren't "common carriers".  I think that would work as a business model for the foreseeable future.

ciscokid's picture

Guess Macain most be supplying his friends with latest tech.
He just says Putin bigger problem than ISIL.

A_V's picture

McCain needs to go quietly and stroke out...

BarkingCat's picture

I don't want it quiet.

Quiet means painless. 

He needs to go out screaming for days.

All his victims deserve at least that much.

Let's call it Wet Start to Eternity.

tuttisaluti's picture

All baggage on separate flights and no carry on at all. 

smacker's picture

Too impractical and too costly.

And a luggage flight with a bomb on board will still blow up.

What do pax do at the other end without any luggage?

Fake Trump's picture

Fucking lunatic Islamic terrorists . Yet our great president is in bed with the Saudis. 

c2nnib2l's picture

I'm taking an EU flight tomorrow echhhh

Fiscal.Enema's picture

The Government has had almost 16 year since 9-11 to solve the problem. Why is it not solved?  Are they that inept? Or do they want to keep the crisis going just like the drug wars or other declared "wars"? 


Jerusalem Cats's picture

Yes,  they want to keep the crisis going just like the drug wars or other declared "wars". Israel has the real security program, both visible and hidden security. Everyone in Israel knows about security daily from going to a mall to going to a market or going on a Bus. Security counts when it really matters.

DipshitMiddleClassWhiteKid's picture

sadly, israel is more or less a fascist police state


lots of things going on there against the jewish people by (((ZOG))) that most jews in the USA dont know about


im a jew and i do feel for the people of not a big fan of the gov't. (not saying im anti-ISrael ..just saying I think all gov't are corrupt)

The One...'s picture

Your average Jewish person is clueless about these things, but just like your average lodge brother mason doesn't know about what the 33 degree and higher are plotting. Just don't mindlessly support Israel or your local lodges...

NMA's picture

REmember what orwell said in 1949 - the war is not meant to be won, its meant to be continious..... 

BarkingCat's picture

This is the same government that is made up of people like Maxine Waters and Hank Johnson.

Any other questions?

smacker's picture

Because the political ruling elites and oligarchs don't travel on scheduled flights for the masses. They have private jets, don't go thru invasive security screening and carry laptops on board as they wish??

Laughing.Man's picture

ISIS’ Bomb-Making Research?  In other words, DARPA.

SmittyinLA's picture

The only thing propping up the US airline industry is invasion and state guaranteed loans

SmittyinLA's picture

Solution private jet till rpg7 become widely available, then bunker with independent food and energy source

Infinite QE's picture

Outlaw Islam and Judaism. Ring fence them until they all can be exterminated. Peace will then be at hand.

Last of the Middle Class's picture

It is absolutely possible to negate ALL airline risk! Stay off the fucking planes! Duh! We're a country too fucking stupid to defend ourselves due to globalist PC propaganda. Why put yourself in that position?

CRM114's picture

Admit the possibility, however remote, that this isn't some great conspiracy. ;)

That the politicians in power are there because Joe and Jo Public are squeamish about the changes in Rules of Engagement and summary arrest and detention that would be needed to end (or at least, much more highly limit) terrorists, drug lords, organized crime, etc.

Well, Joe and Jo are going to get a lot less squeamish when it starts affecting them on a regular basis. 

When a friend's daughter gets blown up at a pop concert. When Joe can't go on a business trip with his laptop, When Jo spends the 3 hour security wait for the family holiday looking at the nervous raghead on the seat opposite and driving herself crazy with worry.

Then they will start supporting politicians who are prepared to recapture Mosul after 2 weeks, so ISIS haven't got a free bomb factory for 3 years.

Politicians who are prepared to profile airline passengers, shut the borders to dodgy immigrants, take out ISIS's oil tankers, flatten Raqqa, bombard Somali training camps, etc.

It has to get worse before Joe and Jo will let it get better. It has to happen in a hundred Springfields and a hundred Podunks before Joe and Jo will change their minds. That's democracy.

If you want it to change sooner, don't (just) comment here. We all know what the problems really are and what the solutions are. Don't (just) contact the politicians, they aren't listening to you (on your own) because you won't get them re-elected. 

Go talk to Joe and Jo. Try to be polite, but you have to convince them that they are f#cking up their own and your life through their squeamishness and inaction. You will lose some friends. So will they. That might have more effect than anything else.

DontWorry's picture

Intense demoraphic and behaviorial profiling of passengers.  Trained interrogaters talking with each passenger - pulling some out of line.  Bomb sniffing dogs walking up and down the lines. 

Magooo's picture

Terrorists could easily take down jes with easy to acquire Stinger missiles.


Particularly easy at airports with lower levels of security


But they don't - they dont even try.


Now why is that?

smacker's picture

Airplanes taking off/landing are extremely vulnerable from missiles fired outside airports, the perp doesn't have to be inside the airport perimeter. An A380 or B747 is an easy target when it's at 3,000 feet.

Duty Chief's picture

Serious question, no sarc intended.  How easy is it to get a Stinger missle?  I have alsways assumed something like a shoulder fired missle would be very difficult to acquire and smuggle. Perhaps easier in Afghanistan or Iraq or someplace with active conflict.

Also, you asked "Now why is that?"  Please answer your own question.  Very curious as to the answer.