Shoes failed flat out. Then there was a glitch in the underwear. So what next for the fashionable terrorist with no baggage and a one-way ticket to paradise? If this was the plot for a Monty Python sketch, why not bring in a sexy woman with big siliconcocted breasts? Then replace the silicon with a more volatile substance, turn the nipple into a fuse and it’s bombs away. Well, reports are now flowing through cyberspace about British intelligence intercepting Al-Qaeda cell phone chatter about this very thing. Here is one from February 5 in the online version of the Detroit Free Press:

British intel: Breast implants may hide bombs

WASHINGTON, DC — British intelligence agencies have reportedly monitored terrorist communications bragging that women suicide bombers have already undergone surgery to hide explosive bombs in their breast implants.

“You could certainly put a liquid of any kind in a saline device, and a gel implant theoretically could be opened and replaced with a different type of gel,” said Maryland plastic surgeon Dr. Craig Person.

“I believe that any liquid in a breast implant, or any gel with a silicone-type of implant would be hard to detect with a body scanner,” Person told 9NewsNow.

Terrorism experts agree.

“The federal government has not put into place any system for detecting explosives at passengers’ screening checkpoints,” said Larry Johnson, the Managing Director Of Berg Associates.

The flip side is more encouraging.

“What we’ve seen is, at least, the al Qaeda explosives competence, while they are visionary with their devices, they’re not terribly competent with actually being able to get something to detonate,” Johnson said.

I am trying to imagine the conversation as the Al-Qaeda explosive expert implants the goods in a burqa-clad sister somewhere in a bombproof but wifi-friendly cave in northern Pakistan. What would he say? Something like ” Excuse me sister, but I am going to have to open your chest without actually removing your chador”? And how, God forgive him, would he handle the explosive objects in his trembling (surely if he is devout, what he is about to do should wait for those 72 houris on the half-pearl-shell in paradise) hands?

But let’s drop the silliness. I recognize that the American media has made the female breast into a sexual fetish so that even a nano-second exposure of a dress-malfunction nipple on a Super Bowl halftime diva threatens the fabric of the morally indignant majority. But consider the irony, a hideous ethical one at that of using breasts as suicide bombs. Breasts are there for a very important reason: throughout our long evolutionary history babies have needed breast milk before they can be weaned. It’s a mammal thing. It is also a loving, nurturing process that sustains life. To turn such a potent symbol of life into an instrument of death is evil to the core. The notion that men who claim a woman should not even show her face in public can use (and I use this word deliberately) her as a weapon for an avowedly political goal is despicable. It is despicable not just to those who are ignorant enough to think this is what the Quran or Islamic ethic could ever allow, but also to the vast number of Muslims who find in their faith a source of peace. If there is any truth (and I strongly suspect there is none) to this latest tit-for-tat terrorism, then I suggest an alternative: let the bomber stick some dynamite into his own organ and light the match, but try it at home in the cave first.

Luke R. E. Publican