The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Adam Smith

May 10, 2012

Cracking down on TNT in the BVDs

— Kudos to U.S. intelligence officials this week after they reportedly foiled a terror threat to a plane bound for the U.S.

The explosive device, which apparently slipped past a security checkpoint, is currently being studied by officials with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Early reports, however, said it was yet another “underwear bombing” attempt.

In case you’ve forgotten, a Nigerian Islamist by the name of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab (say that 10 times really fast) tried to detonate a bomb in his underwear on Christmas Day 2009. For his troubles, he was detained by authorities and treated for serious burns to his hands, inner thigh and genitalia.

There’s nothing funny about extremists who want to kill Americans, but extremists who burn up their privates in a failed attempt is actually pretty humorous.

I would have enjoyed being a fly on the wall when these underwear bomb schemes were hatched by operatives in al-Qaida. First of all, who really thinks about hiding a bomb in their underwear? Secondly, wouldn’t something about such a device cause the bomber to walk funny?

Perhaps, in the training process, prospective underwear bombers practiced walking around with a bomb in their underwear.

“OK, try walking normally. Now, once more with a feeling. When you hit your mark, sachet and turn. Very good. Next!”

Before they could practice, however, someone had to be chosen to carry the TNT in his BVDs. Who drew the short straw for that?

If I were a terrorist, and let me explain that I’ve never terrorized anything but mosquitoes, fleas and flies, there’s no way I’d willingly set fire to my privates, no matter how great the cause might be. If I drew the short straw, I’d either negotiate a trade with one of my fellow terrorists (“See? My straw is longer than yours!”) or I’d be sneaking away from the terror encampment in the dead of night.

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Adam Smith
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