The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee said this morning that a Tuesday incident in which a flight from Paris had to be diverted to Maine due to a bomb threat highlights al-Qaeda’s feared tactic of implanting bombs in people.
About 40 minutes into the flight from Paris to Charlotte, N.C., a French citizen born in Cameroon handed a note to a flight attendant, saying that there was a bomb implanted inside her. Two fighter jets accompanied the plane as it was diverted to Bangor, Maine. Two doctors on board the plane determined that she had no scars or incisions.
Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) said he was “very concerned” because for the past several months they’ve been focusing on such a strategy from al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
“They have doctors, they have scientists which, at least, we understand theoretically they can carry it out … we do know that Yemen has actually gotten surgeons who can perform this operation,” he said, though there haven’t been any “test runs.”
“Now, this is a short flight for this,” he added. “You can’t walk around with a bomb inside of you for that long. And also, the bomb, itself, would not stay lethal for that long of a period of time, maybe several days or a week.”
The woman on the plane wasn’t on any watch lists, but was traveling alone for 10 days with no luggage.
“First of all, we have to worry about people who are not on terror data bases, who are not on terror watch lists,” King said.