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Saturday, October 05, 2002

The shoe bomber

I have followed the comments on Richard Reid, the shoe bomber, with interest and growing amazement. I understand that he was trying to ignite his shoe-bombs using matches. One report suggested that he, himself, was not the sharpest lucifer in the box. Thank heavens, too. There are better ways to detonate explosives than with a fuse and matches. How about electrical detonation?

It would be straightforward to rig up a shoe bomb, detonated with a wire from a walkman. That would create far less of a stir than lighting one's shoes.

Could it be that Reid was the first of a wave of aero-terrorists finding out if pre-flight checks would discover explosives in shoes? The lamentable failure to prevent Reid's getting aboard the aircraft is answer enough and we should not be surprised by the next developments: shoe bombers boarding aircraft intending to detonate their shoe bombs electrically. Sending a not very bright disciple with an unsophisticated device has provided a lot of information for the next wave.

Where are the dogs trained to sniff trainers/sneakers? (Ugh.)

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