It took nearly a decade for the U.S. to bring down terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden, but it appears that another al Qaeda character has stepped up who is just as focused on creating new havoc against the civilized world.

Alleged bomb maker and Saudi fugitive Ibrahim al-Asiri is the latest terror technician to show up on the U.S. radar. He's the apparent mastermind of a plan to surgically implant a bomb about the size of a grapefruit inside the abdominal cavity of a suicide bomber in order to get through airport security and board a plane.

Once the terrorist gets by airport security and boards the plane, he or she could then detonate the device by using a chemical filled syringe or possibly with just a cell phone.

Finding terrorist martyrs to carry out such a deadly plan is no problem. The terrorist network has an endless supply of would-be martyrs who believe that the killing of civilians is justified under the radical global jihad to establish their religious system of government (caliphate). To die for the cause of killing Christians and Jews is an honor under their radical belief system.

Finding doctors to do the operation, however, will be harder.

Credit the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security for staying on top of this latest threat, especially since we're now at the height of the summer vacation season. Those international flights coming to America will especially see an increase in airport security.

The idea of hiding substances in the body to avoid detection is not new. This week's memo issued to security officials points to a case six years ago in which Colombian men were accused of surgically implanting narcotics into human couriers. And last year, British officials reportedly uncovered a plot that al Qaeda was planning to surgically implant suicide couriers with bombs. They felt this was a counter move to the use of full-body imaging machines at major airports throughout the world.

If airport scanners aren't able to detect explosives hidden inside the body, security officials will have to rely more on the much-criticized physical pat-downs. They will be alert for any signs of physical discomfort due to an unusual bulging or visible signs of an operation in the stomach area.

This latest threat to aviation security shows that terrorists remain fixated with using explosives on aircraft. Bringing down a large airliner is dramatic and terrifying and as 9/11 showed, can be done on a small budget and with minimal loss of life to the suicide martyrs.

The war on terror is very much a high-stakes game of intelligence gathering and countermoves. The U.S. has been able to expose a potential threat through the use of a belly bomb.

Now the mission for airport security is trying to locate and stop the suicide fanatics.

By Jim Zbick

jzbick@tnonline.com