Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

September 18, 2009

Anal Secrets and the Coming Tempest in Homeland Security

Filed under: General Homeland Security — by Christopher Bellavita on September 18, 2009

First take off your shoes.

Then show us your liquids.

Tell me you didn’t see what comes next.

Act 1 – The Adaptive Enemy

You may have missed the story in New Zealand’s Sunday Star Times about an August 28th terrorist bombing in Saudi Arabia. I did miss it. But the people at Homeland Security Newswire didn’t.

A guy tried to kill Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, the Saudi deputy interior minister. “[T]he bomber obliterated himself but the prince survived shaken but unharmed.”

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula said they were behind the attack. “No one will be able to know the type of this device or the way it was detonated,” they simpered.

According to the Star Times story, however, the U.S. private sector intelligence group STRATFOR learned “the terrorist adopted the novel tactic of concealing an improvised explosive device (IED) in his anal cavity.”

[Pause here to reflect on what this could mean for future airline boarding procedures.]

Dr Carl Ungerer, from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, said the anal device “does pose real issues for airline security if the bomb is inside the person.”

STRATFOR agreed: “One other concern about such a device is that it would likely have a catastrophic result if employed on an aircraft, especially if it were removed from the bomber’s body and placed in a strategic location on board the aircraft.”

[STRATFOR’s strategic analysis of the incident, written by Scott Stewart, can be found here.  If for some reason you can’t get access to that site, it is also posted on a fishing website called “Stripersonline.” And yes, I had to check a dictionary to make sure “stripers” and “strippers” were two different words.  But I digress.]

The New Zealand article ended with an uncomfortable reminder about the link between prevention and response:

“In 2001 a man on a US Airlines flight was caught trying to set off an IED concealed in his shoe. Passengers on many routes must now remove shoes and subject them to X-ray screening.

In 2006 British authorities thwarted a plot to smuggle liquid explosive aboard trans-Atlantic airliners. There are now limits on quantities of liquids passengers can take aboard international flights.”

Obviously an anal explosive device can radically alter the culture of preparedness.

As Australia’s Dr. Unger concluded, “That’s why perhaps there is now going to be a real push for these scanning type machines.”

Wait a minute.

What push?  What “scanning type machines?”  I didn’t see anything in the story about scanning machines.

I wondered what kind of devices he had in mind.

Act 2 – Enter the Boss

Anal secreting – if that’s the right term – has been used by drug smugglers and prisoners. So I figured there must already be a technological fix for this threat.

Not knowing quite where to begin, I stumble across Chris Irvine’s story in the Daily Telegraph, noticed and slightly re-titled by the ever vigilant “White-Pride-World-Wide” folks at stormfront.org: “Anus Scanners to be Introduced in UK Prisons.

The story highlighted a chair-like scanning machine called the B.O.S.S. — short for Body Orifice Security Scanner.

[Pause here to wonder if the people who named this machine “The BOSS”:

A) have a sense of humor,

B) are into S&M – not that there’s anything wrong with that,

C) acknowledge the sociology of prison culture,

D) are completely tone deaf, or

E) all of the above.]

What is a Body Orifice Security Scanner? Well, you can let your imagination loose, or you can go to the B.O.S.S. website and get the facts.

You can watch a BOSS nine minute instructional video here or here.

The video shows you how to operate the BOSS. It also includes helpful operational details like what the default password is for the BOSS and, once you have control of its computer brain, how to modify the sensitivities of the various scanning parameters.

I’m absolutely certain, however, that someone who owned the BOSS would change the default “1-2-3-4-5-6” password to something else.

Well, fairly certain.

Caution: If you do watch the video, be aware that near the 3 minute mark the film’s music track gets a bit disturbing. It starts to sound in places as if a cat were — well– being “Bossed” (in a manner of speaking).

Act 3 – A Gift from the American People

You’re a busy homeland security professional. What do you do if you come across a story headlined “U.S. State Department to give El Salvador anal and vaginal scanning systems”? 

Do you read it or do you go back to your regular job keeping America safe?

Propelled by both scholarly and prurient interest, I read the August 11th story by Government Security News’ Jacob Godwin. It had more information about the BOSS:

“This [the BOSS scanning chairs] is actually a gift to the El Salvador government,” said a spokesperson for the company that received the State Department contract. The scanners will be used in several El Salvadorian prisons to prevent people from smuggling contraband.

The company spokesperson “sees a growing demand for these metal detection security scanning devices, particularly in the United Kingdom, where British officials have recently mandated their use in various courts and prisons.”

With apparently no sense of irony, the spokesperson also told Government Security News, “This chair is only penetrating 15 percent of its potential market.”

Act 4 – A Gift From Canada

The BOSS is designed to find metal objects. But what if metal is not used? Is there any technology available to find other anal cavity threats? Is this something TSA’s millimeter wave whole body imaging machines can catch? Does this mean more funding for those scanners?

The questions just kept coming.

At this point my wife suggested I take my head out of my own anal cavity and work on something a bit more productive.

“Ok,” I compromised, “just one more search.”

A few minutes later I discovered United States Patent 4393974, better known by its more formal name: “Waterproof plastic container.”

The patent was issued to a Canadian named Michel Levesque on July 19, 1983.

You can read a detailed description of Mr. Levesque’s device here. But perhaps an excerpt from the abstract will suffice for now:

His waterproof plastic container is “A utility capsule that is characterized by its simple and watertight construction and a smooth outer surface to be harmlessly concealed in one’s anus for transportation of small things such as could be used by secret agents, swimmers or any other person.”


Act 5 – A Gift From Shakespeare

O, wonder!

How many goodly creatures are there here!

How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world,

That has such people in’t!

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Comment by William R. Cumming

September 18, 2009 @ 4:01 am

Seems the whole body scanner of movie “Total Recall” was just reality and not Sci-Fi! Just hoping that a supervised colonoscopy type purge [see recent Dave Barry discussion] won’t become necessary before each flight.

WOW! The fight against terrorism enters a “hole” new realm!

Comment by Seymour Butts

September 18, 2009 @ 6:09 am

You could nor resist, could you? Dr. Belavita sheds light on a subject where the sun doesnt shine. Your own TSA is quite concerned about this. Although uncommon, it is not unheard of for someone to use their God-given backpocket for storage. A few years ago, someone was denied access to the sterile side of the airport for carrying a block of Velveeta cheese there. The Whole Body Imager may resolve some of this detection issue, but TSA isnt talking yet.

Now, I’m sure you believe such cheese carriage is covered by one of those Rights you speak of so often. A truly wicked question.

“U.S. State Department to give El Salvador anal and vaginal scanning systems”? – Would this be a dual use capability?

Comment by Philip J. Palin

September 18, 2009 @ 8:00 pm


You close with Miranda from Act V of the Tempest. I wonder — absurdly serious, no doubt — if Prospero, from Act III,scene 3 might capture the attitude of our adversaries to many of our earnest efforts:

And these mine enemies are all knit up
In their distractions: they are now in my power;
And in these fits I leave them.

Yours for the Bard,


Comment by christopher tingus

September 20, 2009 @ 1:19 am

Oh my…oh my…how disheartening to read of such anal pursuits against humanity at a time when scientific and engineering discipline, technological innovation afford much promise to humanity as its population soars especially in the underdeveloped regions.

To those who seek our demise, do not look to Washington and the partisanship that portrays the weakness of leadership pervaded in – racisism – as its theme promoted by a sitting Black President seeking division rather than unity whether by making unsubstantiated remarks on behalf of a Black Harvard professor pal who has been referred to as simply an “elitist” versus cop – from our perspective – a police officer and a first responder when we make our desperate calls to 911 – and a President and administration that chooses not to rebuke a former Democractic President for his unjustified remarks referring to America as “racist” and you Mr. President, a Black man having been voted into office by Americans of all color and ethnicity, and Congress finding it necessary to go out of its way to chastize the South Carolina Congressman who blurts out what is a louder and louder whisper heard in the pews….but not of James Carter who is apparently a bigot referred to by so many and nothing less….

….but to those seeking our demise, look to Main Street USA which is not squeamish when it comes to standing tall against the “Brutes of Tehran” and the “KGB Putinites” as I refer to them….The bullies who willingly spill rich perfsian blood on the streets of Tehran an have the bllod of our soldier stained on their hands….

….Americans standing tall in growing numbers who see an Administration failing in its public healthcare promotions and chooses to allow distractions even at the detriment of our inherent solidarity for – unlike the subversive James Carter who met with Syrians behind closed doors and only God knows what he shared with those thugs and my calling for a Congressional Hearing to censure not the distinguished Congressman from South Carolina, but James Carter who chooses to use his former title to divide our nation and to depict his outright hatred towards Israel…a people with covenant to the Lord!

We as a people have less and less confidence in the “fiat” dollars being printed and trillions and trillions in deficit spending with certain promised inflation and growing unemployemnt numbers and an administration whether Democrat or Republican or Congress who truly knows what a gallon of milk costs.

We do have confidence in our Constitution which is being besieged by our very own “entrusted” government and we have confidence in the commitment of those who serve our public interests as devoted public servants whether at DoD, NSA, State and other agencies whereby we know that whatever peril we are placed in by such incompetencies potrayed by the career “politician” who must have term limits, we are a strong nation of good and most charitable people, however with the fortitude that our Right to bear arms will be used against any foe including those who choose to subvert the principles laid forth by the keen insight of our forefathers.

Gd Bless our beloved America which is a beacon of hope to so, so many who do not choose to huddle inside a van and illegally enter this country, but people with hopes to flee oppression by applying and waiying for two years or more to secure a visa and willingly and with pride take oath of citizenship not snubbing the American flag, but rather proudly waving it for no other nation has been conceived in Liberty and dedicated for all!

Christopher Tingus
64 Whidah Drive
Harwich, MA 02645 USA

Comment by Quin

September 20, 2009 @ 4:20 pm

Well you can just blow that out your….

Jihadica had some good links on this earlier: http://www.jihadica.com/aq-claims-bin-nayif-attack/

Really, it’s just a different take on a continuing problem. It will be a combination of intelligence and technology, with the emphasis on intel. For 6 plus years we’ve literally seen every conceivable way to hide a bomb in the vincinity of a road in Iraq. Everyone…. and then someone would come up with some other bizarre way to do it. But eventually with the change to a COIN based strategy, sourced by “the Surge” we got better intel, on where, even better, who was emplacing them. Tied into that was the massive development (and funding) of anti-IED techs. Anyone remember when we were using toy car/robot controllers to set of IED’s early? The end product (or better said current products) are a long way from that, not to mention the upgrade in vehicles, most particulary the MRAP.

I bring this up because the fight against suicide bombers, of any stripe and method, will follow the same course. Better techs that SUPPORT and partially SUPPLEMENT better intel on methods and people. So while this may be a new twist, or new orifice, on an old problem, we should have an idea how to deal with this.

A final note, while the method of “delivery” got the stories written, the relationship this Saudi minister had with these terrorists and his one-on-one contact and rehabilitation is fascinating study.

Comment by Michael Johnson

September 29, 2009 @ 10:42 pm

Does this qualify as a Weapon of Ass Destruction? (Come on you know that was tooooo easy to let go by…)

Comment by bruce

October 15, 2009 @ 7:09 am

if somebody is falsely accused of secreting an explosive in their rectum, is it a bum rap?

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