Case of the Explosive Condom

The FBI has released an unclassified version of its initial investigation into the “device” used in the attempted bombing of NWA Flight 253. I’ve uploaded a copy of that analysis […]

The FBI has released an unclassified version of its initial investigation into the “device” used in the attempted bombing of NWA Flight 253. I’ve uploaded a copy of that analysis that you can download by clicking this link.

The FBI gathered nearly 30 pieces of evidence for its investigation; the most interesting pieces of this are the underwear in which the device was concealed and device itself.  Here’s how the FBI put it:

The underwear worn by the bomber was modified to provide storage of the main charge which was anatomically congruent, possibly to avoid detection during screening. The underwear sustained thermal damage. Blue jeans worn by the bomber also sustained thermal damage (scorching) on the inside with small spots of melted plastic on the outside surface.

The phrase “anatomically congruent” probably jumped right out at you, didn’t it?  The FBI was afraid to say, “the device was jammed into a condom and stuffed into the front of his pants so that he’d look like he was hung like a horse.” Ok, maybe that’s a loose interpretation of what they Bureau might have said.

Here’s an official FBI shot of the “thin soft ‘plastic’ flim-like material” that held the explosive:

Official FBI Investigative Photo

And here’s another official photo showing the <ahem> deployment of the device:

Photo: FBI

The Bureau wants you to know that the above image is “rigged” in that the “plastic flim-like” device wasn’t actually <ahem> inserted into the underwear when found… the lab guys were just joking around and someone snapped the photo.

About brock

Brock is currently the Executive Editor at Atlantic Media Strategies and former Chief Washington Correspondent for MSNBC; he is the founder/creator/editor of CyberWire Dispatch, the Net's pioneering online journalistic news service. Previously he was the Director of Communications for the Center for Democracy & Technology, a non-profit, Washington, D.C.-based public interest group working to keep the Internet open, innovative and free. The views expressed here are his alone and do not reflect the opinions, attitudes or policy positions of his employer(s) past or present.