The Attack of the Retards
A reader links to a Times of London story (registration required) that clarifies what the ban on airline toilet lines was all about. An Algerian asylum-seeker was arrested in what was described as a "series of raids by police who were investigating a network of terrorists loosely connected to Osama Bin Laden's Al-Qaeda". The Algerian had shaved all his body hair. Shaving one's body hair is considered religious preparation for a suicide operation.
In notes to his sister and mother the man wrote: "I hope you treat me as a hero and a martyr." The documents were recovered during a raid on his home, said to be in the north of England.
The article suggests the man may have been trying to carry out an attack in which "suicide terrorists were planning to hijack transatlantic aircraft by smuggling bomb kits past airport security and assembling them in toilets during a flight. The bombs would be used to blow up the plane or threaten the crew to gain control of the aircraft."
Presumably the British police have been hunting down individuals who had cancelled their bookings on suspected flights during the Holiday orange alert. The Algerian may have made a run for it, forgetting to retrieve his ex-future suicide note from the family home, and was caught before his armpit hair had a chance to grow out. There is something inexpressibly pathetic about this attempt at a Lego bomb, taken together with the explosive tampon and detonating shoes, that were it not so sinister, might actually arouse sympathy. But not for its masterminds, who sitting in a desert palace, dispatch the illiterate, the stupid and the deluded on missions to kill Americans. Until we can reach beyond the cannon-fodder who plant improvised explosive devices on an Iraqi roadside, or board an aircraft with depilatory cream, a bomb and a screw loose, we will not be doing our best.