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'Body bombs' may be next terror threat

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NEW YORK (RNN) - Just in time for the one-year anniversary of the death of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, American officials are saying members of the terrorist group have been busy designing bombs that can be surgically implanted in a human body and that can bypass current security measures.

Known as "body bombs," the devices have been classified as "aspirational." The devices have no moving parts that can be detected by traditional scanners, according to MSA, a security consulting firm based in New York City.

MSA cited unidentified American officials as saying the bombs would be used on board passenger airplanes. However, there has been no credible threat to aircraft, and the warning is "precautionary."

Airports across the U.S., Europe and the Middle East have stepped up security, with a focus on U.S. carriers, MSA said. Federal marshals have been sent overseas to provide security on incoming flights to the U.S.

"We are treating the information seriously," John Pistole, administrator of the Transportation Security Administration, told ABC News in 2011.

The report goes on to say that al Qaeda's "affiliate" in Yemen, called al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, has been busy designing weapons that can be placed inside a living body.

"Given the degradation of al Qaeda's core membership capabilities, the group is continuously seeking ways to carry out smaller scale, successful attacks with fewer resources," said a statement released by MSA. "They have become more creative in their targeting preferences."

Some of those creative plans – uncovered when German investigators apparently discovered decrypting hardware in the possession of a terror suspect in Berlin – include a plot to hijack a cruise ship, dress passengers like Guantanamo Bay prisoners, and execute them.

MSA analysis says the AQAP has been the mastermind of some of the "more prominent" displays of terror since 9/11, including the 2009 Christmas Day plot in which one of the terrorists was killed when a bomb he inserted in his body detonated prematurely.

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