A Taliban emissary who attempted to assassinate Afghanistan’s spy chief had hidden a bomb in his rectum, it has emerged.
Asadullah Khalid, the head of the country’s National Directorate of Security (NDS), was injured in the explosion, which killed the attacker in December last year.
The weapon was missed despite the man being ordered to strip in an armored room ahead of the meeting, the New York Times reports.
It adds Shafiqullah Tahirir, a spokesman for the NDS has since confirmed the attacker had hidden the bomb in his rectum.
Officials had earlier suggested the bomb had been hidden in the man’s underwear, though two further Afghan security officials have also confirmed the bomb was hidden internally.
An internal bomb was used in an assassination attempt on the life of Saudi Arabia’s Prince Mohammed Bin Nayef Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, in 2009 the BBC reported.
The bomber had concealed a device containing 100g of the explosive PETN inside his body, which was detonated with a chemical fuse.
The prince survived with minor injuries, though the bomber’s body was blown in half.
The use of internalised bombs presents a “nightmarish scenario” for the aviation industry, a leading consultant told the Times.
“Anything that is hidden within, whether its stuffed or swallowed, is quite frankly a major problem for airport security. There is no way around the issue,” Chris Yates said.
According to a Europol counter terrorism report: “Passengers are screened through metal detectors, in some airports even through explosive detectors, but the sensitivity and power of these machines would need to be increased or reviewed, in order to overcome the shielding of the device by the human body.”
In 2011 the mayor of Kandahar was assassinated by a suicide bomber whose turban was laced with explosives.
The Taliban took responsibility for the killing of Ghulam Haider Hamidi, claiming it was revenge over a land dispute involving the demolition of illegally constructed homes.