Al Qaeda Recalls Thousands of Defective Bombs

This article was originally published on Humorality, on February 8, 2010.

Infidels could be rendered safe for months or longer

In what consumer advocates are calling a victory for suicide bombers everywhere, Al Qaeda announced today the recall of more than 13,000 wearable explosive devices. Operatives in the field are asked to return any device that has a serial number starting with the digits 342 through 395, or that has a detonate-by date between August 2009 and June 2010.

The international terrorist organization began sending notifications to its deployed militants yesterday, and expects to have a fix available to sleeper cells sometime in the next three weeks. “Our number one concern is for the safety of our members,” said official spokesterrorist Ali Mohammed bin Theredonethat at a morning press conference. “We hope that by issuing this recall now, we can avoid any unnecessary injuries.”

“I’ve been afraid even to remove that itchy tag from the new explosive vest I got last month,” said Sayid al Wojohowski, a jihadist living in an upscale neighborhood outside of Orlando, Florida. “When I heard what happened to the underwear of the airplane bomber on Christmas Day, I thought, ‘Whoa, that could’ve been me.’ It makes you stop and think about what’s really important in life.”

Rumors of the defective units stem back to just months after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on America’s East Coast. Richard Reid, a self-identified member of Al Qaeda, tried to light explosives packed into his shoes. The shoe failed to ignite, causing some experts to raise questions of shoddy product workmanship either in the weapons component or in the comfort insoles. Al Qaeda insisted at the time that the device was sound and ignored requests by international weapons inspectors to monitor their facilities.

The epic failure of Umar Farouk Abdulmuttalab’s underwear bomb on a 2009 Christmas-day flight to Detroit, Michigan, put the spotlight back on the possibility of design flaws. Abdulmuttalab, on the advice of his defense team, has filed a class-action lawsuit against Al Qaeda, insisting that they knew about such defects, but did nothing to correct the problems.

One anonymous source inside the secretive organization placed the blame on a new crop of jihadists influenced by Western standards. “We’ve had so many requests to make the clothes not only comfortable, but machine washable. The vests say right on them: ‘Hand wash only.’ These bombs were never meant to go through the spin cycle.”

Osama bin Laden, the head of Al Qaeda, has yet to issue a three-week-old videotape addressing the issue. Other top leaders in the network insist that most of their devices are still safe to use. Yet with the dramatic drop in civilian casualties, intelligence experts are putting increased scrutiny on a terror system already overwhelmed by the enhanced role of United States military forces near their headquarters. “We’re working as hard as we can to resolve the problems,” said Mr. bin Theredonethat. “It’s a lot harder than you think to maintain ISO-9000-quality work standards when your caves are teaming with goats.”

Tim Patrick

Tim Patrick is an author, software developer, and the host of Japan Everyday. He has published a dozen books and hundreds of articles covering technology, current events, and life in Japan. Find his latest books at

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