AL-QAEDA operatives in Iraq tried to unleash deadly terror in the skies by deploying a pair of dogs on a US-bound plane, it has emerged.
The plot failed because the bombs were so badly stitched inside the dogs that they died, according to a report in the respected French daily newspaper Le Figaro.
“This case illustrates the determination of al Qaeda militants, who are trying to circumvent terrorism controls by any means,” French criminologist Christophe Naudin, an aviation security expert, told the newspaper.
The plot unfolded two years ago, when al Qaeda bomb makers grabbed the two stray dogs off the street and surgically implanted powerful explosives and detonators in each, the New York Post reported.
The dogs were then placed in kennel carriers and sent to the Baghdad airport for a flight to the US. Le Figaro did not say what city they were headed for.
It is not unusual for dogs to fly from Iraq to the US. Several animal rescue groups work to give Iraqi dogs new US homes, and soldiers have also adopted dogs there.
It is believed al-Qaeda planned for the dogs to explode in flight.
But before the dogs were put aboard their plane, US soldiers working in the airport’s cargo area noticed they had died – and soon discovered the bombs stitched inside them.
US intelligence agencies shared the story of the dogs’ fate with other Western spy agencies and distributed necropsy photos of the dogs and bombs to aviation security professionals, Le Figaro said.