“Degraded,” fortunately

Islamic toilet etiquette specifies an elaborate protocol that goes well beyond our immediate need to know. (Warning: You also really don’t want to know.) Fortunately, however, it seems not to require clean underwear, at least not directly. In an update on the failure of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to detonate the bomb concealed in his underwear as he attempted to bring down Northwest Airlines Flight 235 back in 2009, the Daily Mail reports:

The notorious underwear bomber’s plot in 2009 to blow up a plane on Christmas Day failed because the explosives became ‘degraded’ after he wore the same pair of underpants for two weeks, according to a U.S. official.

Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was on a suicide mission when he attempted to detonate a bomb in his underpants as the plane, en route from Amsterdam, approached Detroit.

The bomb however failed to detonate aboard the flight, which was carrying nearly 300 people, but caused a brief fire that caused burns to his groin.

He was sentenced to life without parole in February 2012 after he pleaded guilty to all charges on the second day of his trial the previous October.

The head of the Transportation Security Administration said this week the bomb failed to detonate because of how long Abdulmutallab had been wearing his underwear.

John Pistole told the Aspen Security Forum: ‘The bomber had had the device with him for over two weeks.’

Mr Pistole was then asked whether the bomb had become ‘damp’, to which he replied: ‘Let’s say it was degraded.’

If the etiquette were to require clean underwear (or if it in fact does so), the requirement would probably be forgiven when the follower of Islam is engaged in jihad. Heeding the spirit of Mr. Pistole’s admonition, let’s just leave it at that for now.

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