So now we have moved from suicide vests to suicide cars to suicide underwear. Rather a clever concept really, as it plays on Western sensitivities towards searching people's swimsuit areas before getting on a flight. If they really want to play the string out on this idea, we should soon be seeing suicide bras, as no one in the TSA wants to be 'that guy' accused of sexual harrassment.
But the really clever part of this idea is the motivation for the suicide bomber to finish the mission. I mean think about it. In Iraq, we saw suicide car bombers that had a secondary trigger-man, meaning one guys gets the job of driving a car full of explosives into a target, and there is a second guy with a remote detonator to push the button in case the guy driving the car chickens out.
But now, suicide underwear gives the bomber self motivation to do the job. Consider Mr. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the bomber from this flight. He tried to set off the bob, but instead managed to set fire to his legs and swimsuit area. This guy goes from dreams of 72 virgins and sugar plums dancing in his head to facing the reality of blackened cajun sausage in his swimsuit area. Now he has to wait until he dies to have any hopes of using his manhood again, and Muhammed isn't known for giving rewards to those who fail.
So the motivation for future suicide fruit-of-the-loom bombers is clear. You can do the job right and die in glory for Islam, immediately transporting you to the Muslim version of heaven with your dewy eyed harem already waiting for you. Or you can botch the job, pee through a catheter for the rest of your natural life (spent in a US prison) and try to push all thoughts of sex from your mind to avoid the pain that it brings. Pretty solid motivation plan here. Option A-an instant of pain and an eternity of pleasure, or Option B-a lifetime of pain and an eternity of the successful suicide bombers laughing at you for screwing up.
Military motivation has been famously described in the US NCO corps as convincing men to do something they don't want to do. If that is true, then Bin Laden has hit upon a great strategy for getting suicide bombers to make sure they follow through.