The clean-shaven young man with a winning smile had passed through Heathrow’s airport security without any problems. He was wearing jeans and a T-shirt with smart brown loafers, not baggy clothes or trainers.
The body search was perfunctory. His small backpack contained a couple of books and lads’ magazines. The small diabetic kit with the syringe attracted sympathy in one so young.
Safely on board, he settled down to read a magazine as the 747 took off for Chicago.
Somewhere over Ireland, the young man went to the lavatory, where he injected his ‘insulin’ into his stomach. He quickly returned to his seat as the liquid combined with explosives implanted inside him.
He then blew up. The blast tore a hole in the fuselage and the fuel tanks exploded.
The insulin he had injected was, in fact, the liquid chemical explosive triacetone triperoxide (TATP), which detonated the plastic explosive in his stomach.
Flight Number 4201, with 416 passengers, disintegrated and fell from the skies. There were no survivors.
This is, of course, a fictional account of a terrorist attack, though the tactics and technique have been developed. They terrify counter-terrorism experts.