Junk SMS detonates suicide bomb, saves hundreds

Pointless marketing messages from your mobile network might raise your ire, but for one suicide bomber it proved to be somewhat more of an inconvenience - detonating an explosive device prematurely and preventing an attack that could have killed hundreds.

According to Andrew Osborn's account in the Irish Independent, Russian security forces believe that the bomber who detonated a suicide belt in Moscow on New Year's Eve - ahead of the attack on Domodedovo Airport earlier this week - was planning a much more deadly attack.

The unnamed terrorist's device detonated while she was still alone at home, preparing for the attack - believed to be planned for Red Square during the height of Moscow's Near Year's Eve celebrations, which would have resulted in many casualties.

Sources in the Russian security services claim that the premature detonation came about when a message was received by a mobile phone connected to the suicide belt as a remote detonator. In an ironic twist, the ill-timed message is believed to have been from the mobile network itself, wishing the woman a happy new year.

Although the claims have not yet been verified by Russian security services, it is known that bombers often use pagers and mobile phones as handy radio detonators on their devices. In the case of a suicide attack, the remote detonator is used should the bomber fail to carry out their mission - either due to incapacitation or as a result of changing their mind.

Next time you get an advertising text from your mobile network, just think: that may have just saved hundreds of lives.