Officials Report Burqas May Hide More Than Female Form

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Someone who shows up at a checkpoint anywhere in the Middle East with strange bulges under their clothing is likely to attract some attention.  (I concede that this could happen anywhere, depending on the nature of the bulge.)  That’s what happened Monday at the crossing point between Egypt and the Gaza Strip.

Border guards became suspicious about a woman who approached the border crossing wearing a burqa, but also looking "strangely fat."  When this happens, you have to make a quick decision — suicide bomber, or crocodile smuggler?  Luckily, in this case there was no bomb, only three young crocodiles, each almost two feet long, with their jaws tied shut, strapped around the woman’s waist.

The crocs were discovered during a search by a female border guard, who screamed and ran out of the room, just what border guards are trained to do when they discover contraband.  Her panic spread to others in the area, who also began screaming and running around probably without knowing what they were panicking about.  Eventually, people calmed down, and once they had a chance to think about it, an observer said, "everybody was admiring a woman who is able to tie crocodiles to her body."

Actually, someone else probably tied the crocodiles to her body for her.  Guards said the woman claimed she "was asked" to carry the reptiles, and it’s hard to turn down a request like that.  Apparently, exotic-animal smuggling is not unknown at that checkpoint.  A Palestinian spokesperson said that others had tried to smuggle in exotic birds and a tiger cub, and one brave lady "tried to bring in a monkey tied to her chest."