A sick Islamic terror plot has been unearthed in which terrorists tried to bring down a US cargo plane using two exploding dogs, it was revealed today.
The Kamikaze canines - whose stomach had been stuffed with bombs and detonators - were discovered at Baghdad airport two years ago, French daily Le Figaro said.
They had been primed to explode in mid-flight, but were never loaded aboard the aircraft because freight handlers spotted both dogs had died in their cages.
Post mortem examinations on the animals uncovered explosives and detonators set to go off several hours into the flight from the Iraqi capital to Los Angeles, Le Figaro said.
The paper learned the information from a US military source earlier this week, it said.
The horrifying revelations come after one of two bombs sent from Yemen concealed inside printer ink cartridges was discovered at Britain's East Midlands airport last week.
France's interior ministry claimed the device was defused just 17 minutes before it was due to explode.
The shock discovery of the live animal bombs two years ago was investigated by the International Civil Aviation Organisation at the time and airlines and cargo flight operators were immediately alerted to risk of exploding pets, Le Figaro said.
The paper added: 'This discovery was made two years ago but kept secret from the public.
'The dogs were discovered in a freight area at Baghdad airport, but because they were dead, they were never loaded aboard the plane.'
French terrorism expert Christophe Naudin said: 'This highlights the determination of al-Qaeda militants to wreak destruction by literally any means possible.
'Live animals are transported on passenger planes as well as cargo planes, and airlines and airports need to be on constant alert.
'Western security services are also aware of the possibility that terrorists could use children carrying bombs inside them to destroy aircraft.'
In 2001, Briton Richard Reid tried to set off a bomb hidden in his shoe on an American Airlines jet to Miami in 2001.
This summer a suicide bomber tried to assassinate a member of the Saudi royal family with a bomb inside his body.