Al Qaida planned to train its members in kung fu to enable them to hijack planes undetected, leaked documents reveal.
The terrorist organisation's former number two told interrogators about a plot to train "human weapons", according to secret documents leaked by WikiLeaks.
In what was described as a "friendly chat" with Guantanamo Bay staff, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed said that the tough security measures introduced after the September 11, 2001 attacks forced Al Qaida to think outside the box.
"Our glorious attack forced the Zionist imperialists to scamper and run for cover like rats. We could no longer rely on traditional box cutters and nail clippers. We had to get creative," said Mr Mohammed.
The idea to use men trained in the martial art of kung fu reportedly came to Al Qaida leader Osama bin Laden while watching a DVD in the Tora Bora caves of Afghanistan.
"We were enjoying a break from the daily grind of killing infidels by watching Chinese kung fu films. Our magnanimous leader suddenly had the inspired idea to use kung fu-trained martyrs to overcome any resistance in a plane," said Mr Mohammed. "They would be virtually undetectable by airport security."
Reacting to the leak, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Transport Safety Administration (TSA) scrambled to pass regulations banning all martial artists from flying.
"Statistics show that nearly 9.4 million Americans actively practice martial arts. Nearly 23 million Americans have practised some form of martial arts in their lifetime. That's 23 million potential terrorists. We just can't take the risk," said Janet Napolitano, the Secretary of Homeland Security.
Under the new regulations, anyone found to have an athletic physique during a TSA enhanced search will be subjected to tests involving "simulated kung fu-style attacks by trained professionals". Passengers demonstrating "superior reaction times and ability to defend themselves" will be subjected to further questioning and background checks.
Hollywood actor and martial artist Carlos Ray "Chuck" Norris applauded the measures. "It is certainly possible to use a couple of well-trained fighters as human weapons. A plane full of passengers would be no match for them. Even the pilot's sidearm would pose no threat," explained Mr Norris. "I am an American patriot, and I will gladly sacrifice flying to make my country safe."
Fellow actor and aikido master Steven Segal disagreed with his colleague on the blanket ban. "Aikido is a purely defensive martial art. It has no attack techniques whatsoever, and the regulations should include an exception for aikido practitioners," said Mr Segal.
Kung fu superstar Jackie Chan was unavailable for comment. He was arrested after injuring 12 TSA officials, seven of them critically, while being subjected to the new tests at New York's John F. Kennedy Airport.