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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-08-12 07:25 AM
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CIA thwarts new al Qaeda underwear bomb plot
CIA thwarts new al Qaeda underwear bomb plot

May 7, 2012 4:46 PM


CIA thwarts new al Qaeda underwear bomb plot
Play CBS News Video

UPDATED 7:57 p.m. ET

(CBS/AP) WASHINGTON -- The CIA thwarted a plot by al Qaeda's affiliate in Yemen to destroy a U.S.-bound airliner using a bomb with a new design, a U.S. counter-terrorism official tells CBS News. Officials, however, deny there was ever any immediate threat to the public.

U.S. officials tell CBS News the plot involved an upgrade of the underwear bomb that failed to detonate aboard a jetliner over Detroit on Christmas 2009. This new bomb was also built to be used in a passenger's underwear but contained a more refined detonation system.

The device recovered has the hallmarks of previous devices used by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP,) including being made of the same explosive material PETN. The bomb was designed to avoid detection at metal detectors. A law enforcement source tells CBS News that indications are that it would not have been picked up under normal x-ray machines, but possibly body scanning machines, which would have warranted a more intrusive search, but it would be dependent on an alert, skilled TSA agent.

Officials are saying that the work is believed to be that of bomb maker Ibrahim al-Asiri, described as a prolific and talented bomb maker. Another prominent AQAP figure, Fahd al-Quso, killed recently in a drone attack, is believed to have played a part in the plot, but officials deny his assassination was linked to an attempt to thwart the plot. /

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