News / USA

CIA Prevents Al-Qaida Suicide Plane Attack

Experts say bomb was a redesign of an explosive underwear device intended to blow up a jet flying to US on Christmas 2009

Meredith Buel
CIA Prevents Al-Qaida Suicide Plane Attacki
|| 0:00:00
X
May 09, 2012 1:30 AM
U.S. officials say a double agent infiltrated al-Qaida in Yemen to carry out an airline suicide mission, but turned his explosives over to American and Saudi intelligence, along with information that resulted in a successful airstrike against an al-Qaida leader in Yemen. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports from Washington, where government officials say the bomb plot is no longer a serious threat.
U.S. officials say a double agent infiltrated al-Qaida in Yemen to carry out an airline suicide mission, but turned his explosives over to American and Saudi intelligence, along with information that resulted in a successful airstrike against an al-Qaida leader in Yemen. U.S. government officials say the bomb plot is no longer a serious threat.


Working closely with foreign partners, the CIA prevented a plot to put a suicide bomber on a U.S.-bound jet with the explosives concealed in the bomber’s underwear.

White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan:

“We’re confident that neither the device nor the intended user of this device posed a threat," he said.

U.S. experts say the bomb was a redesign of an explosive underwear device intended to blow up a jet flying to the U.S. on Christmas 2009.

The bomb was made to evade airport security according to Katherine Zimmerman of the American Enterprise Institute.

“The bomb itself contained no metal so most of the airport security devices would not have picked it up," she said. "This is concerning because it means the bomb could have slipped through security measures on to an airplane.”

Authorities suspect the latest bomb is the work of Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri, who has been linked to several bombing attempts and has ties to al-Qaida in Yemen.

The FBI has demonstrated what would happen if similar bombs detonated successfully.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton:

“The plot itself indicates that these terrorists keep trying, they keep trying to devise more and more perverse and terrible ways to kill innocent people," said Clinton.

Reportedly, the U.S. has increased the number of federal air marshals on flights bound to the U.S.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta:
 
“What this incident makes clear is that this country has to continue to remain vigilant against those that would seek to attack this country, and we will do everything necessary to keep America safe," he said.

Since Arab uprisings across the Middle East began last year, insurgents connected to Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula have been seizing territory in southern Yemen.

Analysts say this increases the operating space for the terrorists and makes attacks on Western targets more likely.

Recent drone strikes have killed some of the group’s leaders, but that has not stopped the organization’s ability to plot against the U.S.
Again, Katherine Zimmerman:

“Though we have been successful in taking out top AQAP leadership, the group has been able to regenerate and still poses a significant threat to the United States," she said.

Analysts believe AQAP is setting up new training camps in Yemen, and remains the most active and dangerous threat to the United States.   
 

Join the conversation on our social journalism site -
Middle East Voices. Follow our Middle East reports on
Twitter and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid