News / Middle East

US Foils al-Qaida Airliner Bomb Plot

THE WHITE HOUSE - The United States has broken up an al-Qaida plot to place a bomb aboard a U.S.-bound airliner.  

A Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) statement said close cooperation with overseas security and intelligence partners enabled the thwarting of the plot, which involved an improvised explosive device (IED).

Media reports quoted U.S. intelligence officials as saying the plot involved a re-design of the so-called underwear device used by a Nigerian man in a failed attempt to blow up a U.S. jetliner in Detroit on Christmas in 2009.

The FBI said the agency is conducting technical and forensics analysis, adding that initial tests indicated it was very similar to IEDs used previously by al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) to target aircraft and in assassinations.  

The statement said the device never presented a threat to public safety and the U.S. is working with international partners to address what it called concerns associated with the device.

A National Security Council statement said President Barack Obama was first informed about the plot in April by his counter-terrorism adviser, John Brennan, and has received regular updates and briefings.

NSC spokesperson Caitlin Hayden said while Mr. Obama was assured the device did not pose a threat to the public, he directed the Department of Homeland Security and law enforcement and intelligence agencies to take whatever steps necessary to guard against this type of attack.

The statement said disruption of "this IED plot underscores the necessity of remaining vigilant against terrorism here and abroad."

At the Pentagon, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta made this brief statement during a news conference with the visiting Chinese defense minister. "What this incident makes clear is that this country has to continue to remain vigilant against those who would seek to attack this country, and we will do everything necessary to keep America safe," he said.

In the days before the first anniversary of the killing of Osama bin-Laden, the White House and government agencies issued a statement saying there was no knowledge of specific al-Qaida plots against the United States.

In a speech last month in Washington, counter-terrorism adviser Brennan said al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula continues to be the most active al-Qaida affiliate and continues to seek the opportunity to strike the United States.

The U.S. has stepped up drone operations in Yemen.  A missile strike there on Saturday killed a senior al-Qaida leader, Fahd al-Quso, who was wanted for the bombing of a U.S. warship in Aden nearly 12 years ago.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More