New Underwear Plane Bomb Plot Foiled By US
An al Qaeda plot to blow up a US-bound aircraft using an underwear bomb has been foiled, American officials have said.
The plot, close to the first anniversary of Osama bin Laden’s killing, involved a sophisticated version of the device that failed to detonate aboard a plane over Detroit on 25 December, 2009, they added.
The CIA thwarted the latest plan by al Qaeda’s branch in Yemen and the new device has been recovered.
The FBI is examining the bomb to see whether it could have passed through airport security and brought down an airplane, officials said.
They said the device did not contain metal, meaning it probably could have passed through an airport metal detector.
But it was not clear whether new body scanners used in many airports would have detected it.
The would-be suicide bomber was told to buy a ticket on the airliner of his choosing and decide the timing of the attack.
But he had not yet picked a target or bought his ticket when the CIA stepped in and seized the bomb, officials added.
It was not immediately clear what happened to him.
The officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said no airline was ever at risk.
The White House said the plot never posed any risk to the public.
One official said: “This device has the hallmarks of previous AQAP bombing attempts.
“The plot was disrupted well before it threatened American or US allies and no airlines were ever at risk from this device.”