A plot by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula to attack a US-bound plane using an updated “underwear bomb” was foiled by an insider infiltrating a terror cell, US officials say. – BBC
“Initial exploitation indicates that the device is very similar to IEDs that have been used previously by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in attempted terrorist attacks, including against aircraft and for targeted assassinations,” the FBI said in a written statement. “The FBI currently has possession of the IED and is conducting technical and forensics analysis on it.” – CIA thwarts Al Qaeda underwear bomb plot near anniversary of bin Laden’s death
ONE OF THE TOP THREE most dangerous leaders inside al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri, attempted to strike the United States, but the bomb plot was foiled by the CIA, which was reported on Monday.
“The device and the plot are consistent with what we know about AQAP’s plans, intentions, and capabilities. They remain committed to striking targets in Yemen, Saudi Arabia, the homeland, and Europe. And AQAP is probably feeling pressure to conduct a successful attack to, from their perspective, avenge the deaths of Bin Laden and Aulaqi,” a senior U.S. official said. – CBS News
The new bomb, a sophisticated version of a former “underwear bomb,” was allegedly x-ray proof, so anyone wearing it could have easily gone through airline security without raising any suspicion.
It once again points to the obvious need for the U.S. to consider sophisticated behavioral profiling, like what the Israeli’s utilize, that goes well beyond race or religious affiliation.
In a conservation this morning with NBC’s Chuck Todd, Roger Cressey added more, including the fact that the U.S. had likely penetrated AQAP, which is what led to the bomber being discovered.
The AP found out about the bomb plot last week, but was asked by the White House to hold on the information. They granted the request, but broke the story Monday, a day before the Administration was going to officially announce it.
In a separate event, Fahd al-Quso, a senior Al Qaeda leader, was killed on Sunday by a drone strike.
UPDATE: The L.A. Times has more on this story. The report further confirms Saudi Arabia worked with the CIA to place an informant inside AQAP to pose as a suicide bomber.