Mole who helped CIA foil al-Qa'ida underwear bomb 'was
Thursday 10 May 2012
An undercover agent who foiled an al-Qa'ida plot to blow up a airliner with an underwear bomb is a British national, it was reported tonight.
UK intelligence were said to have been "heavily involved" in recruiting the spy who infiltrated a terror group in Yemen in a rare coup for Western agencies.
Quoting sources briefed by Saudi counter-terrorism officials, US television networks said the individual grew up in Europe where he was apparently radicalised.
He was subsequently "turned" and recruited by Saudi agents last year, they said.
The reports were neither being confirmed nor denied in the UK.
Al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula is believed to have been planning the spectacular attack with a nearly-undetectable device around the anniversary of the death of Osama bin Laden.
But the individual chosen to carry out the attack was an informant who handed over the bomb.
US officials said the would-be bomber was supposed to board a plane to the US and detonate the device inside the country. The CIA became aware of the plot last month.
FBI experts are examining the bomb to see if it could have passed through security and been taken on to a plane.
Officials said it was an upgrade on one which failed to detonate on a flight over Detroit on Christmas Day 2009.
Both were designed to be carried in a passenger's underwear, but the latest version contained a more advanced detonation system.
The 2009 bomb, and an incident the following year when terrorists smuggled bombs on to cargo jets, were believed to have been the work of al-Qa'ida bomb-maker Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri in Yemen.
Officials believe the latest bomb - details of which became public on Monday night - could have been produced by al-Asiri or one of his proteges.
- 1 I was a Woman Against Feminism too
- 2 Fifty Shades of Grey movie trailer released: First look at Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey
- 3 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 4 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 5 Israel has discovered that it's no longer so easy to get away with murder in the age of social media
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned
Peaches Geldof: Her final day – and her fatal decision
Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
Israel-Gaza conflict: Israel may have committed war crimes, says UN human rights chief
John Barrowman praised for Commonwealth Games opening ceremony gay kiss
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
£30000 - £38500 Per Annum + 25 days holiday, pension, subsidised restaurant: C...
£34000 - £37000 Per Annum + excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Lt...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + Pension, Holiday, Flexi-time: Progressive Recruitm...
£280 - £320 per day: Progressive Recruitment: C#, WinForms, Desktop Developmen...