Yemen underwear bomber was 'Saudi double agent'
Wednesday 09 May 2012
A bomber from the al-Qa'ida affiliate in Yemen sent to blow up a US-bound airliner last month was actually a double agent who infiltrated the group and volunteered for the suicide mission, US media reported yesterday.
Working closely with the CIA, Saudi Arabia's intelligence agency placed the operative inside al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, with the goal of convincing his handlers to give him a new type of non-metallic bomb for the mission, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Western intelligence agencies have identified AQAP as among the most dangerous and determined al-Qa'ida affiliates in the world, dedicated in part to attacks on the West.
The explosive device was intended to be smuggled aboard an aircraft undetected and then detonated.
The double agent arranged instead to deliver the device to US and other intelligence authorities waiting outside Yemen, the LA Times reported. The agent arrived safely in an unidentified country and is being debriefed.
Experts at the FBI's bomb laboratory in Quantico, Virginia, are now analyzing the device to determine if it really could have evaded airport security, the newspaper said.
If such a device could be brought on board an aircraft, it could in theory be detonated without the knowledge of aircraft passengers and crew.
The main charge was a high-grade military explosive that "undoubtedly would have brought down an aircraft," the New York Times reported, citing a senior American official.
It appeared to be an upgraded version of the so-called "underwear bomb" that failed to down a passenger jet over Detroit on Christmas Day 2009, the LA Times said.
"Like that bomb, this device bears the forensic signature of feared al-Qa'ida bomb maker Ibrahim Hassan Asiri," who is believed to be hiding in Yemen, the LA Times website reported.
The operation relied not on the high-tech and satellite surveillance for which the CIA has been known in recent years, but old-fashioned human intelligence work.
It did, however, produce intelligence that helped the CIA locate top al-Qa'ida operative Fahd al-Qasaa, who was killed on Sunday when a CIA drone targeted him with a missile as he stepped out of his car in Yemen, the newspapers reported.
Qasaa was thought by intelligence analysts to have played a role in the bombing of guided missile destroyer USS Cole in a Yemeni port in 2000.
- 1 Keira Knightley topless: Conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
- 2 Argentina may change its capital city from Buenos Aires, says president
- 3 Joan Rivers: 'Palestinians deserve to be dead'
- 4 The 3D-printed key that can unlock anything
- 5 Lady al-Qa’ida: On the trail of Dr Aafia Siddiqui, the world’s most wanted prisoner
Keira Knightley topless: Conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
YouTube video posted by Isis militants shows 'execution of 250 Syrian soldiers'
Oil tanker with $100 million cargo goes missing off Texas coast
Joan Rivers: 'Palestinians deserve to be dead'
Sir Paul McCartney makes his stance on Scottish independence known
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
- < Previous
- Next >
Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Graduate C#.NET Developer (TDD, ASP.NET, SQL) Su...
£30000 - £33000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Junior SQL DBA...
£35000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Web Develop...
£60000 - £70000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Senior Data Sc...