American intelligence foiled an Al-Qaeda bomb plot against a US-bound plane last month. The plan was to use a more sophisticated version of the ‘underwear bomb’ used in a failed attempt to blow up a plane over Detroit in 2009.
According to U.S. officials quoted by the Associated Press, the FBI is analyzing the device apprehended in Yemen at its Quantico, Va., laboratories. Also according to the report, the CIA had an insider infiltrating a terror cell in Yemen, planning an attack around the anniversary of the killing of Osama Bin Laden.
The BBC quoted US Republican Congressman Peter King linking the CIA mission to foil the bomb plot to the death of Fahd al-Quso, a leader of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), who was killed by a drone strike on Sunday. Hours later, on Monday, an army base in Yemen was attacked by Al-Qaeda, killing 22 soldiers.
From the Associated Press (via CBC):
The FBI is examining the latest 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.
Senator Dianne Feinstein, who heads the Senate Intelligence Committee, told reporters Monday that she had been briefed about an “undetectable” device that was “going to be on a U.S.-bound airliner.”
The would-be suicide bomber, based in Yemen, had not yet picked a target or bought his plane tickets when the CIA stepped in and seized the bomb, officials said. It’s not immediately clear what happened to the alleged bomber.