CIA reportedly thwarted new al-Qaida underwear bomb plot (The Ticket)
Tuesday May 8th, 2012
The CIA thwarted a suicide plot by al-Qaida's affiliate in Yemen to bring down a U.S.-bound airliner near last week's one-year anniversary of Osama bin Laden's death with an upgraded "underwear bomb," the Associated Press reported Monday. The White House quickly released a statement insisting "the device did not pose a threat to the public."
"We had no specific, credible information about active terrorist plots timed to coincide with the anniversary and reiterate that this device never represented a threat to the public," a senior Obama aide told Yahoo News Monday on condition of anonymity.
The AP, citing unnamed U.S. officials, said the CIA seized the explosive, an improved version of the weapon used in the failed Christmas 2009 plan to bring down a commercial airplane over Detroit.
The device did not contain metal, making it likely that it could have eluded detection by traditional airport security. But it was unclear whether controversial new full-body scanners would have located it. The FBI is examining the bomb to see whether it would have been detected and whether it was powerful enough to bring down an airplane, the AP reported. The agency said the CIA seized the bomb before the bomber, whose fate was unclear, had chosen a target or bought a plane ticket.