Terror plot to bomb US-bound plane foiled (Lead)May 8th, 2012 - 7:59 am ICT by IANS
Washington, May 8 (IANS) The US and other intelligence agencies broke up a terrorist plot to bomb a US-bound airliner and seized an explosive device, similar to the ones earlier used by Al-Qaeda, officials said here Monday.
Some US officials suggested it could be linked to Yemen-based Al Qaeda in Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), CNN reported.
According to a US counter terrorism official, the plot was discovered before it threatened any Americans, and no airliners were at risk.
A non-metallic explosive device like the one used in the failed attempt to bomb a Detroit-bound jet in 2009 was recovered, the official said, adding that it was meant for use by a suicide bomber.
A plot by al-Qaeda in Yemen to detonate an upgraded version of the failed 2009 “underwear bomb” has been disrupted, reported BBC citing US officials.
The device was seized by intelligence operatives and is in US custody undergoing technical and forensic analysis, the FBI said.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, after the news of the foiled plot broke, said: “What this incident makes clear is that this country has to continue to remain vigilant against those that would seek to attack this country. And we will do everything necessary to keep America safe.”
The White House said Monday that President Barack Obama learnt in April of an Al-Qaeda affiliate’s foiled plot to blow up a US-bound airliner, Xinhua reported.
The White House National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said Obama had also been assured that the device did not pose a threat to the public.
“The president thanks all intelligence and counterterrorism professionals involved for their outstanding work and for serving with the extraordinary skill and commitment that their enormous responsibilities demand,” said Hayden.
A spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security, however, said authorities have “no specific, credible information regarding an active terrorist plot against the US at this time”.
The device is similar to others previously used by AQAP, which western officials describe as al Qaeda’s most dangerous affiliate, the FBI said.
The intended user of the bomb “is not a threat anymore,” said a senior administration official, declining to provide further details on the individual.
The recovered device, which never made it near an airport or airplane, was not built to be a so-called body bomb, the official said.
“AQAP is the responsible group here,” reported CNN quoting an other senior US official.
- Plot to blow up US-bound jet foiled - May 08, 2012
- Intending underpant bomber was British double agent - May 11, 2012
- Canada lists Yemen-based al-Qaeda group as terrorist organization - Dec 24, 2010
- Senior Al Qaeda commander killed in Yemen - Sep 11, 2012
- Yemeni warplanes bomb Al-Qaeda bases, 18 killed - Mar 19, 2012
- Cargo plot has 'hallmarks of Al Qaeda': US official - Oct 31, 2010
- Al-Qaeda leader Al-Awlaki killed: Yemen - Sep 30, 2011
- Al Qaeda targets Christmas, plans to make toy bomb - Nov 07, 2010
- CIA warns al-Qaeda's affiliate in Yemen "urgent threat to U.S. security" - Aug 25, 2010
- Cheap Casios are jihadi bombers' watch of choice: Report - May 01, 2010
- U.S. State Department designates al-Qaeda operative Othman Al-Ghamdi - Jun 17, 2011
- Al-Qaeda in Arabian Peninsula claims 'cargo bombs' responsibility - Nov 06, 2010
- Osama, Al Qaeda guide Yemen plots from Pakistan - Nov 05, 2010
- Yemen bomb went on two passenger jets: Qatar Airways (Lead) - Oct 31, 2010
- TSA Administrator visits Yemen, meets with security officials in Germany - Nov 04, 2010
Tags: airliners, al qaeda in arabian peninsula, aqap, barack obama, caitlin, cnn, counter terrorism, counterterrorism, department of homeland, department of homeland security, explosive device, forensic analysis, intelligence agencies, intelligence operatives, leon panetta, national security council, suicide bomber, terror plot, terrorist plot, xinhua