Cargo Bomber 'Aiming for Another Lockerbie'

Officials hunt al-Qaeda suspect who blew up his own brother
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Nov 1, 2010 3:45 AM CDT
Updated Nov 1, 2010 7:53 AM CDT
Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri.   (AP Photo/Saudi Arabia Ministry of Interior)
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(Newser) – Security forces around the world believe Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri—an al-Qaeda fighter who once blew up his own brother—is the mastermind behind the bombs, and was plotting a "new Lockerbie" with his cargo plane explosives, reports the Telegraph. Both devices found on cargo craft traveled for a time in the holds of passenger jets, and were likely part of a plot to bring down a major airliner like the Lockerbie bombing that killed 270 people in 1988. The devices exposed a troubling blind spot in international aviation security. One of the devices inside a computer printer discovered in Britain en route from Yemen to Chicago, was "one of the most sophisticated we've seen," a source told the Guardian.

"The naked eye won't pick it up, experienced bomb officers did not see it, x-ray screening is highly unlikely to catch it," he added. An informant tipped off Saudi Arabian intelligence about the device. Asiri once booby-trapped his own brother in a failed assassination attempt on a Saudi prince, reports the New York Daily News. He's also believed to be man who created the explosive worn by wanna-be "underwear bomber" Uman Farouk Abdulmautalla, who was nabbed on a Detroit-bound Northwest Airlines flight last Christmas.

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