Yemen terror plot

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Al-Qaeda on Verge of Collapse: US Officials

But new dangers emerging in Yemen, elsewhere

(Newser) - The good news: Al-Qaeda is on the verge of total collapse, thanks to the killing of Osama bin Laden and punishing drone attacks that have killed more than 1,200 militants in Pakistan since 2004, reports the Washington Post . "We are within reach of rendering them ... largely incapable of... More »

FBI Links Top al-Qaeda Bombmaker to Two US Plots

Fingerprint, forensics link Ibrahim al-Asiri to underwear bomber, cargo bombs

(Newser) - The FBI has now definitively linked top al-Qaeda bombmaker Ibrahim al-Asiri to a trio of explosives used in two recent attempts to attack the US, via a fingerprint and forensic evidence. Al-Asiri, who works in Yemen with al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, was already suspected of being involved with the... More »

Al-Qaeda's Next Target: Bankers?

Wall Street gets warning from the feds

(Newser) - Wall Street and its bigwigs may be al-Qaeda’s next target. The FBI confirmed that major financial institutions have been briefed on threats gleaned from an al-Qaeda magazine and blogger, and insisted those threats were general in nature. But WNBC has learned officials are concerned that some executives’ names have... More »

Al-Qaeda Vows 'Death By 1,000 Cuts'

Smaller, cheaper attacks are the new norm, group writes

(Newser) - The cost of building and transporting the Yemen mail bombs? A mere $4,200, a figure that points to the start of a new era of small-scale, cheap attacks—a sort of death by a thousand cuts—according to al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Writing in its English online magazine,... More »

US to Pump Up Yemen Military to Fight al-Qaeda

Right now there's a 'window of vulnerability'

(Newser) - The US is moving to bolster its influence in Yemen, and the capabilities of the Yemeni military, to address what one Obama administration official calls “a window of vulnerability” against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. The administration is considering creating forward operating bases for the Yemeni military in the... More »

US Knew of, Didn't Close Air Cargo Security Gaps

Shipping lobby too worried about costs, delays

(Newser) - The US knew for decades that terrorists could easily sneak a bomb into the global cargo system, yet didn't act because of pressure from shipping companies worried that a tighter security net would cost too much and cause too many delays. One shipping lobby has in fact spent some $60... More »

US Drones Hunt al-Qaeda in Yemen

US wary of Afghanistan-esque PR backlash, hasn't fired shots yet

(Newser) - In the wake of the failed Yemen mail bombs, the US is using a familiar weapon to hunt al-Qaeda in Yemen: The controversial Predator drone. Yet no shots have been fired thus far, reports the Washington Post, due to iffy intelligence on insurgents' whereabouts and American fears of re-creating the... More »

Saudis Warned US 3 Weeks Before Mail Bomb Plot

Vague tip warned of plane attack, readied US for threat

(Newser) - Saudi Arabia tipped the United States about a terror plot some three weeks before the Yemen mail bombs exploded into the news, a vague warning that US officials are now crediting with having helped stop a potentially devastating attack. The October intel contained no mention of mail bombs, but warned... More »

Here's What the Terrorists Are Plotting

Recent bomb scares give insight into their plan

(Newser) - The Yemen-based mail bomb plot offers new insight into what, exactly, terrorists are planning next. Aviation expert Clive Irving runs down their apparent plan in the Daily Beast :
  • The goal: Blow up a plane over a major US city.
  • The location: Most likely over “the great urban sprawl along
... More »

Bin Laden & Co. Helping Yemen Terrorists

His tape may have been signal to launch package bomb plot

(Newser) - US officials believe that Osama bin Laden and other al-Qaeda leaders in Pakistan are providing spiritual and strategic guidance to the Yemen-based al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). Some are speculating that the bin Laden audiotape released last week may have been a signal for AQAP to unleash its foiled... More »

Yemen Bomb Was 17 Minutes From Exploding

France's interior minister gives new details

(Newser) - One of two mail bombs sent from Yemen last week was defused just 17 minutes before it was set to explode, the French interior minister said today. Brice Hortefeux provided no other details in an interview on France's state-run France-2 television, and did not say where he got the information... More »

Al-Qaeda Sent Parcels in Sept. 'Dry Run'

US officials studied packages, let them continue

(Newser) - Packages sent from Yemen to the US in September may have been a “dry run” for the explosives intercepted Friday, officials tell the New York Times . American officials investigated the parcels at the time and, finding no explosives, allowed them to continue to “random addresses” in Chicago. But... More »

Former Gitmo Detainee Supplied Mail Bomb Intel

Al-Qaeda in Arabian Peninsula member turned himself in

(Newser) - A former Guantanamo Bay detainee spilled the beans that helped authorities find the bombs hidden on FedEx and UPS flights, NPR reports. Jaber al-Fayfi was a member of al-Qaeda who had been released to the Saudi government's re-education program. He rejoined the terrorist cause, taking up with Yemen's al-Qaeda in... More »

There May Be More Mail Bombs, Feds Warn

Cargo companies stop shipments from Yemen

(Newser) - US counterterrorism officials have warned local law enforcement and emergency personnel to be on the watch for suspicious mail, in the wake of last week’s foiled mail bomb plot . The FBI and Homeland security have warned post offices to flag packages of foreign origin without return addresses, or with... More »

Cargo Bomber 'Aiming for Another Lockerbie'

Officials hunt al-Qaeda suspect who blew up his own brother

(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... More »

Yemen Bomb Suspect Released

Engineering student no longer being held, her father says

(Newser) - Yemeni officials yesterday detained two people thought to be connected to the recent bomb plot , but the sole suspect has reportedly been released. Hanan Al-Samawi, an engineering student , was detained along with her mother, who was not considered a suspect. Paperwork found on one of the manipulated packages contained Al-Samawi’... More »

White House: Must Assume More Bombs Are Out There

GOP, Dems spar about what's going to happen Tuesday

(Newser) - There's no indication more mail bombs are lurking out there, John Brennan tells Meet the Press today, but the White House has no choice but to "presume that there might be." Continued Obama's counterterror chief: "That’s why we’ve taken exceptionally prudent measures as far as... More »

Woman Yemen Arrested Is a Med Student

Lawyer worries she was set up; US eyes Qaeda bombmaker

(Newser) - The woman arrested in connection with the Yemen bomb plot , whom authorities allege mailed the packages, is a 22-year-old med student and daughter of a petroleum engineer, reports the BBC . The woman's lawyer says he's worried his client was set up, and US officials, citing the weapons' level of sophistication,... More »

Yemen Arrests Female Suspect in Bomb Case

Investigators also think language schools are involved again

(Newser) - Developments in the Yemen bomb investigation: Authorities there arrested a woman thought to be involved in the plot to send bombs to the US via cargo planes, the AP reports. Her role isn't clear, but she and others apparently used fake IDs to ship the devices, and a larger manhunt... More »

Yemen Bomb Could Have Taken Down Plane

Terror threat rattles Chicago's Jewish community

(Newser) - Weekend services were proceeding as normal at Chicago synagogues, with members processing the news that overseas terrorists apparently had them in their sights, reports the Chicago Tribune . No addresses were released, but sources helped the paper figure out the two neighborhoods involved and at least one of the presumed targets.... More »

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