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US: CIA Foils al-Qaeda Underwear Bomb Plot

Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri suspected
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted May 7, 2012 3:54 PM CDT
US: CIA Foils al-Qaeda Underwear Bomb Plot
This undated file photo released Oct. 31, 2010, by Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Interior purports to show Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri.   (AP Photo/Saudi Arabia Ministry of Interior, File)

(Newser) – The CIA has stopped al-Qaeda from bombing a US-bound airliner with a new kind of underwear bomb intended to slip past metal detectors, the AP reports. US officials say that agents grabbed the bomb in Yemen from a would-be terrorist who hadn't picked a flight yet, but planned to strike on the one-year anniversary of Osama bin Laden's death. The FBI is now inspecting the bomb to see if it would have worked.

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Officials say the bomb has no metal parts and might have been able to slip past an airport metal detector. Who built the bomb is unclear, but its sophistication recalls the underwear bomb that failed to go off on a jetliner over Detroit on Christmas Day, 2009. That was built by Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri, who also made two al-Qaeda bombs in printer cartridges that nearly exploded on cargo planes in 2010. The AP heard about this story last week, but says it held off while the CIA continued its investigation. (Read more al-Qaeda stories.)

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