Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Al Qaida’s network in Yemen is planning to conduct bombing attacks on American civilian aircraft

Was this the NSA? The details on this and a few others made public would inform the american people as to a decision on these things.
Officials said the intelligence community has traced a plot by Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula to blow up a commercial airliner or cargo plane. They identified the AQAP planner as Ibrahim Hassan Al Asiri, believed to have taken over the Al Qaida network in Saudi Arabia and Yemen in wake of the U.S. assassination of Said Al Shihri, deemed the deputy commander of the insurgency movement.
Ibrahim Hassan Al Asiri.  Saudi Interior Ministry/Landov 
"There is intelligence that he has unfortunately trained others and there’s a lot of effort to identify those folks," U.S. Transportation Security Administration head John Pistole said.
In a July 19 address to the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado, Pistole marked the first senior U.S. official to disclose a specific AQAP plot against American aviation. Over the last year, U.S. intelligence agency chiefs have warned that AQAP sought to renew attacks on U.S. airliners but did not report specific planning.
Al Asiri was identified as the leading bomb-maker of AQAP. A Saudi national and former chemistry major, Al Asiri has been linked to the foiled attacks on U.S. passenger and cargo aircraft in 2009, 2010 and 2012. One of his bombs targeted and injured Saudi counter-insurgency chief Prince Mohammed Bin Nayef, today the kingdom’s interior minister.
Pistole said Al Asiri, believed to be 35, has been learning from previous failures and enhanced bomb methods and technology. He said the 2012 plot, foiled by Saudi intelligence, included a type of explosive not recognized by U.S. intelligence or law enforcement.

The AQAP bomb was said to have been wrapped in caulk to prevent vapor leakage that could be detected by airport systems or trained dogs. Al Asiri, who survived at least one U.S. combat unmanned aerial vehicle attack, was also said to have used a so-called double-initiation system to detonate the bomb.

"He gave [the presumed attacker] instructions to get on the plane and fly to the U.S. and blow himself up over the U.S.," Pistole said. “Fortunately, that terrorist was a double agent."

Pistole did not provide details of Al Asiri’s bomb squad. But he said Al Asiri marked the key to any new bombing campaign by Al Qaida.
"That is our greatest threat," Pistole said. 

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