Underwear-bomber-Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab LIFE SENTENCE

The US has foiled a plot by al-Qaeda in Yemen to detonate an upgraded version of the failed 2009 “underwear bomb“, US officials say. The device was seized abroad by intelligence operatives and is now being studied by the FBI in the US. Reports say no target had been chosen and no plane tickets purchased by the time the alleged plot was foiled.

Officials say there was never any risk to the public. It is not clear what has happened to the would-be bomber. The device is similar to a bomb sewn into the underwear of a Nigerian man who tried and failed to set it off over Detroit on Christmas Day 2009. US officials told Reuters news agency the device had been seized within the last 10 days.

“As a result of close co-operation with our security and intelligence partners overseas, an improvised explosive device (IED) designed to carry out a terrorist attack has been seized abroad,” the FBI said in a statement.

“Initial exploitation indicates that the device is very similar to IEDs that have been used previously by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in attempted terrorist attacks, including against aircraft and for targeted assassinations,” it added.

President Barack Obama was first informed of the plot in April, White House spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said, adding the device did not pose a threat to the public. The BBC’s Mark Mardell says the plot, disrupted as a result of US co-operation with other unnamed intelligence agencies, appears to have been caught at a relatively early stage – after the making of the bomb, but before the public was put at risk.

“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,” Defence Secretary Leon Panetta told reporters on Monday.

Source : BBC


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