FBI says improved underwear bomb has mark of Al Qaeda’s Arabian affiliate

Washington, May 8: Bomb technicians in the explosive section of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have said that the underwear bomb that could have blown up a US-bound aircraft had the hallmarks and signature of previous devices made by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

Sources have told CBS News that the bomb was designed to avoid detection at metal detectors in the airport.

“The device and the plot are consistent with what we know about AQAP’s plans, intentions, and capabilities. They remain committed to striking targets in Yemen, Saudi Arabia, the homeland, and Europe,” the official said.

“And AQAP is probably feeling pressure to conduct a successful attack to, from their perspective, avenge the deaths of bin Laden and Awlaki,” the source added.

Intelligence officials have said that the AQAP was given the assignment by Al Qaeda’s front office in Pakistan to take over the lead in executing a plot against the United States and Great Britain.

The task was assigned to the Yemen-based Al Qaeda affiliate after Al Qaeda in Pakistan came under siege from drone strikes that killed key leaders and operators.

“AQAP is the responsible group here. We believe AQAP produced the device, and we believe it was intended to be used by a suicide bomber on an aircraft,” a U.S. official said.

The FBI’s Terrorist Explosive Device Exploitation Center will examine the new device and try to develop information that can be shared with airport screeners around the world.

“We are confident that the study of the device will yield valuable insights that will aid us in adapting security practices and counter terrorism operations here and abroad,” a senior U.S. official said. (ANI)