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Al Qaeda underwear bomb plot thwarted

US intelligence services foiled a plot hatched by al Qaeda's Yemeni affiliate to blow up a plane bound for America using a more sophisticated version of the underwear bomb deployed unsuccessfully in 2009, according to the White House and the FBI.

world Updated: May 09, 2012 01:37 IST

US intelligence services foiled a plot hatched by al Qaeda's Yemeni affiliate to blow up a plane bound for America using a more sophisticated version of the underwear bomb deployed unsuccessfully in 2009, according to the White House and the FBI.

The FBI said in a statement it is in possession of a device that is similar to others previously used by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

The Associated Press quoted unnamed US officials as saying that the would-be bomber, based in Yemen, had been given the bomb by al Qaeda, which had left the choice of plane and the timing to him. The CIA intervened to seize the bomb, AP reported. The fate of the alleged bomber is still unknown.

The White House, the FBI and other sources confirmed most of AP's version of events, except its claim that the plot had been conceived to coincide roughly with last week's anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden.http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/Popup/2012/5/09_05_12-metro15.jpg

Caitlin Hayden, deputy national security council spokeswoman at the White House, said the President had been informed about the plot last month. "The disruption of this IED plot underscores the necessity of remaining vigilant," she said.

In spite of the alleged Yemeni bomb plot going on in the background, the US department of homeland security last week issued a statement saying that although threats from al Qaeda and its affiliates continued to evolve, officials had "no indication of any specific, credible threats or plots against the US tied to the one-year anniversary of Bin Laden's death".

In 2009, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a Nigerian, attempted to detonate plastic explosives hidden in his underwear on a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit. He confessed and was sentenced in February this year to life in prison. Al Qaeda claimed in 2009 to have been behind the plot.

The FBI, in a statement about the latest incident, said: "The FBI currently has possession of the IED and is conducting technical and forensics analysis on it."