British Intelligence Played Key Role in Foiled Underwear Bomb Plot

World | May 11, 2012, Friday // 08:44|  views

US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta commented in a press conference on the plot by al-Qaida`s affiliate in Yemen to destroy a US bound airliner using a bomb with a sophisticated new design. Photo by BGNES

British intelligence played a key role in preventing an attempt to blow up a U.S.-bound airliner using a new type of explosive hidden in the underwear of a suicide bomber.

The bomb plot was uncovered after a double agent was recruited to execute it, according to reports of CNN.

The explosive device was eventually handed over to the FBI, which is examining its content at its lab in Virginia.

The foiled bomb plot was revealed publicly on Monday by U.S. officials.

The organizer of the airliner bomb plot was the al-Qaida branch in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which operates in Yemen and Saudi Arabia.

The agent involved was a British citizen of Saudi origin who had been recruited about a year ago by Saudi intelligence.

The AQAP armed the would-be suicide bomber with a sophisticated new, nonmetallic underwear bomb.

Instead of carrying the bomb onto the plane, the agent delivered it to the U.S. authorities.

The British government has reportedly asked the Obama administration not to disclose the role of the British intelligence in the operation due to the sensitivity of the issue.

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Tags: suicide bomber, al-Qaeda, bomb plot, FBI, underwear, double agent


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