The CIA thwarted an ambitious plot by al-Qaida’s affiliate in Yemen to destroy a U.S.-bound airliner using a bomb with a sophisticated new design around the one-year anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden, The Associated Press has learned.
The plot involved an upgrade of the underwear bomb that failed to detonate aboard a jetliner over Detroit on Christmas 2009. This new bomb was also designed to be used in a passenger’s underwear, but this time al-Qaida developed a more refined detonation system, U.S. officials said.
The FBI is examining the latest bomb to see whether it could have passed through airport security and brought down an airplane, officials said. They said the device did not contain metal, meaning it probably could have passed through an airport metal detector. But it was not clear whether new body scanners used in many airports would have detected it.
Really, all you have to do is ask Bruce:
Here are my predictions:
- There’s a lot more hyperbole to this story than reality.
- The explosive would have either 1) been caught by pre-9/11 security, or 2) not been caught by post-9/11 security.
- Nonetheless, it will be used to justify more invasive airport security.
The would-be bomber in the recently-uncovered plot to blow up a U.S.-bound airliner leaving Yemen was an undercover intelligence agent. The plot was revealed to U.S. intelligence officials based on a tip by Saudi intelligence services, and had been revealed by a Saudi intelligence source who had been inside Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and providing information through the Saudis for some time.
CBS News correspondent John Miller, a former assistant director at the FBI, reports that the double-agent revelation goes right to the heart of an intelligence agency’s nightmare, which is identifying a source that they’ve placed inside an organization.
Strictly speaking, Bruce isn’t wrong. Assumptions about the attack (and possibly our security) were largely hyperbole, a government plant would probably not have the same security issues as a, you know, trrist, and someone’s going to use this to get more money.
Let’s just hope it’s the CIA and not the TSA.
I can see the TSA making the argument that they need more money to deal with the special pressures put on them by double agents…