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  • Officials: Al-Qaida (underwear) bomber was CIA informant

    WASHINGTON (AP) The CIA had al-Qaida fooled from the beginning.

    Last month, U.S. intelligence learned that al-Qaida's Yemen branch hoped to launch a spectacular attack using a new, nearly undetectable **** aboard an airliner bound for America, officials say.

    But the man the terrorists were counting on to carry out the attack was actually working for the CIA and Saudi intelligence, U.S. and Yemeni officials told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

    The dramatic sting operation thwarted the attack before it had a chance to succeed.

    It was the latest misfire for al-Qaida, which has repeatedly come close to detonating a **** aboard an airliner. For the United States, it was a victory that delivered the **** intact to U.S. intelligence.

    The officials spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the operation. The cooperation of the would-be bomber was first reported Tuesday evening by The Los Angeles Times.

    The FBI is still analyzing the explosive, which was intended to be concealed in a passenger's underwear. Officials said it was an upgrade over the **** that failed to detonate on board an airplane over Detroit on Christmas 2009. This new **** contained no metal and used a chemical lead azide that was to be a detonator in a nearly successful 2010 plot to attack cargo planes, officials said.

    Security procedures at U.S. airports remained unchanged Tuesday, a reflection of both the U.S. confidence in its security systems and a recognition that the government can't realistically expect travelers to endure much more. Increased costs and delays to airlines and shipping companies could have a global economic impact, too.

    "I would not expect any real changes for the traveling public," said House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, R-Mich. "There is a concern that overseas security doesn't match ours. That's an ongoing challenge."

    While airline checks in the United States mean passing through an onerous, sometimes embarrassing series of pat-downs and body scans, procedures overseas can be a mixed bag. The U.S. cannot force other countries to permanently adopt the expensive and intrusive measures that have become common in American airports over the past decade.

    The Transportation Security Administration sent advice to some international air carriers and airports about security measures that might stave off an attack from a hidden explosive. It's the same advice the U.S. has issued before, but there was a thought that it might get new attention in light of the foiled plot.

    The U.S. has worked for years to try to improve security for U.S.-bound flights originating at international airports. And many countries agree that security needs to be better. But while plots such as the Christmas attack have spurred changes, some security gaps that have been closed in the U.S. remain open overseas.

    Officials believe that body scanners, for instance, probably would have detected this latest attempt by al-Qaida to bring down a jetliner. Such scanners allow screeners to see objects hidden beneath a passenger's clothes.

    But while scanners are in place in airports nationwide, their use is scattershot overseas. Even in security-conscious Europe, the European Union has not required full-body imaging machines for all airports, though a number of major airports in Paris, London, Frankfurt and elsewhere use them.

    All passengers on U.S.-bound flights are checked against terrorist watch lists and law enforcement databases.

    In some countries, U.S. officials are stationed in airports to offer advice on security matters. In some cases, though, the U.S. is limited to hoping that other countries follow the security advice from the Transportation Security Administration.

    "Even if our technology is good enough to spot it, the technology is still in human hands and we are inherently fallible," said Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., a member of the House Intelligence Committee. "And overseas, we have varying degrees of security depending on where the flight originates."

    Al-Qaida has repeatedly tried to take advantage of those overseas gaps. The Christmas 2009 bombing originated in Amsterdam, where the bomber did not receive a full-body scan. And in 2010, terrorists smuggled bombs onto cargo jets, which receive less scrutiny than passenger planes.

    In both those instances, the bombs were made by al-Qaida's master **** maker in Yemen, Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri. Officials believe this latest **** was the handiwork of al-Asiri or one of his students.

    In the meantime, Americans traveled Tuesday with little apparent concern.

    "We were nervous for a minute," said Nan Gartner, a retiree on her way to Italy from New York's John F. Kennedy Airport. "But then we thought, we aren't going anywhere near Yemen, so we're OK."

    ___

    Associated Press writers Kimberly Dozier, Ted Bridis, Bob Burns, Bradley Klapper and Alan Fram in Washington, Ahmed Al-Haj in Sanaa, Yemen, Verena Dobnik in New York, Paisley Dodds in London, Matthew Lee in New Delhi and Slobodan Lekic in Brussels contributed to this report.

  • #2
    Re: Officials: Al-Qaida (underwear) bomber was CIA informant

    I know this is a very serious article, but the fact that the key noun in the story is a naughty word is cracking me up. All I'm doing is pretending it's a different four-letter word and reading the article in my head, replacing "****" with "****."

    That's all I have. Carry on, Gentlemen.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Officials: Al-Qaida (underwear) bomber was CIA informant

      Originally posted by Lance13D View Post
      I know this is a very serious article, but the fact that the key noun in the story is a naughty word is cracking me up. All I'm doing is pretending it's a different four-letter word and reading the article in my head, replacing "****" with "****."

      That's all I have. Carry on, Gentlemen.
      I see what you did there.. hahahaha.. you need to get out of the FA sir, you belong in the Infantry with immaturity like that, we thrive on it.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Officials: Al-Qaida (underwear) bomber was CIA informant

        @ Chris36 I hereby pass the torch of posting news articles on to you! Good luck and God Speed!

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Officials: Al-Qaida (underwear) bomber was CIA informant

          Originally posted by o13starsnstripes View Post
          @ Chris36 I hereby pass the torch of posting news articles on to you! Good luck and God Speed!
          NO! I'd never take that from you! You've been posting them as long as I've been on.....lol

          I only posted this because, at the time, this made BIG news in Michigan because the flight was bound for Detroit and I know someone who is a TSA agent, so this is all I heard about for over a month....

          Hopefully FE won't chastise again me for not posting a url link with my cut and pasted article......

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