A Saudi intelligence asset working in Yemen managed to convince al-Qaida operatives there to hand over a bomb designed to pass through airport security checks. The asset then worked with U.S. intelligence agencies on suspected al-Qaida targets working in Yemen.
U.S. Rep. Candice Miller, R-Mich., chairwoman of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security, said the plot suggests the global war on terror isn't over.
"We must also understand that our enemies are resilient and need only get it right once while those detailed to stop them must get it right every time and we must continue to be eternally vigilant," she said in a statement.
Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, the Yemeni branch of al-Qaida, was linked to a failed plot to down a U.S. passenger plane over Detroit on Christmas Day 2009 and several bombing attempts targeting international freight carriers in 2010. The bomb uncovered in the latest operation was similar to the so-called underwear bomb used in the Detroit plot.
The U.S. State Department last year sanctioned Ibrahim Hassan Tali al-Asiri, a bomb maker for AQAP.
The AQAP bomb maker is wanted by the Saudi government and Interpol.