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Al-Qaida's chief bomb maker believed killed in Yemeni attack

Al-Qaida bomb maker Ibrahim al-Asiri is believed to have been killed in last week's assault in Yemen in which 65 militants died.
By Ed Adamczyk Follow @adamczyk_ed Contact the Author   |   April 23, 2014 at 4:02 PM
| License Photo

SANAA, Yemen, April 23 (UPI) -- The attack by U.S. drones and Yemeni and U.S. counterterrorist forces killed at least 65 suspected terrorists last weekend, among them al-Qaida’s leading bomb manufacturer, a Yemeni official said.

Although Ibrahim al-Asiri was not the target of the assault that officials called “massive and unprecedented,” an unidentified Yemeni senior official said al-Asiri was believed to have been among those killed.

The raid was conducted against Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, regarded as al-Qaida’s most dangerous affiliate, in large part because of al-Asiri’s creations. Those include a device designed to be inserted into the rectum of a suicide bomber and containing 100 grams of the explosive PETN (pentaerythritol tetranitrate), a white powder difficult to detect.

It was the means by which al-Asiri’s brother died while attempting to assassinate Saudi Arabia’s head of counterterrorism in 2009.

A U.S. official said no American troops participated in ground combat in the assault, but U.S. forces flew Yemeni forces to a remote and mountainous location in Yemen. Drones of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency are suspected to have targeted the al-Qaida forces, weapons locations and a training camp.

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