Washington: Terrorist group al Qaeda could be plotting to carry out several other attacks on airliners with similar non-metallic device that was used during the foiled US-airliner plot, according to US and European officials.
The officials said this after the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) foiled an al Qaeda terror plot in the Arabian Peninsula to blast a US-bound aircraft using an underwear bomb just around the first death anniversary of Osama bin Laden.
The officials said that fear of an attack loomed on aircrafts as a would-be bomber could get through airport security screening with similar non-metallic device, even though one al Qaeda bomber was stopped before he could board a plane for the US.
Federal officials confirmed that the United States, working with other intelligence agencies, had recovered an explosive device that resembled other bombs made by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
According to ABC News, the officials said that the al Qaeda plot involved an upgraded version of the underwear bomb that had failed to blast aboard a jetliner over Detroit on Christmas 2009.
The would-be bomber of the al Qaeda affiliate in Yemen was under surveillance for some time before his bomb was seized by intelligence agents.
The new bomb that was intercepted was "a highly refined detonation system" and is now being examined by FBI bomb technicians.
Dick Clarke, an ABC News consultant and former White House counter-terror advisor, said: "What we know is that the bomb contained no metal parts and therefore would not normally have been detected by some of our security detectors, and it was apparently something that was going to be carried onto the plane on the body, not in the body, of the suicide bomber."
"The FBI currently has possession of the IED and is conducting technical and forensics analysis on it," the FBI said.
"Initial exploitation indicates that the device is very similar to [bombs] that have been used previously by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in attempted terrorist attacks," FBI added.
First Published: Tuesday, May 08, 2012, 14:23