British agent foiled Qaeda’s underpants bomb plot?

The secret agent who infiltrated the al Qaeda to smuggle the latest version of the underpants bomb device was actually of British origin.

Last Updated: May 11, 2012, 22:28 PM IST

London: The secret agent who infiltrated the al Qaeda to smuggle the latest version of the underpants bomb device from leading bomb maker Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri, was actually of British origin.

The man risked his life as he volunteered to be a suicide bomber, and acted as an al Qaeda mole to divulge the secrets of al-Asiri, the Saudi Arabian bomb maker of the Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

According to The Telegraph, the agent was recruited for an operation in which the CIA planned to target the bomb-maker with a missile from an unmanned drone.

The agent managed to lay his hand on the new peculiar type of bomb from al Qaeda with which he was actually supposed to use in an attack on US-bound aircraft and travelled to the United Arab Emirates and then to Saudi Arabia, before handing over the device to his British handlers.

He was also able to give information, which led to a CIA drone strike on Sunday killing Fahd al-Quso, AQAP’s director of external operations.

However al Asiri still remained at large, with US officials frustrated over repeated efforts to kill him. The mission is particularly sensitive because British agents are not supposed to give “targeting information” for lethal operations.

The underpants device was further handed to the FBI laboratories in Quantico, Virginia, which discovered that a similar device was used by Umar Farouq Abdulmutallab on a trans-Atlantic airliner to Detroit on Christmas Day 2009.

ANI