International officials in several countries doubt the veracity of a French claim that one of the bombs involved in the Yemen bomb plot was defused only 17 minutes before it was set to explode.
Less than two years ago, Yemeni and Saudi militants formed a new franchise called Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). The January 2009 merger of existing operations in Saudi Arabia and Yemen was acknowledged by Osama bin Laden's deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri. Since then, AQAP has hatched a series of attacks against the West and is suspected of being behind the recent UPS and FedEx cargo bombing attempts. Though foiled, the incidents underscore the Al Qaeda offshoot's potential threat beyond the Arabian Peninsula. Here are five of its leaders and key members.
A key tip-off in the Yemen bomb plot reportedly came from Saudi national Jabr al-Faifi, an ex-Guantánamo detainee with links to Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
The Swiss Embassy attack came after authorities discovered six Greece 'parcel bombs' addressed to French President Sarkozy and foreign embassies across Athens.
American X-ray machines should spot PETN, the explosive used in the suspicious packages from Yemen, in any luggage. But cargo flights from abroad could be vulnerable.
White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan says authorities "have to presume" there might be more mail bombs like the ones pulled from planes in England and the United Arab Emirates.
Yemen officials arrested a suspect Saturday in the alleged plot to mail bombs to two synagogues in Chicago, but clues also lead to a bombmaker for Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), reports say.
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula was behind the failed Christmas Day bomb attempt last year. US authorities believe the terrorist group is focusing on small-scale attacks against the West.
The Yemen packages found on UPS and FedEx flights yesterday came shortly after Al Qaeda in Yemen published a jihadist magazine emphasizing the importance of targeting Americans.
Reports suggest that suspicious packages from Yemen on two US-bound planes were intended for two unnamed synagogues in Chicago. There are no plans yet to call off any Sabbath services.