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.
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.
Friday’s discovery of US-bound suspicious packages that originated in Yemen highlights the threat of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), a 2009 merger of Yemeni and Saudi militants. On Oct. 29, President Obama vowed to strengthen cooperation with Yemen to ‘destroy’ AQAP, but the country faces numerous challenges in achieving that goal. Here are five worth noting:
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.
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.
The discovery of suspicious packages originating in Yemen is yet another incident that increases concern about Yemen becoming a launching pad for Al Qaeda.
The Saudis have gleaned significant intelligence over 10 years of pursuing Al Qaeda affiliates in the Arabian Peninsula. But AQAP hasn't yet shown it can attack the West.
The Obama administration has invoked the state secrets privilege to block a lawsuit on behalf of US-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, an alleged terrorist said to be targeted for assassination.
The US government has linked Anwar al-Awlaki, a US citizen in Yemen, to the Fort Hood shootings and the Christmas Day bombing. But the ACLU filed a lawsuit Monday to stop an alleged plan to assassinate him.
A June 7 report from Amnesty International offers photographs of US-made cluster bombs that it says were used in a December attack against suspected Al Qaeda members.