Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri, a Saudi national accused of being the top bombmaker for Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), is now likely to be a focus of counterterrorism efforts.
The Yemen bomb plot has brought fresh scrutiny to Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, of which Islamic cleric Anwar al-Awlaki is thought to be a key leader. Mr. Awlaki has not been officially linked to this latest attack, although Yemen – under international pressure to rein in AQAP – put him on trial in absentia today for plotting to kill foreigners. Mr. Awlaki, a Yemeni-American fluent in English who has been on the radar of US intelligence and military for several years, has a track record of promoting attacks against US targets. Here are some of the incidents to which he has been linked:
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.
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:
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.
Hanan Al Samawi's lawyer and fellow students say she has no links to Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which is being blamed for Friday's thwarted attempt to mail bombs to Chicago synagogues.
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.