WASHINGTON — The United States has foiled a plot by Al-Qaeda’s branch in Yemen to blow up an airliner and has recovered the explosive device, a US counterterrorism official said Monday.
“The device was for use by a suicide bomber on an airliner,” the official told Agence France-Presse on condition of anonymity.
The plot by Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) was uncovered at an early stage and represented a “success story” for US authorities working closely with allies, the official said.
“At no point were any airlines at risk,” the official added.
The bomb was similar in scale to one employed in a failed attempt to blow up a US-bound airliner on Christmas Day in 2009 but there were “notable differences,” the official said.
“This suggests AQAP is adapting its methodology, its tactics et cetera.”