Al Qaeda Bomb Plot: Would-Be Underwear Bomber Worked for CIA

By Adam Goldman, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The CIA had al-Qaida fooled from the beginning.

Last month, U.S. intelligence learned that al-Qaida's Yemen branch hoped to launch a spectacular attack using a new, nearly undetectable bomb aboard an airliner bound for America, officials say.

But the man the terrorists were counting on to carry out the attack was actually working for the CIA and Saudi intelligence, U.S. and Yemeni officials told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

The dramatic sting operation thwarted the attack before it had a chance to succeed.

It was the latest misfire for al-Qaida, which has repeatedly come close to detonating a bomb aboard an airliner. For the United States it was a victory that delivered the bomb intact to U.S. intelligence.

The officials spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the operation. The cooperation of the would-be bomber was first reported Tuesday evening by the Los Angeles Times.

The FBI is still analyzing the explosive, which was intended to be concealed in a passenger's underwear. Officials said it was an upgrade over the bomb that failed to detonate on board an airplane over Detroit on Christmas 2009. This new bomb contained no metal and used a chemical — lead azide — that was to be a detonator in a nearly successful 2010 plot to attack cargo planes, officials said.

Security procedures at U.S. airports remained unchanged Tuesday, a reflection of both the U.S. confidence in its security systems and a recognition that the government can't realistically expect travelers to endure much more. Increased costs and delays to airlines and shipping companies could have a global economic impact, too.

"I would not expect any real changes for the traveling public," said House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, R-Mich. "There is a concern that overseas security doesn't match ours. That's an ongoing challenge."

While airline checks in the United States mean passing through an onerous, sometimes embarrassing series of pat-downs and body scans, procedures overseas can be a mixed bag. The U.S. cannot force other countries to permanently adopt the expensive and intrusive measures that have become common in American airports over the past decade.

The Transportation Security Administration sent advice to some international air carriers and airports about security measures that might stave off an attack from a hidden explosive. It's the same advice the U.S. has issued before, but there was a thought that it might get new attention in light of the foiled plot.

The U.S. has worked for years to try to improve security for U.S.-bound flights originating at international airports. And many countries agree that security needs to be better. But while plots such as the Christmas attack have spurred changes, some security gaps that have been closed in the U.S. remain open overseas.

Officials believe that body scanners, for instance, probably would have detected this latest attempt by al-Qaida to bring down a jetliner. Such scanners allow screeners to see objects hidden beneath a passenger's clothes.

But while scanners are in place in airports nationwide, their use is scattershot overseas. Even in security-conscious Europe, the European Union has not required full-body imaging machines for all airports, though a number of major airports in Paris, London, Frankfurt and elsewhere use them.

All passengers on U.S.-bound flights are checked against terrorist watch lists and law enforcement databases.

In some countries, U.S. officials are stationed in airports to offer advice on security matters. In some cases, though, the U.S. is limited to hoping that other countries follow the security advice from the Transportation Security Administration.

"Even if our technology is good enough to spot it, the technology is still in human hands and we are inherently fallible," said Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., a member of the House Intelligence Committee. "And overseas, we have varying degrees of security depending on where the flight originates."

Al-Qaida has repeatedly tried to take advantage of those overseas gaps. The Christmas 2009 bombing originated in Amsterdam, where the bomber did not receive a full-body scan. And in 2010, terrorists smuggled bombs onto cargo jets, which receive less scrutiny than passenger planes.

In both those instances, the bombs were made by al-Qaida's master bomb maker in Yemen, Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri. Officials believe this latest bomb was the handiwork of al-Asiri or one of his students.

In the meantime, Americans traveled Tuesday with little apparent concern.

"We were nervous — for a minute," said Nan Gartner, a retiree on her way to Italy from New York's John F. Kennedy Airport. "But then we thought, we aren't going anywhere near Yemen, so we're OK."


Associated Press writers Kimberly Dozier, Ted Bridis, Bob Burns, Bradley Klapper and Alan Fram in Washington, Ahmed Al-Haj in Sanaa, Yemen, Verena Dobnik in New York, Paisley Dodds in London, Matthew Lee in New Delhi and Slobodan Lekic in Brussels contributed to this report.

Contact the Washington investigative team at DCinvestigations(at)

More Coverage:

Another Foiled False Flag By Stephen Lendman

Another Foiled False Flag

By Stephen Lendman

May 09, 2012 "Information Clearing House" - Wikipedia defines false or black flags as "covert operations designed to deceive the public in such a way that the operations appear as though they are being carried out by other entities."

"The name is derived from the military concept of flying false colors; that is: flying the flag of a country other than one’s own. False flag operations are not limited to war and counter-insurgency operations and can be used during peace-time."

Big lies substitute for truth. Stories are fabricated. Media scoundrels promote them. At issue is heightening fear for planned policies. Pretexts are needed for militarism, imperial wars, and homeland repression. If and when people learn they were duped, it's too late to matter.

It's an American tradition. Incidents are strategically timed. Innocent victims suffer. So does everyone living under heightened national security state conditions.

Threats are manufactured. States of emergency are declared. Rule of law principles are discarded. Unchallenged dominance alone matters. Wars on humanity follow. Big lies facilitate them. False flags play their part.

Here we go again. This one's a sequel. Perhaps Hollywood blockbusters will follow, first the original plot, then the latest. More on the earlier one below.

On May 7, AP headlined "US: CIA thwarts new al-Qaida underwear bomb plot," saying:

Agents foiled "an ambitious plot by al-Qaida's affiliate in Yemen to destroy a US-bound airliner using a bomb with a sophisticated new design around the one-year anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden, The Associated Press has learned."

AP described an upgraded underwear bomb plot. Like the earlier one, it was "designed to be used in a passenger's underwear, but this time" US officials called it "more refined."


A More Sophisticated Underwear Bomb

More sophisticated underwear bombs start with Calvin Klein Micro Modal Trunks: Calvin Klein Underwear has the reputation for impeccable style. Its signature collections have undeniably become perennial customer favorites. Never resting on its stylish laurels, Calvin Klein stays fresh with innovative new collections. Bomb material not included. Ask your local FBI agent. Not available in all stores.


Style #O-9/11 (O for Osama)
Slim fit trunk (reduces that "bulky" look)
Silky smooth modal (lessens chafe from harsh chemicals)
Soft waistband for maximum comfort (Great for transatlantic flights)
Signature logo elasticized waistband (holds down droop/easy on easy off in airport restrooms)
Tagless for comfort (Also makes identification harder a win/win with taggant-less explosives)
Double-lined contour pouch (extra roomy pouch for added cargo)


the original story sprung a leak, so to speak, and they had to cobble up this version and let 'Anon.' spoon-feed it to the media.

And the spin works

One day, the agent is an evil, murderous America-hater; next day--he's one of ours. No problem! He goes from being the foiled to the foiler. From the target of foiling to its instrument. Either way, the storyline in corporate media is that Al Qaeda was 'foiled.' And in this new version it becomes, even more than before, a success story for CIA 'infilitration' of Al Qaeda (but were they ever truly 'exfiltrated' from it?). And lots of people continue to lap it up, inclined to think, 'There, the CIA is protecting us. Guess we still need them.'

(And when I say corporate media, by the way, I very much include the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. NPR's coverage of these stories makes me want to puke!)

the BS meter is pegged in the red

If "al Qaeda" is, as is claimed by the US government, a genuine terror group (ie a group using violence against a civilian population with a mission of changing the political landscape to suit their aim), then they consistently choose to shoot themselves in the foot each time they go into action. The chosen modus operandum of "al Qaeda" is suspect, to say the least - they have this unrelenting obsession for taking a shy at the highest security targets around - namely airports, airplanes and all things aviation - invariably with "bombs" that are incapable of exploding, let alone bringing down a commercial airplane...

Going this route gives them the lowest chance of a successful operation, which seems a 'self defeating' strategy for a real terror gang.... which all points to the probability that the reality of these events are NOT what is being fed to the masses. Genuine "bona fide" (if that is an appropriate term) terrorist groups, to have effect, historically have a regular attack schedule, consistently going for soft targets - ie those with relatively low security, or zero security - anywhere *but* places associated with commercial air travel. It is hard to think of a genuine terror attack in the last 25 years or so involving actual terrorists from an organization recognized as a terror group that has gone for an aviation related target. Each time, the evidence in these cases points to FBI or CIA patsies, or entrapment. Lockerbie, the Underwear Bombers, Mk 1 and 2, etc. etc.... even 9/11.

To maintain fear - the primary mission of any terrorist group, - *repetition* of attacks is a key element in terrorizing the public, and a terror group tends to use methods that maintain their membership, rather than selecting a target in which the bomber (etc) has a low chance of success, and a high chance of apprehension or even death. A successful arrest, or "foiled attack" also makes the authorities look good, and the terror group look as if they are not doing their job of terrorizing their target public... which is exactly what a *REAL* terror group seeks to avoid (naturally). "Suicide terrorists" allegations are even more convenient, because dead men do not talk, and there is no evidence to challenge.

For a real terror gang, the choice of soft, or low security, well populated targets is huge. But unlike the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA), Jundullah/MEK, Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA), or whoever else you care to mention which rely, or relied on regularity - every other day in the case of the IRA - for effect, attacks attributed to "al Qaeda" in recent years are very, very occasional.. and almost consistently foiled, or failed... except one incredibly out of pattern attack - 9/11. This one succeeded beyond the jihadists' wildest dreams - they ran rings around the worlds most powerful milutary-security-intelligence-law enforcement apparatus, without a hint of a response, for 1.5 HOURS, in their own front living room... and violated the laws of nature in the process ?/!!... and since then, in stark contrast, all "they" can cobble together are, for example, a bumbling idiot (Richard Reid) trying to set his shoes on fire - on a plane (!), or a kid from West Africa - who tried to blow his genitals off after being carefully escorted onto a plane minus his passport, by the FBI. (!!)

The only consistency with al Qaeda seems to be their perpetual close association with US intelligence and law enforcement agencies... think of any attack, and the accused have consistently been discovered to have close ties to the FBI, or the CIA, or foreign intelligence organizations like Mossad, ISI or MI6. Everything else about al Qaeda appears fabricated or bogus and doesn't stand up to close scrutiny... and the US (and other) corporate media, supine in appeasement of evil, consistently fails to recognize the BS meter clanging away at 160 dB, while obediently parroting the infantile propaganda.

Does The West Have A Future? by Paul Craig Roberts

We have had a second fake underwear bomb plot, a much more fantastic one than the first hoax. The second underwear bomber was a CIA operative or informant allegedly recruited by al-Qaeda, an organization that US authorities have recently claimed to be defeated, in disarray, and no longer significant.

This defeated and insignificant organization, which lacks any science and technology labs, has invented an “invisible bomb” that is not detected by the porno-scanners. A “senior law enforcement source” told the New York Times that “the scary part” is that “if they build one, they probably built more.”

Who is "THEY" really?

“if they build one, they probably built more.”

Feds investigate leak in terrorism case

: Feds investigate leak in terrorism case

Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- Federal investigators are conducting a probe into who leaked information about an al-Qaida plot in which an explosive device was to have been detonated on a U.S.-bound airline flight, a law enforcement official said Wednesday.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity about the leak investigation, which is just getting under way.

The federal investigation is the latest move in an aggressive campaign by the Obama administration to crack down on leaks, even as it has supported proposed legislation that would shield reporters from having to identify their sources. The administration has already brought at least six criminal cases against people for discussing government secrets with reporters, more than under any previous presidency.

The investigation follows stories by The Associated Press and other news organizations disclosing the terrorist operation by the group known as al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.

The reports said that al-Qaida had completed a sophisticated new, nonmetallic underwear bomb last month and that the would-be suicide bomber actually was a double agent working with the CIA and Saudi intelligence agencies.

The would-be suicide bomber secretly turned over the group's most up-to-date underwear bomb to Saudi Arabia, which gave it to the CIA. Before he was whisked to safety, the spy provided intelligence that helped the CIA kill al-Qaida's senior operations leader, Fahd al-Quso, who died in a drone strike last weekend.

In an appearance Wednesday before the House Judiciary Committee, FBI Director Robert Mueller said the FBI is examining the explosive device. He said the scheme hatched in Yemen demonstrates that it's essential for Congress to reauthorize counterterrorism tools enacted in 2008. Some of these programs expire at year's end.

A spokesman for the AP, Paul Colford, said in a statement that the news organization "acted carefully and with extreme deliberation in its reporting on the underwear bomb plot and its subsequent decision to publish."

"As the AP has reported, we distributed our exclusive report on the underwear bomb only after officials assured us - on Monday - that their security concerns had been satisfied and we learned that the White House would announce the news the next day," Colford said.

Read more here:

Follow the loose 'threads'

'[Mueller] said the scheme hatched in Yemen demonstrates that it's essential for Congress to reauthorize counterterrorism tools enacted in 2008. Some of these programs expire at year's end.'

And still we get these wide-eyed questions, 'Oh come on--what reason could they possibly have for cooking up incidents like this?'

'"...we distributed our exclusive report on the underwear bomb only after officials assured us - on Monday - that their security concerns had been satisfied and we learned that the White House would announce the news the next day,"'

But perhaps the White House didn't let them know that when they announced the news, they would misleadingly portray the US's own intelligence operative as an actual Al-Qaeda member and would-be airliner bomber. Is it speculating too much to think that what the White House is ticked off about isn't the timing of the AP report, but the fact that it didn't play along with their script?

This is a pair of underwear that--for a change--I would actually love to see come unraveled.

Al Qaeda Mole Recruited By British Intelligence: Officials (

Al Qaeda Mole Recruited By British Intelligence: Officials
ABC NewsBy RICHARD ESPOSITO, RHONDA SCHWARTZ and BRIAN ROSS | ABC News – 2 hours 50 minutes ago

Al Qaeda Mole Recruited By British Intelligence: Officials (ABC News)

A mole recruited by British intelligence is the hero who penetrated al Qaeda's most recent bomb plot, intelligence sources told ABC News.

The operation in which the mole -- who travelled on a European Union passport that would have gotten him through U.S. security, should that have been a part of the plot -- had been in place for several months and the American role in the operation only took on operational urgency in the past two or so months, the officials said.

The long running operation with the deep cover operative was one that intelligence agencies planned to keep running. It was pulled up short in the past week when leaks developed and put the infiltrator in jeopardy. Sources involved in the intelligence operation said the plan was to keep the operation running until a more complete picture of the still developing plots and plans of the Yemen based group and its sinister, creative bombmaker, were learned.

"This was gold dust," one senior intelligence official said. "Such assets are few and far between."

Authorities would not discuss the whereabouts of the wanted bombmaker, known as Ibrahim al-Asiri, at this time.