Gulf News from Dubai runs a Reuters report on the US government’s interest in Ibrahim Al Asiri, a Saudi national wanted for his role in several bomb plots directed against the US. Saudi Arabia wants him too. Al Asiri’s bomb-making expertise has reached even into surgically-implanted bombs. At one time, the US believed it had killed Al Asiri in the drone attack that killed American terrorist Anwar Al-Awlaki in Yemen, but this proved to be erroneous.
Al Asiri had plotted to blow up Saudi oil production facilities in the Eastern Province and had been jailed earlier by the Saudis for going to Iraq to fight Americans.
(Reuters) ASPEN, Colorado: The United States believes the Saudi man suspected of designing underwear bombs for Al Qaida’s Yemeni affiliate has trained a small number of people on his advanced bomb-making techniques, a senior US official said on Friday.
The remarks by John Pistole, who heads the US Transportation Security Administration, were some of the most detailed public comments to date about Ebrahim Hassan Al Asiri and the thwarted May 2012 plot by Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, to blow up a plane with an underwear bomb.
“There is intelligence that he has unfortunately trained others and there’s a lot of effort to identify those folks,” Pistole told the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado.
Asked by Reuters afterward about the nature of that intelligence, Pistole said Al Asiri was believed to have trained a small number of people. He added that the intelligence was “credible.” Believed to be in his early 30s, Al Asiri, who survived a US drone missile attack in 2011, has drawn scrutiny for his skill at fashioning hard-to-detect bombs and hiding them in clothing or equipment.