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US Expert: ‘Asiri Is the Chief Bomb-Maker of al-Qaeda” | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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CNN’s National Security Analyst Peter Bergen

New York- CNN’s National Security Analyst Peter Bergen said that information revealed by officials in US intelligence and security agencies regarding attempts to develop bombs that could not be detected by explosive detection devices in airports is not limited to ISIS, al-Qaeda or to Somalia’s Mujahideen Youth Movement.

The US expert explained that Ibrahim al Asiri, who is the chief bomb-maker of Qaeda in Yemen, has been building these kinds of devices for many years, and the concern amongst counterterrorism officials is that his knowledge has been propagated to a lot of other people.

The Vice President at New America and professor of practice at Arizona State University added that there are 100 countries sending flights to the United States.

“Some of them have excellent security and some of them don’t.”

“As we’ve seen with the Metro Jet attack, you know, that killed 224 people, you know. They yield, unfortunately, from one of these attacks if that is successful is very large, much more than attack like in Paris which killed 130 people or the attack in Orlando.”

Bergen, the first Western journalist to meet Qaeda’s late leader Osama bin Laden in Tora Bora before 9/11 attacks, said that what concerns security officials the most are the self-recruited to ISIS working at Minneapolis airport, and those at Los Angeles International Airport, who are part of a self-described Qaeda cell.

So, this is a real issue, and, of course, it’s an issue in lots of other places around the world. The Heathrow Airport, we’ve seen a number of Qaeda sympathizers being arrested.

US Intelligence and law enforcement agencies now believe ISIS and other terror groups have found new ways to hide explosives in electronic devices.

An FBI testing showed they can evade some common airport security measures.

Compounding that concern, US intelligence suggested terrorists have obtained sophisticated airport security equipment to test how they can hide explosives in laptops.

This new threat is a key factor in the Trump administration’s move to bar travelers from carrying laptops on flights departing from ten airports in the Middle East and Africa.