Bomb plot shows Qaeda skill: analysts

2010-11-09 12:05

kalahari.com

  • Yemen
    Foreign Relations and Challenges Now R2,329.00
    buy now
Doha - In sending parcel bombs from Yemen to the United States, al-Qaeda's Yemen-based branch has demonstrated an extraordinary sense of innovation and adaptation to international security measures, experts say.

Two parcel bombs were discovered en route to the United States in late October, one in Britain and the other in Dubai, in a plot claimed by Yemen-based al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

"Yet again, they have shown they are technically on top," said Dominique Thomas, a specialist in AQAP at l'Ecole des hautes etudes en sciences sociales in Paris.

"They had already infiltrated Saudi security to mount an attack against (a) prince," Thomas said, referring to Saudi Arabia's deputy interior minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, who survived an attack by a suicide bomber in August 2009.

And "they showed with the Nigerian on the plane on December 25 that they could pass security screening and mount a bomb attack on an airline", he said. "They have shown they know how to identify system weaknesses and use them."

On Christmas day last year, Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab carried out a failed attempt to set off explosives on a Detroit-bound Northwest Airlines flight, in a plot claimed by AQAP.

Opportunistic

Former French anti-terrorism judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere warned that the way AQAP changes its methods to stay one step ahead of security and intelligence services makes it one of al-Qaeda's most dangerous franchises.

They are "opportunistic and react very quickly. They note the weaknesses of the enemy and use them", Bruguiere said at the Interpol general assembly being held in Doha.

In the latest case, "they noted that cargo transport does not have the same security as passenger planes. We avoided a tragedy", he said.

The deadly explosive PETN, which is very difficult to detect, was employed in the parcel plot, the attempted Christmas airliner bombing and the attack on Prince Mohammed bin Nayef.

And in all three attempts, the explosive was well-concealed - hidden within printer ink cartridges in the parcels, in Abdulmutallab's underwear, and either under the robes or inside the body of the man who attacked Prince Mohammed bin Nayef.

Washington has said that Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri, a Saudi believed to be hiding out in Yemen, is the prime suspect in the package bomb plot, but Thomas said that "there are several within AQAP who have this type of skill".

Familiarity with the west

"They lack neither explosives experts nor hardened militants," he said.

AQAP has various members who are familiar with the West, and this makes them more dangerous, said Theodore Karasik, the director of research at the Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis, which is based in Dubai.

AQAP has "people who have lived or studied in the West", and "they understand the Western mentality", Karasik said.

Among such members is Anwar al-Awlaqi, a radical US-Yemeni imam who has been accused of links with Major Nidal Hasan, suspected of shooting dead 13 people at Fort Hood military base in Texas, and of having had contact with Abdulmutallab, accused of trying to blow up the plane on Christmas Day.

Awlaqi has been charged in absentia in Yemen with incitement to kill foreigners in connection with the murder of a French energy contractor there.

High security costs

Karasik said that the parcel bomb plot was small and "easy to do, and yes, it failed, but the effect they got was fairly significant".

"If they succeed in destroying a single cargo plane," he said, "the additional cost of security will be tremendous."

In its statement claiming the package plot, AQAP called for more explosive parcels to be sent to "enlarge the circle of its application to include civilian aircraft in the West as well as cargo aircraft", according to the US-based SITE monitoring service.

"They will continue," Thomas said. "Their objective is to hit the US, hoping for an excessive reaction from Washington" that would draw the US into Yemen, and mire its forces there.

Read more on:    al qaeda  |  yemen  |  us terror threat
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
/News
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Monday Cape Town - 18:46 PM
    Road name: MetroRail
    Cape Flats Line - Delays of 40-50 MINUTES due to a broken down train at Pinelands
  • Monday Kuils River - 17:34 PM
    Road name: Polkadraai Road Eastbound
    ROADWORKS between the R102 Van Riebeeck Road and the R310 Baden Powell Drive exit
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2 TV Series for R250

Get 2 TV Series box sets for R250 and save up to R148! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Nintendo Wii Console

Featuring a remarkable wireless controller experience, the Nintendo Wii console...

From R2999.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a strong emphasis on relationships. Obsession, emotional disputes, retaliation or competitive actions are highlighted....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.