The plot involved an upgrade of the underwear bomb that failed to detonate aboard a jetliner over Detroit on Christmas 2009. This new bomb was also designed to be used in a passenger’s underwear, but this time Al Qaeda developed a more refined detonation system, U.S. officials told the Associated Press.
“Initial exploitation indicates that the device is very similar to IEDs that have been used previously by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in attempted terrorist attacks, including against aircraft and for targeted assassinations,” the FBI said in a written statement. “The FBI currently has possession of the IED and is conducting technical and forensics analysis on it.”
The would-be suicide bomber, based in Yemen, had not yet picked a target or bought his plane tickets when the CIA stepped in and seized the bomb, officials said. It’s not immediately clear what happened to the alleged bomber.