A plot to design a sophisticated bomb to be placed inside the bomber's underwear has been foiled by authorities in the Middle East working together with the US. The plan had been in its early stages, but the Obama administration warned that it revealed the determination of militants to create bombs that can pass through airport security. Its non-metallic design features appear to be more advanced than the type of bomb used in two attempted attacks in 2009.
It is believed that al Qaeda’s Yemen-based affiliate, called al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), was planning to give the device to a suicide bomber to blow up an aircraft heading for the US or another Western country.
[pictured: Barack Obama discusses Northwest Airlines Flight 253 attack with NATIONAL security staff, 29 December 2009; official White House photo by Pete Souza]