Trump Confirms Al Qaeda Bomb-Maker, Mastermind of Underwear Bomber Attempt and Other Attacks, Is Dead

WASHINGTON—President Donald Trump confirmed on Oct. 10, that al Qaedas top bomb-maker, Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri, believed to be the mastermind behind the failed bombing of a U.S.-bound airliner in 2009, has been killed.

Trump said in a White House statement that al-Asiri was killed in 2017 in a United States counter-terrorism operation in Yemen.

U.S. officials said last year they were confident al-Asiri had been killed but others had said at the time that the evidence was not conclusive.

Washington had long sought al-Asiri, a Saudi-born terrorist with al Qaedas Yemen branch who was known for his ability to create hard-to-detect bombs, including some implanted in suicide bombers.

Al-Asiri is believed to have masterminded the attempted Christmas Day, 2009, bombing of a passenger jet flying from Amsterdam to Detroit. A Nigerian man, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, is serving multiple life sentences in prison for trying to set off the bomb in his underwear.

Trumps announcement confirmed that al-Asiri built the bomb used in that failed attempt as well as the printer cartridge bomb used in a plot disrupted in 2010.

Al-Asiri also built an explosive device intended to be used against a passenger aircraft in 2012, and the device used in the attempted assassination of former Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef in Jeddah in 2009.

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