Report: CIA Thwarts Underwear Bomb Attempt Tied To Bin Laden Anniversary

Reports are coming out this afternoon of an attempted reenactment of December 2009’s “underwear bomb” incident that was thwarted by the CIA:

The CIA foiled a plot by al-Qaida’s affiliate in Yemen to bomb a U.S.-bound airliner around the one-year anniversary of the killing of its former leader Osama bin Laden, The Associated Press reported.

According to the report, American officials say the plot involved a bomb with an improved design that upgraded the underwear bomb taken aboard a jetliner over Detroit on Christmas 2009. That explosive device failed to detonate.

The AP reports the improved bomb had a more refined detonation mechanism, but was still intended to be hidden in a passenger’s underwear.

An official told NBC News no airlines were ever at risk. The plot was disrupted well before it threatened Americans or U.S. allies, the official added.

According to the AP, the would-be suicide bomber was instructed to buy a ticket on the airliner of his choosing and decide the timing of the attack.

I must say that there’s something rather odd about a person willing to not only strap on a suicide bomb, but have it in their underwear.

FILED UNDER: Intelligence, National Security, Terrorism, , , , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Hey Norm says:

    Is that a brick of C4 in your pants or are you just happy to see me?

  2. Hey Norm says:

    Dick Cheney…

    “…When we get people who are more concerned about reading the rights to an Al Qaeda terrorist than they are with protecting the United States against people who are absolutely committed to do anything they can to kill Americans, then I worry…”

    “…These are evil people. And we’re not going to win this fight by turning the other cheek…”

    “…As I’ve watched the events of the last few days it is clear once again that President Obama is trying to pretend we are not at war…”

  3. anjin-san says:

    @ Hey Norm

    Its got to be rough for Cheney, knowing that Bin Laden was laughing at him all those years and that the allegedly weak on national security Obama succeeded where the Bush administration failed.

  4. I hate to say I’m calling bull on this report until I see the device. Until then, it’s a CIA concocted plot to solidify the government’s position on controversial body scanners and other policies, intended to scare cowards, much like the terror alerts were.