US officials claim to have foiled a plot to blow up an airliner using an upgraded version of the failed 2009 “underwear bomb”.
The new device contained no metallic elements and could have passed through airport security but was discovered by intelligence operatives.
According to the Obama administration, al Qaeda’s affiliate in Yemen was responsible.
Leon Panetta, US Defence Secretary said: “What this incident makes clear is that this country has to continue to remain vigilant against those who would seek to attack this country and we will do everything necessarily to keep America Safe.”
Concerns have been raised that since the 2009 failed attempt, al Qaeda bomb makers have been seeking more ways to deceive airport scanners. They have allegedly been experimenting with undetectable materials and even explosives hidden inside the bodies of would-be suicide bombers.
In this instance the device had a more refined detonation system but never got anywhere near being put onto a plane.