WASHINGTON (AP) -- It's a reminder that al-Qaida still wants to carry out another attack -- and it tried to do so, on a U.S.-bound airliner, around last week's anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden.
The Associated Press has learned that the CIA foiled a plot by the terror group's affiliate in Yemen, using a bomb with a sophisticated new design. Like the one that failed to detonate over Detroit on Christmas of 2009, it was designed to be used in a passenger's underwear.
Officials say the FBI is examining the bomb, to see whether it could have passed through airport security and brought down a plane. They say the device didn't contain metal, so it probably could have gone through a metal detector. But it's not clear whether the body scanners being used in many airports would have detected it.
They say the would-be suicide bomber, based in Yemen, hadn't yet picked a target or bought his plane tickets when the CIA stepped in and seized the bomb. It's not clear what happened to the alleged bomber.
As for who built the bomb, authorities suspect it was the work of a master bomb maker, Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri. He also built the first underwear bomb and two others that al-Qaida built into printer cartridges and sent to the U.S. on cargo planes in 2010. Both of the bombs used a powerful industrial explosive, and both were nearly successful.