The “suicide bomber” in a foiled al-Qaeda plot was either a plant by a U.S.-allied intelligence agency or became an informant in the early stages of the conspiracy, U.S. officials told Reuters Tuesday.
The plot, revealed on Monday and allegedly concocted by a Yemen-based al-Qaeda offshoot, involved an improved version of the failed “underwear bomb” an al-Qaeda operative attempted to use on n airliner in 2009, Reuters reported. Once again, the plan was to smuggle the bomb on board an aircraft.
However, the bomber in this plot turned out to be a mole for allied intelligence, according to the report. The informant helped the CIA and allied intelligence agencies track the progress of the conspiracy, and smuggled the bomb out of Yemen to deliver it to authorities, Reuters reported.
The bomb appeared to be the work of al-Qaeda bomb-maker Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri, officials said.