Underpants bomb plot foiled: New device could beat airport scanners

It is feared the new explosive could be able to bypass sensitive hi-tech scanners because it contains no metal

An underpants bomb plot to blow up a US-bound plane has been foiled, it was revealed last night.

The device, intended to be detonated near the anniversary of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden’s death on May 2, was a variation of the underpants bomb which failed to blow up a passenger jet over Detroit on Christmas Day in 2009.

It is feared the new explosive could be able to bypass sensitive hi-tech scanners because it contains no metal.

Original underpants bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 25, suffered severe burns after his bomb failed to detonate fully on a flight from Amsterdam.

He was jailed for life without parole in February.

The CIA revealed the plot – foiled on Monday last week – originated in the Yemen and the attacker, whose identity remains secret, was told to buy a ticket on “an airliner of his choosing”.

President Barack Obama was told of the plot in April, and the operation is being seen as a victory for the US spy network.

A counter-intelligence source said: “This device has the hallmarks of previous bombing attempts.”

The FBI is examining the bomb to see if it could have passed through airport security, officials said.

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