The United States has officially confirmed the killing of Al Qaeda top bomb-maker in Yemen by a drone strike attack based on intelligence of his location. Ibrahim al-Asiri, an Al Qaeda bomb-maker believed to have masterminded a plot to down a commercial airliner over Detroit on Christmas Day 2009, was killed in a US drone strike in Yemen last year.
The Saudi-born Ibrahim al-Asiri was the lead bomb-maker for al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which has become the organization’s most lethal franchise. Al-Asiri is said to have made the underwear bomb that a Nigerian man named Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab attempted to detonate on a Northwest Airlines flight to Detroit in December 2009. Al-Asiri was also involved in a plot to hide explosives in printer cartridges being shipped to the US. The first attack was unsuccessful because the attacker failed to detonate the device, and the other bombs were discovered after a tip.
Intelligence indicated that Al-Asiri who has been dubbed the most sophisticated bomb maker was working on new more modern bombs that could be hidden inside laptops thereby making terrorist more dangerous. Subsequently, increased security at airports involving taking out of bags and what has to be screened is because of Asiri and his capabilities of putting explosives in very difficult to find places.
The death of Al-Asiri is a big win for the counterinsurgency efforts against al Qaeda and is also a big blow to the terror organization that has prided itself in using the highly creative and innovative bombs created by the deceased. Al-Asiri posed a major global threat as he was creative enough to put bombs in very innovative and hard to find places which made him rather dangerous as he could cause maximum damage with very small devices. The increased killings of top and experienced experts in the various terror networks is a very strategic move in ensuring that the sophistication of attacks by the groups ends creating disarray in the ranks which will eventually lead to the obliteration of the Jihadists.