The most frightening terrorist of all

 An undated handout photo released on 31 October 2010 by the Yemeni Interior Ministry shows Saudi-Arabian Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri, who tops a Saudi Arabian terrorism list and is the brother of a suicide bomber killed in an attempt to kill Saudi counter-terrorism chief Prince Mohammed bin Nayef last year. According to news reports several U.S. officials said they were increasingly confident that al-Qaida's Yemen branch, the group behind the Christmas attack, was responsible for the bombs concealed inside cargo packages and destined for the United States. Investigators were taking a close look at the group's bomb making expert, Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri, who helped make the bomb used in the Christmas attack and another PETN device used against a top Saudi counterterrorism official last year, a U.S. intelligence official said. EPA/YEMENI INTERIOR MINISTRY / HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY

The Daily Beast reports “no al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) operative worries the United States more than Ibrahim al-Asiri”. Quoting two U.S. counterterrorism officials, the online news site calls him “the group’s diabolically clever bombmaker”. Daily Beast sources says he overshadows even AQAP’s cunning leader, Nasir al-Wuhayshi. A chemistry drop-out from Saudi Arabia, he is credited with building bombs that can escape sophisticated forms of screening. His early claim to fame was a suicide attack in 2009 by his brother that nearly killed Saudi prince Muhammed Bin Nayef. The bomb had been sewn into the bomber’s underwear.  Four months later, AQAP came close to blowing up a commercial plane in Detroit. The device was traced back to al-Asiri, being similar in design to a 2010 attempted attack that ingeniously put explosive material in printer ink cartridges.

U.S. officials believe al-Asiri has succeeded in developing a new kind of bomb that can be surgically implanted inside the human body. In 2011, U.S. intelligence learned that al-Asiri was working closely with AQAP doctors who had tested the bomb on dogs and other animals. Like his other devices, it had no metal and could pass through detectors.

Read full story on The Daily Beast.

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