U.S. intelligence agencies say they recently disrupted a plot to bomb an airliner, seizing an explosive device like others used by al Qaeda in the past. The plan was uncovered before it had a chance to threaten any Americans or put any airliners at risk, says a counterterrorism official.
CNN reports that a nonmetallic explosive device, similar to the one used in the failed attempt to bomb a jet in heading for Detroit in 2009. It was meant to be used by a suicide bomber. It never made it near an airport or plane.
According to the Department of Homeland Security, authorities have “no specific, credible information regarding an active terrorist plot against the U.S. at this time,” but they are monitoring any efforts to carry out an attack.
President Obama was informed of the plot in April, and the White House says the attempt “underscores the necessity of remaining vigilant against terrorism here and abroad.”
Even though the plot was uncovered around the one-year anniversary of the death of Osama bin Laden, officials say it wasn’t timed to that event. The device was reportedly meant to be used on a U.S.-bound airline, and is part of an ongoing operation.
“What this incident makes clear is that this country has to continue to remain vigilant against those that would seek to attack this country. And we will do everything necessary to keep America safe,” said Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.