Al Qaeda Threat: Officials Fear 'Ingenious' Liquid Explosive

There are growing concerns that an al
Qaeda affiliate could use a new generation
of liquid explosive, currently
undetectable, in a potential attack,
according to two senior U.S. government
officials briefed on the terror threat that
has prompted the closing of nearly two
dozen U.S. embassies.
Though the Transportation Security
Administration has long been concerned
about liquid explosives being used in
potential devices -- as it was during the
failed Christmas Day bombing in 2009 --
the new tactic allows terrorists to dip
ordinary clothing into the liquid to make
the clothes themselves into explosives
once dry.
"It's ingenious," one of the officials said.
Another senior official said that the tactic
would not be detected by current security
The officials said the new technique is
believed to have been developed by the
Yemen-based al Qaeda affiliate al Qaeda
in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), home to
notorious alleged bomb maker Ibrahim al-
Asiri. Al-Asiri is suspected of being the
mastermind behind several devious
explosive devices including the underwear
bomb and surgically implanted body
Al-Asiri was listed today among Yemen's
25 top terrorists, who the Yemeni
government said were planning to carry
out operations in the capital, Sana'a. The
Yemeni government is offering 5 million
Yemeni rials, or $23,000, for information
leading to the capture of any of the
Last month Transportation Security
Administration chief John Pistole revealed
details about a new and improved version
of the underwear bomb, also thought to
be al-Asiri's work, that he said would
"possibly" have been discovered by TSA
screening. That bomb was given to a
double-agent last year, who gave it to
western intelligence services.