Based on forensic evidence and similarity between the detonators, intelligence officials suspect that the bomb maker behind Friday's foiled attacks is Al Qaeda operative Ibrahim Hassan Al Asiri, the young man so ruthless he once hid a bomb inside his own brother in an attempt to kill a top Saudi counterterrorism official who was encouraging jihadists to reform. After being imprisoned in Saudi Arabia, Asiri and his brother Abdullah fled to Yemen to join Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which has strongholds "in the lawless mountain areas beyond the writ of central government." Asiri was accused of brainwashing Abdullah into believing jihadist ideology. The body bomb, triggered by a text message, killed his brother, but only injured the official. Asiri became known as a the "butt bomber" — or "underpants bomber," if you want to go more Continental — after Asiri built the explosive device sewn into the undergarments of failed Nigerian bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. Asiri's attempt to hide Friday's bombs inside a toner cartridge looks like a despicable attempt to get a new nickname. If we don't keep calling him the "butt bomber," the terrorists win!
Photo: Getty Images
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