Al Qaeda bombmaker was killed by United States in 2017, White House says

Al Qaeda bombmaker was killed by United States in 2017, White House says

Donald Trump has confirmed that al Qaeda's top bomb-maker was killed in a a 2017 United States counter-terrorism operation in Yemen.

Al-Asiri is believed to have been killed in 2017, but some counter-terrorism experts were skeptical al-Asiri was dead because al-Qaeda had not issued any statements confirming al-Asiri's death, or praising him for martyrdom.

Al-Asiri also built a bomb that was going to be used against a passenger plane in 2012, and the explosive device used in the attempted assassination of the former crown prince of Saudi Arabia, according to Mr. Trump.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday confirmed that al-Qaeda's top bombmaker, Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri, believed to be the mastermind behind the failed bombing of a U.S. -bound airliner in 2009, has been killed.

This image provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation shows Ibrahim al-Asiri.

Some congressional Republicans say the US has abandoned its friends in the region, though Mr. Trump said he's watching closely and will punish Turkey for missteps.

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Last year, USA officials said they were confident al-Asiri had been killed during the strike without having conclusive evidence.

Asiri's death had been reported by United States defence and other sources in August 2018, but this was the first official confirmation of his death.

The noted terrorist was a Saudi-born militant with al Qaeda's Yemen branch, and was known for his ability to create hard-to-detect bombs.

His specialty was making bombs that were small enough to get past security at airports.

When the explosives failed to detonate properly, the passenger, 23-year-old Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, was tackled and restrained by another passenger.

Trump's statement said that al-Asiri also built an explosive device meant to be used against a passenger aircraft in 2012, and the device used in the attempted assassination of the former Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia.

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