May 8th, 2012
11:09 AM ET

Al Qaeda's bomb-makers evolve, adapt and continue to plot

Three months before he was killed by a U.S. drone strike, Fahd al Quso, one of al Qaeda's top operatives in Yemen, spoke at length to a local journalist. He was asked why al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula had stopped plotting against the United States. Was it because all efforts were devoted to an internal project?

"The war didn't end between us and our enemies. Wait for what is coming," al Quso replied.

It seems al Quso, the head of the group's external operations, wasn't bluffing after the recent discovery of a device designed to be carried aboard an airliner by a suicide bomber without detection.

U.S. officials describe the device as an evolution of the bomb smuggled aboard a U.S.-bound plane on Christmas Day 2009 by a young Nigerian, Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab.

Read more of Paul Cruickshank, Tim Lister and Nic Robertson's reporting about the evolution of al Qaeda's bomb-making

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