Underwear bomber 'didn't even get close'
A suspected US drone strike in Yemen that killed two members of al-Qaeda on Sunday was part of a larger effort to intercept a more advanced "underwear bomb", the chairman of the US House of Representatives' Homeland Security Committee said yesterday.
"I was told by the White House that they are connected, that they are part of the same operation," Representative Peter King told CNN a day after news broke of the interception of the bomb, which the authorities said was to have been carried onto an aircraft bound for the US or another Western country.
It is not known what happened to the suicide-bomber suspect.
"The person who actually had the bomb is no longer a threat," King said.
He added that the bomb did not have any metal parts.
John Brennan, President Barack Obama's top counter-terrorism adviser and a former CIA official, told ABC TV that the authorities are "confident that neither the device nor the intended user pose a threat to us".
On Monday, the Obama administration said Middle East authorities had seized an improved underwear bomb within the last 10 days that they said shows al-Qaeda's determination to build bombs that can pass through airport security systems.
US officials said the plot was detected in its early stages and that no US airliner had been at risk.