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US and Yemeni officials have said the would-be bomber is actually a CIA informant.
US and Yemeni officials have said the Al Qaeda operative who was to bomb a US-bound airplane around the first anniversary of Osama bin Laden’s death in a plot recently foiled by the CIA is a double agent, the Associated Press reported.
The person, who was assigned to blow up a plane with an updated underwear bomb, is actually an informant for the CIA and Saudi Arabian intelligence, the AP reported.
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ABC News reported the informant infiltrated the bomb-making cell in Al Qaeda’s Yemen affiliate and, when given a bomb, delivered it to intelligence agents in Saudi Arabia rather than carrying out an attack.
"It's quite an accomplishment to be able to pass yourself off as an Al Qaeda terrorist to the terrorists, when in fact you're working for a US or allied intelligence agency," Richard Clarke, an ABC News consultant and former White House counter-terrorism advisor, told ABC News.
Officials said the informant has been safely removed from Yemen, the AP reported.
FBI officials are now studying the upgraded bomb, which they describe as being easier to detonate than the underwear bomb worn by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who failed to blow up a Detroit-bound jetliner in December 2009.
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