Trump confirms death of al-Qaida bomb maker

Cheryl Sanders
October 12, 2019

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

Trump said in a White House statement that al-Asiri was killed in 2017 in a United States counterterrorism operation in Yemen.

USA media previously reported that US officials were confident that the Saudi-born al-Asiri had been killed in a drone strike in Yemen in 2017, while the Thursday statement was the first confirmation of his death from the USA government.

The President did not reveal details of the operation which took out al-Asiri, nor did he explain why he has now chosen to make the news public.


Trump says the death of al-Asiri has significantly handicapped al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

Al-Asiri became a prominent bomb-maker after AQAP formed in 2009, following the merger of the Yemeni and Saudi branches of al-Qaeda.

The United States added him to its terrorism blacklist in 2011 after he was believed to be the key suspect in the 2010 al-Qaeda parcel bomb plot against the United States.

When the explosive failed to detonate properly, Abdulmutallab was tackled and restrained by another passenger.


Officials said he was responsible for the underwear bomb targeting a Detroit-bound jet in 2009, bombs hidden in printer cartridges set to explode over Chicago, even a bomb hidden in the body of a younger brother who was sent on a suicide mission against a Saudi official. However, the bombs were found while the planes were making stopovers in the United Kingdom and Dubai.

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

The White House says al-Asiri also built an explosive device meant to be used against an aircraft in 2012.


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