There are growing concerns that an al Qaeda affiliate could use a new generation of liquid explosive, currently undetectable, in a potential attack, according to two senior U.S. government officials briefed on the terror threat that has prompted the closing of nearly two dozen U.S. embassies.
Though the Transportation Security Administration has long been concerned about liquid explosives being used in potential devices — as it was during the failed Christmas Day bombing in 2009 — the new tactic allows terrorists to dip ordinary clothing into the liquid to make the clothes themselves into explosives once dry.
"It’s ingenious," one of the officials said.
CNN has agreed to a request from an Obama administration official not to publish or broadcast additional details because of the sensitivity of the information.
That the CIA may be in possession of the world’s most highly classified vacuum cleaner blueprints is but one peculiar, lasting byproduct of the controversial U.S. detention and interrogation program.
Confined to the basement of a CIA secret prison in Romania about a decade ago, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the admitted mastermind of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, asked his jailers whether he could embark on an unusual project: Would the spy agency allow Mohammed, who had earned his bachelor’s in mechanical engineering, to design a vacuum cleaner?
The employee, international terrorist Moktar Belmoktar, responded the way talented employees with bruised egos have in corporations the world over: He quit and formed his own competing group. And within months, he carried out two lethal operations that killed 101 people in all: one of the largest hostage-takings in history at a BP-operated gas plant in Algeria in January, and simultaneous bombings at a military base and a French uranium mine in Niger just last week.
The note — scrawled with a marker on the interior wall of the cabin — said the bombings were retribution for U.S. military action in Afghanistan and Iraq, and called the Boston victims “collateral damage” in the same way Muslims have been in the American-led wars. “When you attack one Muslim, you attack all Muslims,” Tsarnaev wrote.
A policeman sacrificed his life for the sake of others, embracing a suicide bomber in southeast Afghanistan on Saturday morning to dull the blast as it detonated, eyewitnesses said.
A woman and her brother have appeared in a French court after a three-year-old child named Jihad was sent to school wearing a T-shirt with the words “I am a bomb” inscribed on the front, and the words “Jihad, born September 11” printed on the back.