Tuesday, May 8, 2012
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Security officials say they don't see any immediate need to change screening procedures at airports, despite the discovery of a new kind of "underwear bomb."
U.S. officials say a bomb discovered during a covert CIA operation in Yemen is an upgrade from the underwear bomb that failed to detonate aboard a jetliner over Detroit on Christmas 2009. The new version has a more refined detonation system and contains no metal.
U.S. bomb experts are studying the device to determine if it could have slipped past airport security and taken down a commercial airplane.
But the Department of Homeland Security says officials have confidence in the safeguards now in place, which include airline passenger screening, random searches at airports and the use of federal air marshals.
Officials say the new bomb was to be used in a suicide mission around last week's anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden, but the plot was foiled by the CIA, with help from a well-placed informant and foreign intelligence services.
The fate of the would-be bomber is unclear, but White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan says the person is "no longer a threat to the American people."
(Copyright 2012, The Associated Press)