Following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the CIA and foreign intelligence agencies have foiled a series of plots by al-Qaeda and its affiliates to blow up airplanes in the United States and Europe.
Oct. 31, 2010 This undated image released by Yemen's Interior Ministry shows Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri, who is the top bomb maker for al-Qaeda's Yemen branch. American officials believe Asiri's latest bomb was designed to be smuggled on to a U.S.-bound aircraft last month. The FBI has a fingerprint and forensic evidence linking al-Qaeda’s top bomb maker in Yemen to both the attempted Christmas Day airline attack in 2009 and the nearly successful attack on the cargo planes. /AP Buy Photo