The supposed bomber in a foiled plot to bring down a jetliner was actually a double agent who funneled vital information to U.S. and Arab intelligence agencies, marking an apparently successful infiltration of al Qaeda’s most dangerous branch, reports the Wall Street Journal. U.S. officials said the Central Intelligence Agency, working with foreign security services, had thwarted a bomb plot by al Qaeda’s Yemeni branch aimed at bringing down a U.S. jetliner with a more advanced version of an underwear bomb used in a failed 2009 Christmas Day attempt.
The bomb that was recovered has two detonators, providing a crucial backup in the event one failed. The device is similar to those used both in the Christmas Day attempt aboard an international flight to Detroit and an earlier failed plot to assassinate a Saudi prince. The Federal Bureau of Investigation wasn’t informed of the operation to foil the airline plot until it had been completed and the CIA had the bomb. FBI technicians are examining the bomb.