London, Oct. 31 (ANI): Ibrahim Hassan Al Asiri, a Yemen-based al-Qaeda terrorist, is being touted as the man who prepared the two parcel bombs that were discovered onboard two US-bound jets in the UK and Dubai.
US intelligence officials say the detonator on one of the devices is almost exactly the same as one he is thought to have made for Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the so-called Underpants Bomber, The Telegraph reports.
Washington is now reported to have approached the Yemeni Government for permission to launch drone strikes in areas where it believes the al-Qaeda has established a presence.
US intelligence believes that Ibrahim is now in regular contact with the radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who is likewise on the run in Yemen.
One serving US intelligence officer told The Sunday Telegraph that there was now debate underway about pressuring Yemen into allowing the CIA to base armed drone aircraft there for a sustained attack on al Qaeda bases.
Originally born to a pious family in Saudi Arabia, Ibrahim is one of 85 people on the kingdom's list of wanted terrorists.
After serving jail time in his home country, he fled to neighbouring Yemen two years ago with his brother Abdullah to become key members of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which has bases in the lawless mountain areas beyond the writ of central government.
The slightly-built 28-year-old, who is the son of a retired soldier, is believed to be the movement's resident bomb-making expert - skills he first put to chilling use in a suicide attack in which he recruited his own younger brother, Abdullah, 23, to act as the "martyr".
The attack was an audacious attempt on the life of the Saudi Deputy Minister of the Interior, Prince Muhammad Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, who has personally led an innovative programme in the kingdom to encourage jihadis to reform.
Posing as a jihadist keen to repent, Abdullah gained a private audience with Prince Muhammad in his office, and then detonated a bomb hidden in his own body. It failed to kill the prince but killed Abdullah. (ANI)