‘Agent who foiled underwear bomb plot was British’
Spy reportedly recruited by MI5
AN UNDERCOVER agent who foiled an al Qaida plot to blow up an airliner with an underwear bomb was a Briton, according to reports.
UK intelligence was said to have been “heavily involved” in recruiting the spy who infiltrated a terror group in Yemen.
However, UK officials have declined to comment on the reports.
Al Qaida is believed to have been planning the attack with a nearly undetectable device around the anniversary of the death of Osama bin Laden.
But the individual chosen to carry out the attack was an informant who handed over the bomb, which is believed to have been made by Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri.
US officials said the would-be bomber was supposed to board a plane to the US and detonate the device inside the country. The CIA became aware of the plot last month.
According to reports, the British passport holder was recruited by MI5 before being sent to Yemen to target al-Asiri by MI6 working with Saudi intelligence.
It was reported he fled with the device two weeks ago, travelling to the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia before delivering it to British handlers.
It was also suggested information he supplied was used to launch a CIA drone strike which killed senior al Qaida figure Fahd al-Quso but failed to remove al Qaida bomb maker al-Asiri.
Officials said it was an upgrade of a bomb, also believed to be the work of al-Asiri, which failed to detonate on a flight over Detroit on Christmas Day 2009.