It was reported that al-Qaeda’s head bomb-maker, Ibrahim al-Asiri, 36, a Saudi national, had been killed by a US drone strike in Yemen. Al-Asiri was responsible for the failed plot to blow up Northwest Airlines flight 253 on Christmas Day 2009 using chemical explosives sewn into the underwear of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. He also built devices concealed inside printer toner cartridges that were sent by air mail to the US in 2010. Al-Asiri was viewed as a high-value target and death is thought to have significantly reduced the group’s ability to strike Western targets.
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