Update (5:03 p.m.) A few minutes after the AP's story went live White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan admitted that President Obama had known about the explosive since April but had been assured that it posed no threat to the public.
Updated (4:55 p.m.) Somewhere, secretly, some American spies deserve a pat on the back and a hero's high five for thwarting an Al Qaeda bomb plot that was supposed to bring down a United States-bound plane. Though it's unclear where the targeted plane would be headed, the attack was meant to coincide with the one year anniversary of Osama Bin Laden's death, reports the Associated Press. Now in American hands, the bomb itself resembles an upgraded version of the underwear bomb confiscated at the Detroit airport on Christmas 2009. CIA operatives confiscated the bomb in Yemen and suspect that it was assembled by master bomb maker Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri, the same terrorist who built the Detroit bomb. The FBI is now trying to figure out if the bomb could have made it through security.
Since it was a secret mission and everything, the government hasn't been completely honest with us about what's been going on. The AP actually had the scoop last week but says it held the story at the request of the White House and CIA. It finally decided to run the story on Monday, despite the Obama administration requesting it wait until an official announcement on Tuesday. When news of the failed attack finally did break, AP reporter Matt Apuzzo tweeted matter of factly, "While this CIA operation was unfolding, the White House and DHS were telling American public there were no known plots on the US." Then again, if there was a plot, we're not sure we'd want to know either.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.