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December 28th, 2009
12:01 PM ET

Bergen: Similar explosive on plane used in Saudi attack

A man reads a newspaper featuring a front-page story on the attack on Saudi deputy interior minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef.

A man reads a newspaper featuring a front-page story on the attack on Saudi deputy interior minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef.

Peter Bergen | BIO
CNN National Security Analyst

On August 28, the Saudi Arabian deputy minister of interior, Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, survived a bombing attack launched by an al Qaeda cell based in Yemen, Saudi Arabia's southern neighbor.

Abdullah Hassan al Asiri, the would-be assassin, a Saudi who had fled to Yemen, posed as a militant willing to surrender personally to Prince Nayef.

Because he leads Saudi Arabia's counterterrorism efforts against al Qaeda, the prince is a key target for the terrorist group.

Al Asiri concealed the bomb, made of PETN, in his underwear, according to the official Saudi investigation.

PETN is a plastic explosive that is not picked up by metal detectors - through which the would-be assassin had to pass before he was allowed to meet with the prince.

Saudi officials believe that the prince's assailant exploded the 100-gram device using a detonator with a chemical fuse, which would also not be detected by a metal detector.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Peter Bergen • Terrorism
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Mari

    Our Intelligence Agencies KNOW of every gas, explosive, chemical, known to man, since we, the U.S. created most of these devilish WMD's!

    Our government needs to get their technology into the 21st Century, share information with every agency and do everything possible to thwart the terrorists!

    Not every terrorist will be on the "watch list" we can all bet, that they know about our "watch list" and will send unknown people to attack!

    December 28, 2009 at 7:58 pm |
  2. Tim Gibson

    We must drop our fears and address security, the evidence in there like DNA.

    December 28, 2009 at 2:36 pm |