Islamabad, Apr 27 (ANI): US law enforcement officials are planning a major security surge at airports and transportation hubs across the nation and in other countries ahead of next week's first death anniversary of former Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden.
Precautions are reportedly being taken, with a focus on aviation targets, following intelligence reports that Al Qaeda is determined to avenge Osama's death.
According to reports of ABC News, US officials are primarily concerned about Al Qaeda's Yemeni group, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), and its master bombmaker, Ibrahim al-Asiri, who has managed to survive repeated US efforts to kill him.
US officials claim that it was Al Asiri who had designed the so-called "underwear bomb" worn by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who tried to bring down Northwest flight 253 from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas Day 2009. Abdulmutallab got the bomb past airport security but failed to detonate it successfully aboard the plane.
Reports revealed that the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security said the Yemen group "intends to advance plots along multiple fronts, including renewed efforts to target Western aviation."
"It doesn't take a great number of people to do the kind of attack that we had on September 11. That was less than two dozen people and it's clear that they have that number available in places like Yemen today," a former White House counterterrorism official was quoted, as saying.
"I think the major issue for al Qaeda is to do something, to prove that they're still alive, to do some fairly major event or series of attacks that prove that they're not down, they're not out," he added.
American law enforcement and White House officials say the travelers at airports in the U.S. and Europe should expect to see enhanced security over the next few days. (ANI)
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