At the age of only 30, the al Qaeda bombmaker behind the foiled plot on U.S-bound planes has emerged as the most feared face of terror for American authorities, a master technician with a fierce hatred for America and ingenious plans for hiding hard-to-detect bombs inside cameras, computers and even household pets.
Again and again, Ibrahim al-Asiri has created bombs that get past security screening — the underwear bomb targeting a Detroit-bound jet in 2009, bombs hidden in printer cartridges set to explode over Chicago, even a bomb hidden in the body of a younger brother who was sent on a suicide mission against a Saudi official.
A Saudi citizen who studied chemistry in college, al-Asiri’s parents say he became radicalized after the death of a brother.
“It makes him dangerous,” said Rep. Mike Rogers, R.-Alabama, chair of House Homeland Security Committee, “and it’s clear that we want to make sure that he doesn’t have the opportunity to A, to continue to do, to build any device whatsoever, or impart his knowledge to anyone else who wants to build these devices.”
U.S. authorities tell ABC News that al-Asiri’s latest designs involve bombs surgically implanted in terrorists, as well as bombs hidden in pets to be carried on aircraft, cameras, and external hard drives that would explode when plugged into a laptop computer.