Al-Qaida bomber leaves behind a fingerprint

May 24, 2011 - 3:15 AM
Al-Qaida Bomber

This undated image released Sunday Oct. 31, 2010, by Yemen's Interior Ministry, in a combination of two photos which they say both show bomb maker suspect Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri. The FBI has a fingerprint and forensic evidence linking al-Qaida’s top bomb maker in Yemen to both the 2009 Christmas Day airline attack and the nearly successful attack on cargo planes last year. (AP Photo/Yemen Interior Ministry) EDITORIAL USE ONLY - NO SALES

WASHINGTON (AP) — The FBI has a fingerprint and forensic evidence linking al-Qaida's top bomb maker in Yemen to both the 2009 Christmas Day airline attack and the nearly successful attack on cargo planes last year.

Investigators have pulled a fingerprint of Ibrahim al-Asiri off the bomb hidden in the underwear of a Nigerian man accused of trying to blow up a plane over Detroit on Christmas Day. Counterterrorism officials say the explosives in that bomb are chemically identical to those hidden inside two printers that were shipped from Yemen to the U.S. last year.

The forensics provide a tangible reminder that Osama bin Laden's death has not eliminated the threat from al-Qaida's most active and dangerous franchise.

Counterterrorism officials discussed the evidence on condition of anonymity because the cases remain under investigation.