Qaeda bomb plot targets US fliersOfficials claim that the attack is not directly connected to the Olympics other than planned to occur at the same time
By Gerry Shields and Bob Fredericks
The New York Post
NEW YORK — The same al Qaeda thugs who tried to blow US planes out of the sky four times since 2009 have hatched another plot to take down an American jet, intelligence sources said over the weekend.
The terror group's bloodthirsty branch in the Arabian Peninsula recruited a Norwegian man and trained him at a Yemeni camp to specifically target a US jet between now and the start of the Olympics in London in late July, the sources said.
"We are asking that everyone remain vigilant,'' a Homeland Security source told The Post yesterday. "Our security posture includes a number of measures, both seen and unseen, and we will continue to respond appropriately."
Sources insisted that the plot is not directly connected to the Olympics other than by the timing.
"There is terrorist plotting going on irrespective of the Olympics. The only thing that connects this to the Olympics is the fact that they are about to happen," a British security official told The Times of London.
But the Homeland Security official said the fact it is set to occur around such a huge event has everyone scrambling. Airport officials here and in Europe are rapidly beefing up security to deal with the threat, he said.
"We continue to work closely with our international partners in the face of an ever-evolving threat picture,'' the source said.
"We are doing everything possible to keep the American people safe and to continue close cooperation on the Olympics with our British counterparts."
The Norwegian terror recruit - who goes by the Muslim name Abu Abdurrahman - converted to Islam in 2008 and quickly embraced jihad against the West, intelligence sources said.
He is believed to be in his 30s and a have "clean skin" - no previous criminal record. Sources said he spent the past few months in Yemen receiving his deadly training.
The al Qaeda branch that he's linked to has been behind at least four attempts to bomb US planes since 2009.
The first involved Nigerian-born British student Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab on a US-bound plane wearing an underwear bomb. The bomb failed to detonate over Detroit on Christmas Day, and the terrorist was arrested and jailed.
In 2010, the terror thugs sent two separate bombs, hidden in printer cartridges, onto two cargo planes destined for Chicago - but the fiendish contraptions were intercepted and defused in Dubai and Britain.
Two months ago, a British undercover agent who had infiltrated the group volunteered to be a suicide bomber aboard another plane.
The heroic spook wound up smuggling out the latest version of the underpants bomb and handed it over to US authorities.
British intelligence officials last week declined to disclose further details about the new plot, including its exact timing, target or how they had come to discover it.
With Post Wire Services
A terrorist plot to take down a US airliner in the near future is being hatched by a branch of al Qaeda linked to multiple incidents:
1. "Underwear bomber" Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab fails to detonate his explosives in a jet over Detroit on Christmas Day 2009, and is arrested.
2. In 2010, two bombs hidden in printer cartridges, designed by explosives expert Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri, who also designed the underwear bomb, are detected and defused in Dubai and Britain.
3. A British undercover agent who had infiltrated the group volunteered to be a suicide bomber aboard another plane. In May, he smuggled out the newest underwear bomb and gave it to US authorities.
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