2009 Detroit Christmas Day 'underwear bomb' maker confirmed dead

Ibrahim Hassan al Asiri
Ibrahim Hassan al Asiri (Yemeni government via CNN)

The White House is confirming for the first time that Ibrahim al-Asiri, a master al Qaeda bombmaker, is dead.

The Saudi Arabian native was the mastermind behind the "underwear bomb" attempt to detonate a flight above the skies of Detroit on Christmas Day in 2009. It failed.

He was widely credited with perfecting miniaturized bombs with little or no metal content that could make it past some airport security screening. That ability made him a direct threat to the US, and some of his plots had come close to reaching their targets in the US.

It was previously reported by other US officials that al-Asiri was likely killed two years ago.

The White House released this statement on Thursday:

This will confirm for the first time that Ibrahim al-Asiri, a senior al-Qa’ida bomb maker and terrorist coordinator, was killed two years ago in a United States counterterrorism operation in Yemen.  Al-Asiri built explosive devices that were used in the failed Christmas Day 2009 underwear bomb attack and the disrupted printer cartridge bomb plot in 2010.  He also built an explosive device intended to be used against a passenger aircraft in 2012, and the device used in the attempted assassination of the former Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia.  Al-Asiri’s death significantly handicapped al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula. The United States will continue to hunt down terrorists like al-Asiri until they no longer pose a threat to our great Nation.

Note: The headline of this story previously reported the man who attempted the attack was confirmed dead. It has been changed to reflect the bomb maker is dead. 

Previous coverage: FBI agent opens up about 2009 Christmas Day 'Underwear Bomber' over Metro Detroit

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