This is kind of amazing:
The successful blocking of an ambitious Al Qaeda plot to bomb a U.S.-bound airliner was an international sting operation worthy of Hollywood, with spies tricking terrorists into showing their cards.
Saudi Arabia’s intelligence agency, working closely with the CIA, used an informant to pose as a would-be suicide bomber. His job was to convince the Al Qaeda franchise in Yemen to give him a new kind of non-metallic bomb that the militants were designing to easily pass through airport security.
But the double agent instead arranged to deliver the explosive device to U.S. and other intelligence authorities waiting in another country, officials said Tuesday. The agent is now safely outside Yemen and is being debriefed.
Experts are analyzing the sophisticated device at the FBI’s bomb laboratory at Quantico, Va., to determine if it really could evade current security measures. It appears an upgraded version of the so-called “underwear bomb” that failed to take down a passenger jet over Detroit on Christmas Day 2009.