All eyes on al-Qaeda master of explosives, AKA 'evil genius', who turned his own brother into a bomb
He is Al Qaeda’s most valued bombmaker and the creator of explosives so dangerous only an ‘evil genius’ could have come up with them.
Such is the skill of chemistry student Ibrahim Al-Asiri, who was born into a respectable middle class Saudi family, that his devices can be sewn inside a human body.
And terrifyingly, because they contain no metal elements, they are virtually undetectable and can evade airport security.
The master explosives-maker first tried out his chilling tactics on his willing younger brother, Abdullah.
He implanted a suicide bomb inside the 23-year-old for an assassination attempt on a Saudi Arabian prince.
Although the device went off as planned, Abdullah succeeded in killing only himself and not his target. Al-Asiri’s sinister creations have also been used on two high-profile terror attempts in the US, including the underwear bomb carried by Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab in his attempt to blow up a plane carrying 300 passengers over America on Christmas Day 2009.
In 2010, his devices were found in printer cartridges on a cargo plane bound for the US. They were intercepted in the UK.
In May 2012, US officials said they believed Al-Asiri had built an improved version of the underwear bomb, which was given to a Saudi-recruited double agent to blow up on a US-bound flight.
After the discovery of the printer cartridge bomb, then US deputy national security adviser John Brennan said analysis of the devices showed they were made by the same person who was behind the underwear bomb.
He said: ‘He’s a very dangerous individual – clearly somebody who has a fair amount of training and experience. We need to find him and bring him to justice as soon as we can.’
US congressman and former homeland security committee chairman Peter King said Al-Asiri was an ‘evil genius’, adding: ‘He is constantly expanding, he is constantly adjusting.’ Intelligence sources believe Al-Asiri, who is known as Abu Saleh, has been passing on his lethal bomb-making expertise from his base in Yemen to Syria, with plans to attack transatlantic flights.