Report: US Troops Kill Suspected al-Qaeda Bombmaker in Yemen Ambush

Asiri, Believed Killed in Attack, Was 'Mastermind' of Failed 2009 Attack

Officials are reporting that top al-Qaeda bombmaker Ibrahim al-Asiri is believed to have been killed in an ambush by US ground troops on Monday, calling him the “most senior member” slain since Osama bin Laden.

The troops, US Navy Seals, were dropped onto an area near the highway to wait for the jeep Asiri was thought to be traveling in, and opened fire on it, killing all within.

Asiri’s primary claim to fame is being the “mastermind” behind the failed 2009 underwear bomb plot, in which he made explosive underpants intended to destroy an airplane, but instead just severely burned the lap of the guy wearing them.

After killing everyone in the jeep, a sniffer dog was sent in to inspect the corpses, and identified one of them as Asiri. So far that’s the closest we’ve gotten to confirmation on the incident, but the dog’s word was apparently good enough for Yemeni officials, who are already crowing about the killing.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of