Al Qaeda ‘liquid explosive' linked to closure of US embassies
The closure of US embassies across the Middle East and Africa has been extended to Saturday as reports of a new type of liquid explosive have surfaced.
The alleged new explosive technique is believed to have been developed by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), and reportedly consists of a liquid that can turn clothes into explosives.
AQAP is the home of alleged al Qaeda bomb maker Ibrahim al-Asiri who is the suspected mastermind of several previous al Qaeda bomb plots.
Clothes dipped into the liquid become explosive when dry, according to senior U.S. government officials.
Such an explosive would be extremely difficult to detect by conventional security measures.
The decision to close the embassies came after U.S. officials intercepted communications between AQAP and al Qaeda’s leadership in Pakistan that suggested a major operation was underway.
In addition to the liquid bomb, a senior US official said US intelligence agencies are worried the attack could use what have been termed "Frankenbombers," suicide bombers who have an improvised explosive device (IED) sewn inside a body cavity.
Along with the closure of US embassies, the government is taking extra precautions by increasing the number of air marshals on flights inbound to the US.
Cargo arriving in the US from Europe is also under increased scrutiny by security services, according to senior US officials, adding that analysts predicted an attack most likely to be carried out on US targets in Pakistan or Yemen.
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