Washington — A plot to carry out a bombing, possibly against a US-bound airliner around last week's anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden, has been disrupted, US officials said. The bomb, said to be similar to devices used in the past by the Yemen-based Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), was seized "abroad" and in the possession of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the FBI said in a statement.
US President Barack Obama was informed in April about the brewing plot, and was assured "that the device did not pose a threat to the public," said Caitlin Hayden, deputy spokeswoman for the president's National Security Council.
"What this incident makes clear is that this country has to remain vigilant against those who attempt to attack this country," Defence Secretary Leon Panetta said when asked about the bomb plot during an unrelated Pentagon press conference.
The FBI said the bomb was seized abroad with the help of security and intelligence partners overseas. "The FBI currently has possession of the (improvised explosive device) and is conducting technical and forensics analysis on it," the agency said.
Preliminary examination showed the bomb was similar to those used by AQAP in previous attempted attacks, including against aircraft. — dpa