July 27, 2012
ASPEN, Colo. — Transportation Security Administration chief John Pistole says the al Qaeda explosive device recently intercepted by a US intelligence operation in Yemen was a different formula than that used by the Yemeni offshoot to try to bring down a Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas 2009.
Pistole told an audience at the Aspen Security Forum that the TSA has recalibrated its explosive detection devices accordingly, and that bomb-sniffing dogs have also been trained to detect it.
The newly designed explosive device intercepted by a double-agent in Yemen was an upgrade from the underwear bomb carried by Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. The new model also had a more sophisticated trigger mechanism, an apparent attempt to fix the defective trigger that burned the bomber but failed to ignite the bomb in the 2009 attack.