Ibrahim Hassan Tali al-Asiri is a 28 year old Saudi citizen now living in Yemen who is expert at creating bombs that can elude detection and penetrate airport security. He is the maker of two near miss underwear bombs as well as other hidden small devices including a bomb placed in his own brother’s body that was detonated in a suicide bombing attempt to kill Saudi security chief, Prince Mohammed Bin Nayef. The Prince was not harmed because the bomb was detonated too early. However, al-Asiri’s brother was killed in the attempt, the explosive penetrated security and could have killed its target if detonated a moment later. al-Asiri is said to be training a team of bomb makers in a special workshop of his own design creating the potential for a deadly legacy even if he himself is removed from the battlefield. In the following video from FoxNews, Rand senior analyst Seth Jones discusses security concerns related to Al Qaeda’s underwear bomb maker.
Further reading on the background and origins of al-Asiri can be found on the BBC Middle East page.