The White House on Thursday confirmed that a senior al-Qaeda bomb-maker was killed during a U.S. counter-terrorism operation in Yemen two years ago.
Ibrahim al-Asiri is credited with making explosives with little or no metal content that could make it past some airport security screening points.
Some officials and news outlets reported in 2018 that Al-Asiri had been killed in 2017, but no confirmation was given at the time.
“Al-Asiri built explosive devices that were used in the failed Christmas Day 2009 underwear bomb attack and the disrupted printer cartridge bomb plot in 2010. He also built an explosive device intended to be used against a passenger aircraft in 2012, and the device used in the attempted assassination of the former Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia,” the statement from White House said.
“Al-Asiri’s death significantly handicapped al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula. The United States will continue to hunt down terrorists like al-Asiri until they no longer pose a threat to our great Nation.”
The White House did not give further details explaining its confirmation of Al-Asiri’s death, or why it made the announcement.
The announcement comes as President Donald Trump is facing criticism for ordering a withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria’s northern frontier, allowing a military operation by Turkish troops.