This image provided by the FBI shows Ibrahim al-Asiri. Yemeni security officials say al-Qaida’s chief bomb maker behind the 2009 Christmas Day plot to down an airliner over Detroit was killed in a US drone strike earlier this year. 
The officials’ statement comes after a U.N. report that Ibrahim al-Asiri, associated with major al-Qaida aviation plots, may have been killed in the second half of 2017.   (FBI via AP)
A photo provided by the FBI of Al Qaeda's chief bomb maker in Yemen, Ibrahim Al Asiri. FBI via AP

Yemeni sources confirm death of Al Qaeda's bomb maker in US strike



A US drone strike in Yemen killed Al Qaeda's chief bomb maker, Ibrahim Al Asiri, who was behind the 2009 Christmas Day plot to down an airliner over Detroit and other foiled aviation-related terror attacks, Yemeni officials and a tribal leader have confirmed.

The killing of Al Asiri deals a heavy blow to Al Qaeda's ability to strike western targets and piles pressure on the group that lost some of its top cadres over the past years in similar strikes.

A Yemeni security official confirmed Al Asiri was dead, while a tribal leader and an Al Qaeda-linked source said he was killed in a US drone strike in the eastern Yemeni province of Marib.

The tribal leader said that Al Asiri was struck, along with two or four of his associates, as he stood beside his car.

Al Qaeda has not commented on Al Asiri's death. Instead of the typical "eulogies" on militant websites, the Yemeni source said the group was trying to hunt down suspected "spies" who might have tipped off the US on his whereabouts.

The confirmation of Al Asiri's death follows a UN report this week saying that the 36-year-old Saudi national, who is on the US list of most wanted militants, may have been killed in the second half of last year.

Al Asiri is believed to have built the underwear bomb that a Nigerian man, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, tried to detonate on a passenger jet over Detroit in December 2009. He was also behind bombs hidden in printer cartridges placed on US-bound cargo jets in 2010.

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Read more:

Editorial: The momentum of weakening Al Qaeda in Yemen must be seized

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US intelligence over the past years believed that Al Asiri and his confederates were constantly working to improve their bomb designs so that they could get past airport security.

In July 2014, the US banned uncharged mobile phones and laptops aboard flights arriving from Europe and the Middle East.

Al Asiri, who studied chemistry in the Saudi capital of Riyadh, even once placed explosives inside his younger brother's clothes in a plot to assassinate the then Saudi interior minister, Mohammed bin Nayef, in 2009. The brother, Abdullah, died in the explosion while the top US counterterrorism ally was slightly wounded.

The US has long viewed Al Qaeda's Yemeni branch as its most dangerous affiliate, in part because of Al Asiri's expertise in explosives. Since 2014, the US has offered $5 million (Dh18m) for information leading to his capture. He is thought to have escaped death many times in US drone strikes in Yemen.

Al Asiri's last known statement was a 2016 audio message threatening Saudi Arabia and the US after the kingdom executed 47 Al Qaeda suspects.

Wanted by the US, Saudi Arabia and Interpol, Al Asiri fled Saudi Arabia for Yemen, along with other extremist militants escaping a crackdown in the kingdom.

Once in Yemen, they merged with local Al Qaeda militants who escaped from a Yemeni prison in 2006 to form Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP.

Since 2015, Al Qaeda has exploited the turmoil of Yemen's civil war between Iran-backed Houthi rebels and government forces supported by the Saudi-led Arab Coalition. Amid the chaos, AQAP expanded its territory, occupied entire cities, looted security camps, banks and collected taxes from locals.

The UN report on Monday, which first raised allegations that Al Asiri may have been killed, also said that Al Qaeda's global network "continues to show resilience", with its affiliates and allies much stronger than ISIS in some places, including Somalia, Yemen, South Asia and Africa's Sahel region.

It added that Yemen's lack of a strong central government "has provided a fertile environment for" AQAP's expansion and estimated its strength inside Yemen at between 6,000 and 7,000 fighters — compared to between only 250 to 500 ISIS fighters.

Al Qaeda's top havens in Yemen are in the central Bayda and eastern Marib provinces. But since 2015, it has suffered heavy losses in leadership as US drone strikes killed off top cadres, including co-founder Nasser Al Wahishi, who was Osama bin Laden's top aide. Veteran Al Qaeda leader Qassim Al Rimi succeeded Al Wahishi.

RESULTS

Bantamweight: Jalal Al Daaja (JOR) beat Hamza Bougamza (MAR)

Catchweight 67kg: Mohamed El Mesbahi (MAR) beat Fouad Mesdari (ALG)

Lightweight: Abdullah Mohammed Ali (UAE) beat Abdelhak Amhidra (MAR)

Catchweight 73kg: Mosatafa Ibrahim Radi (PAL) beat Yazid Chouchane (ALG)

Middleweight: Yousri Belgaroui (TUN) beat Badreddine Diani (MAR)

Catchweight 78KG: Rashed Dawood (UAE) beat Adnan Bushashy (ALG)

Middleweight: Sallah-Eddine Dekhissi (MAR) beat Abdel Enam (EGY)

Catchweight 65kg: Yanis Ghemmouri (ALG) beat Rachid Hazoume (MAR)

Lightweight: Mohammed Yahya (UAE) beat Azouz Anwar (EGY)

Catchweight 79kg: Souhil Tahiri (ALG) beat Omar Hussein (PAL)

Middleweight: Tarek Suleiman (SYR) beat Laid Zerhouni (ALG)

KEY DATES IN AMAZON'S HISTORY

July 5, 1994: Jeff Bezos founds Cadabra Inc, which would later be renamed to Amazon.com, because his lawyer misheard the name as 'cadaver'. In its earliest days, the bookstore operated out of a rented garage in Bellevue, Washington

July 16, 1995: Amazon formally opens as an online bookseller. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought becomes the first item sold on Amazon

1997: Amazon goes public at $18 a share, which has grown about 1,000 per cent at present. Its highest closing price was $197.85 on June 27, 2024

1998: Amazon acquires IMDb, its first major acquisition. It also starts selling CDs and DVDs

2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

2002: Amazon forms what would become Amazon Web Services, opening the Amazon.com platform to all developers. The cloud unit would follow in 2006

2003: Amazon turns in an annual profit of $75 million, the first time it ended a year in the black

2005: Amazon Prime is introduced, its first-ever subscription service that offered US customers free two-day shipping for $79 a year

2006: Amazon Unbox is unveiled, the company's video service that would later morph into Amazon Instant Video and, ultimately, Amazon Video

2007: Amazon's first hardware product, the Kindle e-reader, is introduced; the Fire TV and Fire Phone would come in 2014. Grocery service Amazon Fresh is also started

2009: Amazon introduces Amazon Basics, its in-house label for a variety of products

2010: The foundations for Amazon Studios were laid. Its first original streaming content debuted in 2013

2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

2018: Amazon's market cap briefly crosses the $1 trillion mark, making it, at the time, only the third company to achieve that milestone

Ponti

Sharlene Teo, Pan Macmillan

Brief scores:

Toss: Northern Warriors, elected to field first

Bengal Tigers 130-1 (10 ov)

Roy 60 not out, Rutherford 47 not out

Northern Warriors 94-7 (10 ov)

Simmons 44; Yamin 4-4

All about the Sevens

Cape Town Sevens on Saturday and Sunday: Pools A – South Africa, Kenya, France, Russia; B – New Zealand, Australia, Spain, United States; C – England, Scotland, Argentina, Uganda; D – Fiji, Samoa, Canada, Wales

HSBC World Sevens Series standing after first leg in Dubai 1 South Africa; 2 New Zealand; 3 England; 4 Fiji; 5 Australia; 6 Samoa; 7 Kenya; 8 Scotland; 9 France; 10 Spain; 11 Argentina; 12 Canada; 13 Wales; 14 Uganda; 15 United States; 16 Russia

The specs: Lamborghini Aventador SVJ

Price, base: Dh1,731,672

Engine: 6.5-litre V12

Gearbox: Seven-speed automatic

Power: 770hp @ 8,500rpm

Torque: 720Nm @ 6,750rpm

Fuel economy: 19.6L / 100km

TWISTERS

Director: Lee Isaac Chung

Starring: Glenn Powell, Daisy Edgar-Jones, Anthony Ramos

Rating: 2.5/5

The specs: 2018 BMW R nineT Scrambler

Price, base / as tested Dh57,000

Engine 1,170cc air/oil-cooled flat twin four-stroke engine

Transmission Six-speed gearbox

Power 110hp) @ 7,750rpm

Torque 116Nm @ 6,000rpm

Fuel economy, combined 5.3L / 100km

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Telr
Based: Dubai, UAE
Launch year: 2014
Number of employees: 65
Sector: FinTech and payments
Funding: nearly $30 million so far

If you go

  • The nearest international airport to the start of the Chuysky Trakt is in Novosibirsk. Emirates (www.emirates.com) offer codeshare flights with S7 Airlines (www.s7.ru) via Moscow for US$5,300 (Dh19,467) return including taxes. Cheaper flights are available on Flydubai and Air Astana or Aeroflot combination, flying via Astana in Kazakhstan or Moscow. Economy class tickets are available for US$650 (Dh2,400).
  • The Double Tree by Hilton in Novosibirsk (+7 383 2230100,) has double rooms from US$60 (Dh220). You can rent cabins at camp grounds or rooms in guesthouses in the towns for around US$25 (Dh90).
  • The transport Minibuses run along the Chuysky Trakt but if you want to stop for sightseeing, hire a taxi from Gorno-Altaisk for about US$100 (Dh360) a day. Take a Russian phrasebook or download a translation app. Tour companies such as Altair-Tour (+7 383 2125115 ) offer hiking and adventure packages.
Brief scoreline:

Liverpool 5

Keita 1', Mane 23', 66', Salah 45'+1, 83'

Huddersfield 0

Tips for job-seekers
  • Do not submit your application through the Easy Apply button on LinkedIn. Employers receive between 600 and 800 replies for each job advert on the platform. If you are the right fit for a job, connect to a relevant person in the company on LinkedIn and send them a direct message.
  • Make sure you are an exact fit for the job advertised. If you are an HR manager with five years’ experience in retail and the job requires a similar candidate with five years’ experience in consumer, you should apply. But if you have no experience in HR, do not apply for the job.

David Mackenzie, founder of recruitment agency Mackenzie Jones Middle East

THE BIO

Occupation: Specialised chief medical laboratory technologist

Age: 78

Favourite destination: Always Al Ain “Dar Al Zain”

Hobbies: his work  - “ the thing which I am most passionate for and which occupied all my time in the morning and evening from 1963 to 2019”

Other hobbies: football

Favorite football club: Al Ain Sports Club

 

Electric scooters: some rules to remember
  • Riders must be 14-years-old or over
  • Wear a protective helmet
  • Park the electric scooter in designated parking lots (if any)
  • Do not leave electric scooter in locations that obstruct traffic or pedestrians
  • Solo riders only, no passengers allowed
  • Do not drive outside designated lanes
COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Revibe
Started: 2022
Founders: Hamza Iraqui and Abdessamad Ben Zakour
Based: UAE
Industry: Refurbished electronics
Funds raised so far: $10m
Investors: Flat6Labs, Resonance and various others

TOP 10 MOST POLLUTED CITIES

1. Bhiwadi, India
2. Ghaziabad, India
3. Hotan, China
4. Delhi, India
5. Jaunpur, India
6. Faisalabad, Pakistan
7. Noida, India
8. Bahawalpur, Pakistan
9. Peshawar, Pakistan
10. Bagpat, India

Source: IQAir