PLEDGE NOW
Bomb Plot Foiled

The CIA says it’s stopped an al-Qaida plot to blow up a U.S.-bound airliner. We’ll go deep on how they spotted the plot and the bomb threat now.

This undated file photo released by Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Interior on Sunday, Oct. 31, 2010, in a combination of two photos which they say both show bomb maker suspect Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri. Al-Asiri constructed the first underwear bomb and two others that al-Qaida built into printer cartridges and shipped to the U.S. on cargo planes in 2010. U.S. bomb experts are picking apart a sophisticated new al-Qaida improvised explosive device, a top Obama administration counterterrorism official said Tuesday, to determine if it could have slipped past airport security and taken down a commercial airplane. (AP)

This undated file photo released by Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Interior on Sunday, Oct. 31, 2010, in a combination of two photos which they say both show bomb maker suspect Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri. Al-Asiri constructed the first underwear bomb and two others that al-Qaida built into printer cartridges and shipped to the U.S. on cargo planes in 2010. U.S. bomb experts are picking apart a sophisticated new al-Qaida improvised explosive device, a top Obama administration counterterrorism official said Tuesday, to determine if it could have slipped past airport security and taken down a commercial airplane. (AP)

The news reports on the double agent in Arabia and the foiled bomb plot aimed at U.S.-bound airliners reads like a script from “Mission Impossible.” 

A super sting.  A double agent inserted into the heart of al-Qaida in Yemen, pretending to be a willing suicide bomber, coming out alive with the latest, fiendish creation of a master bomb maker: a deadly underwear bomb so subtle it might have slipped right through. We’re past panicking every time we hear the name al-Qaida. But this gets our attention. 

This hour, On Point:  al-Qaida, the sting, and the threat now.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Brian Bennett, national security correspondent for the Los Angeles Times

Philip Mudd, senior research fellow, Counterterrorism Strategy Initiative at the New America Foundation. He’s the former deputy director, National Security Branch of the FBI and former deputy director of the CIA’s  Counterterrorism Center.

Bruce Hoffman, Professor and Director, Center for Peace and Security Studies and Security Studies Program at Georgetown University.

From Tom’s Reading List

Daily Beast “The infamous Ibrahim al Asiri is thought to have orchestrated al Qaeda’s latest foiled bomb plot. Bruce Riedel on how an enemy in Yemen and his pupils are determined to blast their way into American history.”

ABC News “In a stunning intelligence coup, a dangerous al Qaeda bomb cell in Yemen was successfully infiltrated by an inside source who secretly worked for the CIA and several other intelligence agencies, authorities revealed to ABC News.”

CBS News ” Inspire, an online magazine associated with an al Qaeda affiliate group called AQAP or al Qaeda of the Arabia Peninsula continues to be published a year after its publisher and editor were killed. This week, the magazine surprised some when it released a double issue. ”

The Washington Post “The CIA and overseas intelligence partners disrupted an al-Qaeda plot to blow up civilian aircraft using an advanced explosive device designed by the terrorist network’s affiliate in Yemen, U.S. officials said Monday.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Jul 31, 2015
Former University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing, second from left, appears before Judge Megan Shanahan at Hamilton County Courthouse for his arraignment in the shooting death of motorist Samuel DuBose, Thursday, July 30, 2015, in Cincinnati. Tensing pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and involuntary manslaughter. (AP)

A new police murder charge and a black man dead in Ohio. Iran Deal heat and Huckabee. Malaysia Air. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Jul 31, 2015
In this undated photo provided by the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, Cecil the lion rests in Hwange National Park, in Hwange, Zimbabwe. Two Zimbabweans arrested for illegally hunting a lion appeared in court Wednesday, July 29, 2015. (AP)

Canned lion hunts and the fate of big game in Africa, after the outrage over Cecil.

RECENT
SHOWS
Jul 30, 2015
Conan O'Brien speaks at the 43rd AFI Lifetime Achievement Award Tribute Gala at the Dolby Theatre on Thursday, June 4, 2015, in Los Angeles.  (AP)

Who owns jokes? Seriously. In the age of social media, the lines are murky.

 
Jul 30, 2015
Shereef Bishay, co-founder of Dev Bootcamp, center, talks with student Ryan Guerrettaz during a class at Dev Bootcamp in San Francisco, Tuesday, April 2, 2013. Dev Bootcamp is one of a new breed of computer-programming schools that’s proliferating in San Francisco and other U.S. tech hubs. These “hacker boot camps” promise to teach students how to write code in two or three months and help them get hired as web developers, with starting salaries between $80,000 and $100,000, often within days or weeks of graduation. (AP)

From barista to tech wiz. Computer coding boot camps are hot. Vaulting their graduates in just months into high-paying jobs. We’ll look at the surge.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: July 31, 2015
Friday, Jul 31, 2015

A regular reminder that RTs are not endorsements, links have specific authorship and patience is a virtue.

More »
Comment
 
Q & A: Scott Walker On The Iran Deal, Huckabee Comments
Monday, Jul 27, 2015

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker explains his opposition to the Iran Deal, his record of statewide electoral victory and why he feels he’s set to win the 2016 Republican Presidential nomination.

More »
Comment
 
Q & A: Carly Fiorina On Trump, Sexism, And Being Cut From The GOP Debate
Monday, Jul 27, 2015

Republican Presidential Candidate Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of computer giant Hewlett-Packard, joined guest host John Harwood to talk Donald Trump, the upcoming Republican candidate debate and sexism in modern life.

More »
Comment