From Pam Benson
WASHINGTON (CNN) — U.S. and other intelligence agencies broke up a plot to bomb an airliner, U.S. counterrrorism officials said Monday.
The plot was discovered before it threatened any Americans, and no airliners were put at risk, one official said. A nonmetallic explosive device similar to the one used in the failed attempt to bomb a Detroit-bound jet in 2009 was recovered, the official said, adding that it was meant for use by a suicide bomber.
The threat was foiled around the anniversary of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, although a second U.S. counterrorism official said that the threat was not timed to coincide with the death of the al Qaeda leader.
The FBI said an improvised explosive device was seized abroad and that it is conducting technical and forensic analysis on it.
The device is similar to others previously used by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which Western officials describe as al Qaeda’s most dangerous affiliate, the FBI said.
The White House said President Barack Obama was told about the plot in April, and the attempt “underscores the necessity of remaining vigilant against terrorism here and abroad.”
A spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security said authorities have “no specific, credible information regarding an active terrorist plot against the U.S. at this time,” although they continue to monitor efforts to carry out such attacks.
CNN’s Elise Labott and Jessica Yellin contributed to this report.
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