By Greg Richter
New intelligence reports indicate that Yemeni bomb-makers are joining terrorists in Syria to build new types of virtually undetectable bombs, says Attorney General Eric Holder.
Appearing Sunday on ABC’s “This Week,” Holder called the prospect “more frightening than anything I think I’ve seen as attorney general … This is a situation that we can see developing. And the potential that I see coming out, the negative potential I see coming out of the facts in Syria and Iraq now are quite concerning.”
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The Yemen-based bomb-builders, including Saudi native Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri, were behind the underwear-bomb plot in 2009 and have traveled to Syria to meet with members of the Islamic State (ISIS), the group that has declared a caliphate in parts of Syria and Iraq.
“It’s something that gives us really extreme, extreme concern,” Holder said in the pre-recorded interview in London, where he was attending meetings with European officials on security.
The Transportation Security Administration announced last Sunday that certain overseas airports would begin requiring passengers on some U.S.-bound flights to turn on cell phones and other electronic devices before they would be allowed onboard. Holder indicated that rule was based on the information received about the Yemini bomb-makers and the Islamic State.
“This is not a test,” Holder said. “We’re doing something in reaction to things that we have detected.”
About 7,000 people with American or European passports have joined the fighting on behalf of the Islamic State, and officials fear they may attempt to return and carry out acts of terrorism in the West.