An attempt to deliver explosives, disguised by a copier toner cartridge, by aircraft - for the purposes of targeting the addressees (two synagogues in the Chicago area) or to cause a mid-air explosion - recalls a similar episode last Christmas. Late 2009, a young Nigerian man, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab intended to down Delta Airlines flight 253 flying from Amsterdam to Detroit. The episodes have once again placed Yemen and the al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) on the front pages of newspapers around the world. While the attempts have failed given the fast reaction of passengers and the crew in the Christmas plot, and a thorough check by customs officials at London Heathrow is the ‘toner’ bomb case, the impact has been important in that visibility of AQAP has increased considerably as a result. Although no one was harmed, Al-Qaeda managed a good media coup whether it planned it or not.
[North Africa] Podcast: Packages from YemenDeputy Editor of The North Africa Journal discusses the latest security scare following the discovery of suspicious packages on flights bound to the United States and originating from Yemen. Click on the bottom bar at the left to listen to the CTV interview or on the image here....
Alessandro Bruno Deputy Editor of The North Africa Journal Alessandro Bruno is a leading analyst of North African, Arab and international affairs. He specializes in strategic political and economic developments relating to the North African oil industry and Middle East politics. Mr. Bruno is also an analyst in the global investment banking sector for a leading international advisory group. Quoted in the press such as The Financial Times, Mr. Bruno holds a Master of Arts in Middle East Studies and Bachelor of Arts in Near Eastern Studies. He has completed course work for a PhD in Middle East Politics at the University of Toronto. Mr. Bruno brings a wealth of international experience, having lived and worked abroad in a variety of different countries. Most recently, he lived in Libya working as a Program Officer (JPO) with the United Nations Development Program. Mr. Bruno is fluent in English, Italian, Spanish and French and has a working knowledge of Portuguese, Arabic and German.