Detroit Christmas Day 'underwear bomb' maker confirmed dead

Obtained by ABC News The underwear with the explosive worn by alleged Northwest 253 bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab is shown in this undated

Obtained by ABC News The underwear with the explosive worn by alleged Northwest 253 bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab is shown in this undated

US officials said a year ago they were confident al-Asiri had been killed but others had said at the time that the evidence was not conclusive.

Al-Asiri built the device used in the failed plot against a passenger plane on Christmas in 2009 and was involved in the "printer cartridge" bomb plot of 2010, which was discovered on cargo planes en route to the U.S.

The White House confirms that Ibrahim al-Asiri was killed during a counterterrorism operation in Yemen two years ago.

Al-Asiri's death significantly handicapped al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, the statement added.

The President did not reveal details of the operation which took out al-Asiri, nor did he explain why he has now chosen to make the news public.

The White House is confirming for the first time that Ibrahim al-Asiri, a master al Qaeda bombmaker, is dead.

The U.S administration had long sought al-Asiri, who made a name for himself because of his ability to create hard-to-detect bombs.

According to CNN, al-Asiri perfected miniaturized bombs with no metal content, meaning that they could easily go undetected during airport security screenings.

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab tried to detonate explosives, built by al-Asiri, hidden in his underwear while aboard a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit on December 25, 2009.

Abdulmutallab, a native of Nigeria, pleaded guilty to eight charges filed against him and was sentenced to four consecutive life sentences, plus 50 years in prison.

Al-Asiri, who studied chemistry in the Saudi capital of Riyadh, had also designed bombs disguised as printer cartridges that al-Qaeda attempted to send to the U.S. via cargo planes in October of 2010.

The explosive maker had also recruited his brother, Abdullah al-Asiri, as a suicide bomber in the attempted assassination of former Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef in 2009.

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