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Ibrahim al-Asiri

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Title: Ibrahim al-Asiri  
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Subject: Abdullah al-Asiri, 2012 Abyan offensive, Al-Qaeda insurgency in Yemen, Northwest Airlines Flight 253, American-led intervention in Syria
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Ibrahim al-Asiri

Ibrahim al-Asiri
Born (1982-04-18) April 18, 1982
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Other names
  • Abu Saleh
  • Khalid Ibrahim Al Aseery
  • Khaled Ibrahim Ahmad Al-Sunbul Al-Assiri
Citizenship Saudi Arabia
Known for al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula bomb-maker
Home town Riyadh
Religion Sunni Islam
Relatives Abdullah al-Asiri (younger brother)

Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri (born April 18, 1982) is a citizen of Saudi Arabia suspected of being chief bomb-maker of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.[1] He was reported to have been responsible for making the bombs used by his brother Abdullah al-Asiri in his suicide bombing, the 2009 Christmas Day bomb plot, the 2010 cargo plane bomb plot, and the May 8th 2012 Terror Plot.[2]


Little is known about al-Asiri’s early life; he was born in 1982 into a religious and military family in Riyadh with four brothers and three sisters.[3]

The Saudi Gazette reported that Ibrahim had been imprisoned and released. His imprisonment was a result of an attempt to enter Iraq to join Islamist insurgents.[3] He reportedly left Saudi Arabia for Yemen together with his brother Abdullah al-Asiri — whom he had recruited to al-Qaeda — to join up with al-Qaeda members.[1]

On February 3, 2009, Ibrahim and Abdullah were named on a list of Saudi Arabia's most wanted terrorist suspects.[4][5][6] The list published by the Government of Saudi Arabia listed 85 individuals, 83 of whom were Saudis, and 2 were from Yemen.

On August 27, 2009, Abdullah blew himself up in the Jeddah office of security chief Mohammed bin Nayef, after posing as a repentant militant.[1][7][8] Abdullah, who had been recruited by Ibrahim as a suicide bomber, used a PETN bomb that his brother had hidden in his rectum. Abdullah died in the attempt, but Nayef survived with minor injuries.[9][10]

Ibrahim is suspected of being the main explosives expert for Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and the bombmaker responsible for building the bombs in the 2010 cargo plane bomb plot.[11] He is a likely suspect due to his history of creating explosive devices using PETN, including his involvement in the failed Christmas Day bomb plot.[12] Evidence suggested the same person constructed both the Yemen parcel bombs and the device worn by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian who attempted to ignite the Christmas Day bomb on a plane in 2009. One of the detonators was nearly identical to the one used in the Christmas Day attack.[13]

On 24 March 2011 al-Asiri was added to the U.S. list of terrorists. He is wanted by the government of Saudi Arabia and is the subject of an Interpol Orange Notice.[14][15]

Al-Asiri had been reported as possibly killed in a drone strike together with other AQAP suspects, among whom was the American-Yemeni cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, during the month of September 2011.[16] However a Yemeni official denied that al-Asiri was killed.[17]

In May 2012, American security officials leaked their acquisition of a document describing how to prepare and use liquid explosive implants -- surgically implanted improvised explosive devices.[2][18][19][20] The implants would contain no metal parts, making them virtually undetectable by X-rays. Al-Asiri was reported to have been responsible for the development of the new weapon.

On August 13, 2013, it was reported that Al-Asiri may have been seriously wounded in a drone strike which occurred on August 10, though the reports were never confirmed.[21]

Al-Asiri was thought to have possibly been killed in a firefight on April 20, 2014. Yemeni troops recovered bodies to run DNA tests, but the tests were not a match.[22][23]


Al-Asiri's father is a retired soldier. He has three sisters and, now, two surviving brothers.[1]

See also

  • Nizar Rayan, who successfully recruited his own son for a suicide bombing mission


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  2. ^ a b mirror
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  14. ^ Department of State's Terrorist Designation of Ibrahim Hassan Tali Al-Asiri, U.S. Department of State, 24 March 2011
  15. ^ US designates al-Qaida bomb maker as a terrorist, AP, Chicago Tribune, 24 March 2011
  16. ^ Top al Qaeda bombmaker dead in drone strike, CBS News, September 30, 2011
  17. ^ Official: Al-Qaida in Yemen bomb maker not killed in Al-Awlaki strike, Associated Press in Washington Post, October 2, 2011
  18. ^ mirror
  19. ^ mirror
  20. ^ mirror
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  22. ^ Was al Qaeda bomb chief killed in Yemen?, Mohammed Jamjoom and Barbara Starr, CNN, April 22, 2014
  23. ^ DNA test: Remains from airstrike in Yemen not those of al Qaeda bomb-maker, Paul Cruickshank, Mohammed Jamjoom and Nic Robertson, CNN, April 28, 2014

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