- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 10, 2019

President Trump on Thursday confirmed for the first time that Ibrahim al-Asiri, a senior al Qaeda bomb maker tied to the Christmas Day “underwear” plot from a decade ago, was killed in 2017 during a counterterrorism operation in Yemen.

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.

Al-Asiri’s death significantly handicapped al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula,” Mr. Trump said. “The United States will continue to hunt down terrorists like al-Asiri until they no longer pose a threat to our great nation.”

Al-Asiri also built a bomb that was going to be used against a passenger plane in 2012, and the explosive device used in the attempted assassination of the former crown prince of Saudi Arabia, according to Mr. Trump.

Last month, the White House confirmed that Hamza bin Laden, a high-ranking al Qaeda member and son of slain terror leader Osama bin Laden, was killed in a U.S.-led counterterrorism operation. It is believed the operation took place in midsummer.

Mr. Trump announced al-Asiri’s killing as he insists he has a handle on the Turkish assault of American-allied Kurd fighters in northeast Syria.

Some congressional Republicans say the U.S. has abandoned its friends in the region, though Mr. Trump said he’s watching closely and will punish Turkey for missteps.

“I am trying to end the ENDLESS WARS. Talking to both sides,” he tweeted early Thursday.

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