US adds Norwegian AQAP bomb maker to list of terrorists
The US State Department added a Norwegian who serves as a bomb maker for al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula to its list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists.
Anders Cameroon Ostensvig Dale, a Norwegian who converted to Islam and quickly joined AQAP in Yemen, was added to the list of global terrorists today.
"Dale has received terrorist training and was taught to make bomb-belts, improvised explosive devices, and larger explosives used in car bombs," State said. Dale traveled back and forth between Norway and Yemen multiple times from 2008 to 2011. He remained in Yemen in December 2011. According to reports, Dale claimed he traveled to Yemen to study Islam.
Dale, who goes by the nom de guerre Muslim Abu Abdurrahman, according to The Sunday Times, has been implicated in several terrorist plots. In 2012, he was thought to be involved with an airline plot, as well as a plot to conduct an attack during the Olympics that same year.
US intelligence officials contacted by The Long War Journal said that Dale was likely trained by Ibrahim al Asiri or one of his lieutenants. Asiri is a Specially Designated Global Terrorist who is AQAP's master bomb maker and has been implicated in several of the terror group's plots to carry out bombings in the West. Considered to be al Qaeda's most innovative bomb maker, Asiri has boasted that he has trained others to manufacture explosive devices for AQAP. Asiri is known for building the so-called underwear bomb and for designing explosive devices that are disguised as items such as printers.
In the past, Dale is thought to have been operating in northern Yemen. In 2012, he was spotted in Azzana and Dammaj in northern Yemen.
Prior to converting to Islam, Dale was described as a 9/11 conspiracy theorist who was a member of Left-wing political movements in Norway. He was a member of the far-Left Blitz movement, which espouses communism, socialism, and anarchism. He then became a member of the Norwegian Green Party. In 2012, a family member, Cathrine Østensvig Dale, was working as a senior executive in the Norwegian Finance Ministry.
Dale is said to have become a Muslim in 2008 after marrying the daughter of a Moroccan diplomat, with whom he had a child. Dale and his wife reportedly separated after her family learned of his terrorist connections.
The State Department's designation of Dale comes at a time when Western intelligence officials and the US Department of Justice are warning about increasing threats against airlines. In early July, American officials called for tighter security at foreign airports that have direct flights to the US, following intelligence reports that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and the Al Nusrah Front in Syria are cooperating on attack plans, and possibly developing currently undetectable bombs capable of downing an airliner.