The US State Department added a top al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula operative and bomb maker to the list of specially designated global terrorists
Earlier today, Ibrahim Hassan Tali al Asiri was officially designated by the US as a terrorist under Executive Order 13224. The designation allows the US and the UN to freeze the assets of Asiri, prevent him from using financial institutions, and prosecute him for terrorist activities.
Asiri was described by State as the “primary bomb maker” for al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Prior to joining AQAP’s operations in Yemen, Asiri was a member of an “al Qaeda affiliated terrorist cell” that plotted to attack oil infrastructure in Saudi Arabia.
Asiri is currently wanted by the Saudi government for his role in the attempted assassination of Prince Muhammad bin Nayef bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, the Deputy Minister of the Interior. Asiri designed and assembled the bomb used by his brother, Abdullah Hassan al Asiri, in the Feb. 3, 2009 assassination attempt.
Abdullah lured the Saudi prince to a meeting by claiming he wished to surrender under an amnesty program and reconcile with the government. But instead, Abdullah detonated a bomb that was hidden in his anal cavity. The blast killed only Abdullah; Prince Saud was lightly wounded in the attack.
In February 2009, Asari was the eighth al Qaeda operative listed on Saudi Arabia’s list of 85 most wanted terrorists. The Saudi government described Asiri as an “expert in explosives and poison.”
Asiri has also begun to release propaganda for AQAP. In December 2010, Asiri announced the death of Abu Hammam Qahtani, the founder of Sada al Malahim, AQAP’s print magazine.