Ibrahim al-Asiri

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Ibrahim al-Asiri
Ibrahim al-Asiri, alleged to be AQAP's chief bomb-maker.jpg
Born (1982-04-18) April 18, 1982 (age 33)
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[edit]

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


  1. ^ a b c d Abdullah Al-Oreifij (September 1, 2009). "Suicide bomber named". Saudi Gazette. Archived from the original on August 2, 2009. Retrieved August 2, 2009. 
  2. ^ a b Daniel Klaidman, Christopher Dickey (2012-05-14). "Ibrahim al-Asiri: The Body Bomb Menace". Daily Beast. Retrieved 2012-05-14. Newsweek has learned that U.S. intelligence officials circulated a secret report that laid out in vivid detail how doctors working for al-Asiri had developed the surgical technique. An American government source familiar with the report described it as 15 to 20 pages, single spaced, and replete with schematics and pictures. “It was almost like something you’d see in Scientific American,” the source said.  mirror Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "DailyBeast2012-05-14" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  3. ^ a b BBC News (9 May 2012). "Profile: Al-Qaeda 'bomb maker' Ibrahim al-Asiri". BBC News. 
  4. ^ "Kingdom unveils list of 85 wanted militants abroad". Arab News. February 3, 2009. Archived from the original on September 10, 2009. 
  5. ^ "85 on Saudi wanted list of militants". Saudi Gazette. February 3, 2009. Archived from the original on February 4, 2009. Retrieved February 3, 2009. 
  6. ^ Carol Rosenberg (February 2, 2009). "Saudi 'most wanted list' includes freed Guantánamo detainees". Miami Herald. Archived from the original on February 3, 2009. 
  7. ^ Hammond, Andrew (August 30, 2009). "Saudi prince defends policy on militants". Reuters. Archived from the original on September 1, 2009. 
  8. ^ "Bizarre tale of Saudi bomber: Al-Qaida terrorist rode victim’s private jet". Metro US. August 30, 2009. Archived from the original on September 1, 2009. 
  9. ^ "Passenger jets carried Dubai bomb". Al Jazeera. October 31, 2010. Retrieved March 12, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Saudi Bombmaker Key Suspect in Yemen Plot". CBS News. Associated Press. November 1, 2010. Retrieved March 12, 2014. 
  11. ^ McGreal, Chris; Dodd, Vikram (October 31, 2010). "Cargo bombs plot: US hunts Saudi extremist". London: The Guardian. Retrieved October 31, 2010. 
  12. ^ "Al-Qaeda plot: Flight ban on freight from Somalia". London: Telegraph. November 1, 2010. Retrieved November 1, 2010. 
  13. ^ Frank Gardner (November 1, 2010). "Saudi man 'key suspect' in jet bomb plot, says US". BBC News. Retrieved November 1, 2010. 
  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. ^ David Pescovitz (2012-05-14). "You da bomb! (surgically-implanted explosives)". Boing boing. Retrieved 2012-05-14. According to Newsweek, US intelligence officials report that al Qaeda's explosives expert Ibrahim al-Asiri and medical doctors have been designing bombs to be surgically implanted into the bodies of suicide bombers. The idea is that the technique would somehow foil airport scanners. Gives a whole new meaning to the phrase, "You da bomb!"  mirror
  19. ^ Anissa Haddadi (2012-05-14). "Al-Qaida’s ‘Body Bombs’ increase Fears of Global Attacks by Master Bomb-Maker Ibrahim Hassan Tali al-Asiri". International Business Times. Retrieved 2012-05-14. Experts and intelligence sources say the terrorists could use the powerful explosive pentaerythritol tetranitrate, known as PETN and insert it in the bodies of would-be suicide bombers. According to reports they would then be able to detonate the implanted explosives via injections. The bombs would not be detectable to airport body scanner, increasing risks of attacks similar to the 2011 September attack on the Twin Towers in New York and on the Pentagon.  mirror
  20. ^ "Breast bombers: Doctors trained to plant explosives inside chest of female suicide bombers". The Daily Mirror. 2012-05-14. Retrieved 2012-05-14. MI6 chiefs believe doctors have been trained to plant explosives inside the breasts of female suicide bombers.  mirror
  21. ^ Jim Miklaszewski, Courtney Kube and Richard Esposito (August 13, 2013). "Reports:Al-Qaeda's Master Bombmaker Wounded In US Drone Strike". NBC News. Retrieved August 13, 2013. 
  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

External links[edit]