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Federal officials believe that the bomb maker is Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri, a Saudi-born terrorist long known to counterterrorism experts. Al-Asiri sewed the same explosive, PETN, into the underwear of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian citizen accused of the failed plot to blow up a Northwest Airlines jet over Detroit last Christmas. Consider this about Asiri: he stuffed the same explosive last year into the rectum of the suicide bomber he dispatched to kill Saudi Arabia’s counterterrorism chief, Prince Mohammed Bin Nayef, a Saudi royal. Slightly wounding the Saudi prince in the attack, the bomber himself—al-Asiri’s younger brother, Abdullah—was blown to shreds.
In its statements, AQAP called the mission a “resounding success,” reports the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism, an Israeli-based think tank, in a new report about al-Qaida and the global jihad in Yemen. The attack on Bin Nayef marked the first time that AQAP had “penetrated the Saudi ruling family” and evaded the elaborate security measures designed to protect the kingdom’s leaders, the report concludes.
Bombers who send their own brothers to their deaths, terrorists who attack Christians in churches and Jews in synagogues, people eager to kill in the name of a perverted interpretation of their faith—this is the face of civilization’s enemy. Make no mistake: they intend to kill as many “infidels” as possible. Their clerics have already sanctioned the use of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction in their barbaric campaign. Their leaders have made their intentions clear. Defeating them will require imagination, creativity, and above all, staying power—from Republican and Democratic legislatures alike. As Americans vote tomorrow, we should take note of where candidates stand not just on economic issues, but also on national security. Our enemies won’t let up; neither can we.
Judith Miller is a contributing editor of City Journal, an adjunct fellow at the Manhattan Institute, and a FOX News contributor.