"I was told by the White House that they are connected, that they are part of the same operation," Representative Peter King told CNN a day after news of the intercepted bomb that authorities said was intended to make its way to an airplane bound for the United States or other Western country.News of the foiled plot was embargoed by the Administration until after the UAV airstrike, which is a smart move since letting on that the plot was busted might have tipped off those involved in the plot that they were being followed closely by US and foreign intel services.
King and U.S. security officials did not say what happened to the suspected suicide bomber or if he was killed in the strike.
"The person who actually had the bomb is no longer a threat," King said.
John Brennan, President Barack Obama's top counter terrorism adviser and a former CIA official, told ABC's "Good Morning America" program that authorities are "confident that neither the device nor the intended user of this device pose a threat to us."
On Monday, the Obama administration said Middle East authorities had seized an improved underwear bomb within the last 10 days that they said shows al Qaeda's determination to build bombs that can pass through airport security systems.
A day earlier, two Yemeni members of al Qaeda were killed by a missile strike on their car, although Washington and Yemen do not acknowledge U.S. drone attacks on militants in the country.
The same person who passed along the information necessary to thwart the newest underwear bombing plot is responsible for the intel that led to the UAV airstrike killing Fahd al-Quso. Quso was involved in the attack on the USS Cole.
The officials also said that a successful Predator attack that killed Fahd al-Quso over the weekend was related to the plot and was a “part of a 1-2 blow against Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP),” the north African affiliate of the al-Qaida terrorist network. Al Quso, described as director of external operations at AQAP, was “involved (in the bomb plot) in an intimate fashion,” said the senior administration official.What makes the newest iteration of the underwear bomb so dangerous is that it uses far less metal, making it even more difficult for metal detectors and scanners to pick up the device.