The news of al-Qaida's plot targeting U.S.-bound airplanes using a new generation of underwear bombs has security experts concerned about catching such a device.
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The plot which was to be carried out by al-Qaida operatives in Yemen was foiled by the CIA at about the same time of the one-year anniversary of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.
It involved an improvised version of the underwear bomb and was designed to pass through security.
The bomber was stopped before he could carry out the plot, but one local man who is an expert in the field says the threat is far from over.
The FBI is examining the latest bomb, which did not contain metal. National aviation experts like San Diego's Glen Winn are focused on one critical question.
When asked if the bomb would have made it through security, Winn answered, "The potential is always there."
The bomb was designed to fit in the underwear and was very similar to a device snuck on board a jetliner in Detroit in 2009. Both used a powerful industrial explosive.
The most sophisticated technology used to detect these bombs are full body scanners. About 170 U.S. airports have them.
When asked if it would have made it through body scanners, Winn said, "I'd rather doubt it because somewhere on your person
it's going to be shown."
However, there are no guarantees and it is unclear how many airports abroad have the technology.
Winn, who teaches aviation security at the University of Southern California and to experts at the Federal Aviation Administration, said the nation is dealing with a dynamic adversary who is looking for weaknesses.
"The bad guys are doing the same thing and they're getting more educated," he said.
Winn said this latest plot is a sobering reminder that al-Qaida is trying to take down another airliner. His advice for travelers is to be vigilant.
When asked if he thought security will change in light of the circumstances, Winn responded, "I don't think there are any changes that take place. I just think we'll go back to the alertness again. We need these things once in a while to perk us up. We get a little bit lackadaisical. We get a little sleepy."
Authorities believe the master bomb maker who made the first underwear bomb, Ibrahim al-Asiri, is responsible for this one as well. He is still on the run.
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