A Norwegian citizen allegedly trained as a bomb-maker by one of al Qaeda’s most lethal affiliates today became the latest addition to the U.S. State Department’s list of designated terrorists.
Anders Cameroon Ostensvig Dale traveled to Yemen in 2008 in order to join al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) where he was taught “to make bomb-belts, improved explosive devices, and larger explosives used in car bombs,” the U.S. State Department said on its website. Dale apparently left Yemen several times before his “final trip” there in 2011.
Top U.S. officials have previously said that AQAP represents the greatest threat to the homeland of all al Qaeda affiliates. The group is believed to include the terror group’s master bomb-maker, Ibrahim al-Asiri, the man the U.S. believes to have been behind creative bomb plots including the failed cargo bombs and a foiled plan to hide a bomb inside the body of an al Qaeda operative.
Two years ago a high-ranking official told ABC News al-Asiri was trying to train a new wave of bomb-makers – “as many people as he can.” An administration official at the time said he was training others in case he was “taken off the battlefield.”
“He is not the only bomb-maker in AQAP to worry about,” the official said in 2012.
Western security officials have feared terrorist recruits with Western passports for years – most recently those joining al Qaeda rival IS in Iraq – because of their ability to travel more freely in Europe and the U.S.