British intelligence 'played central role' in foiling underwear bomb plot

British intelligence played a central role in the undercover investigation to foil an underwear bomb plot involving al Qaeda's Yemeni offshoot, sources told the Reuters news agency.

The Obama administration had been under heavy pressure not to disclose the role of British authorities in the investigation.

The foiled plot ended with the explosive device in the hands of the FBI, which is examining it.

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Bomb plot 'double agent' is Brit

The man who helped foil al-Qaeda's underwear bomb plot is a British citizen, possibly of Saudi origin, according to US media reports. UK officials have declined to comment.