Officials said the plot involved a bomb with a design that upgraded the underwear bomb taken aboard a jetliner over Detroit on Christmas 2009. That explosive device failed to detonate.
The improved bomb had a more refined detonation mechanism, but was still intended to be hidden in a passenger's underwear. Officials told NBC News the device was "totally non-metallic," which would have made it more difficult to detect by traditional screening processes.
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An official told NBC News no airlines were ever at risk. The plot was disrupted well before it threatened Americans or U.S. allies, the official added.
Counter-terror officials deem the thwarted plot a "success story," NBC News reported. The FBI said in a statement the successful operation was the "result of close cooperation with our security and intelligence partners overseas."
The FBI is currently in possession of the device and is conducting technical and forensics analyses on it, according to a statement released Monday.
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