Bombs Tip-Off 'Came From Former Al-Qaeda Member'

The crucial tip-off that led to the discovery of parcel bombs on two cargo planes came from a repentant al-Qaeda member, UK officials say.

Jabr al-Faifi handed himself in to authorities in Saudi Arabia two weeks ago, the officials told the BBC.

The US says its main suspect in the failed bomb plot is the chief bombmaker for al-Qaeda's Yemeni branch.

Yemeni officials said 14 suspected al-Qaeda members had surrendered in the restive southern province of Abyan.

Abyan's governor said five senior figures were among those who had handed themselves in, and more fighters were expected to surrender in the coming days. Yemen is facing mounting multi-national pressure to battle al-Qaeda, says the BBC's Lina Sinjab in Sanaa, but some doubt its ability to do so as it faces social, economic and political problems at home.

US intelligence officials have suggested the Saudi bombmaker Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri, said to be in his 20s, is the key suspect in last week's attempt to send the parcel bombs from Yemen to the US.

One bomb travelled on two passenger planes before being seized in Dubai. The other almost slipped through Britain, and UK authorities have been criticised for their initial failure to find the bomb on a plane at East Midlands airport. "