WASHINGTON - The would-be suicide bomber in a plot by al-Qaida's Yemeni affiliate was planted in the group by an allied intelligence agency or turned into an informant early in the conspiracy, US officials said on Tuesday.

The CIA and its foreign partners tracked the plot for several weeks and then managed to get the informant to deliver the bomb outside Yemen, possibly to Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates, sources said.

US intelligence officials wanted to keep a lid on details of how the plot was uncovered to make sure the informant and the family was safe. Sources said the informant was believed to be connected to a foreign intelligence agency allied with the CIA.

The New York Times reported the would-be suicide bomber was an intelligence agent for Saudi Arabia who volunteered for the mission to detonate the bomb aboard a US-bound airliner.

The plot was publicly revealed on Monday.

Please LIKE our Facebook page - it makes us stronger