The world is, on so many levels, a scary place. Hypothetically, one of the scariest things that can happen is a terrorist's underwear bomb going off anywhere near you or your family or your friends.

The story recently surfaced only after the government asked the AP to stay silent after learning of the intended attacks late last week. Here's a few scary highlights:

The CIA thwarted an ambitious plot by al-Qaida's affiliate in Yemen to destroy a U.S.-bound airliner using a bomb with a sophisticated new design around the one-year anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden...

The plot involved an upgrade of the underwear bomb that failed to detonate aboard a jetliner over Detroit on Christmas 2009. This new bomb was also designed to be used in a passenger's underwear, but this time al-Qaida developed a more refined detonation system, U.S. officials said.

They said the device did not contain metal, meaning it probably could have passed through an airport metal detector.

The operation unfolded even as the White House and Department of Homeland Security assured the American public that they knew of no al-Qaida plots against the U.S. around the anniversary of bin Laden's death.

Everyone stay safe in this scary world and remember: Explosives in undergarments—a universally bad thing.

[via AP, image via Getty]