Breaking News: Two packages that were heading for Chicago were bombs to detonate when it arrive at its destination were discovered by airport security in Sa’na, Yemen and Nottingham, England on Friday. The packages were found on UPS jet and at a FedEx facility.
President Barack Obama notified overnight Friday. The president orders Pentagon US Navy Jet escorts joined by Canadian Forces Jets planes heading for Boston, Philadelphia and New York City.
At a press conference President Obama said the threat was very credible From The Washington Post:
Two packages mailed from Yemen and addressed to synagogues in Chicago contained explosive material and represented a “credible terrorist threat,” President Obama said Friday, as authorities focused their investigation on an increasingly lethal affiliate of al-Qaeda.
It’s believed its Al Qaeda on the Arabian Peninsula that is behind foiled attack:
U.S. counterterrorism officials suspect that the packages, which were intercepted in Britain and Dubai, were sent by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which had already demonstrated a flair for sophisticated bombmaking in an attempt to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas Day.
Obama did not specify any new security measures that would be taken or say that the nation’s terrorist alert level had been raised. But he described the threat as serious and pointed once again to Yemen as the source of a terrorist plot, saying his top terrorism adviser, John O. Brennan, had been in touch with that country’s president.
The two packages were intercepted at separate locations, one on a UPS plane at East Midlands Airport near Nottingham, England, and the other at a FedEx facility in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. Officials provided no details on the kind of explosives found, but they said they were looking at the possibility that the substance used was PETN, the same explosive used in the Christmas Day plot.
A U.S. official said the search for the devices was triggered by a “tip from a very close ally of the United States.” The tip was relayed to U.S. authorities Thursday and contained “very specific information” about devices in packages being shipped to the United States from Yemen, the official said.
Brennan, in a statement, said the United States was “grateful to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for their assistance in developing information that helped underscore the imminence of the threat emanating from Yemen.”
“We were looking for packages that were of concern,” Brennan said. He said he briefed Obama before the first package was found in Britain about 3:30 a.m. Friday local time.
No bombs were found on planes in Newark,NJ and Philadelphia and Kennedy Airport in New York. AP via Yahoo News:
U.S. authorities conducted searches of aircraft in Philadelphia, Newark, N.J., and New York City.
Since the failed Christmas bombing of a Detroit-bound airliner, Yemen has been a focus for U.S. counterterrorism officials. Before that attack, the U.S. regarded al-Qaida’s branch in Yemen as primarily a threat in the region, not to the United States.
Homeland Security ordered all packages from Yemen on a 72 hour hold.
In Chicago police and homeland Security on high alert. Security is tight at O’Hare International Airport and synagogues warned of packages from Yemen. From CBS Chicago(WBBM-AM Newsradio 780/CBS 2 News WBBM-TV/HD):
In Chicago, cargo terminals for both UPS and FedEx at O’Hare International Airport were immediately swept with bomb-sniffing dogs, and security around them was tightened as well.
There was no evidence found that any explosives reached Chicago or that they could have caused any damage if they did.
The Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago was notified of the situation at 10:30 a.m. Friday, and officials there are “taking proper precautions,” said associate vice president Linda Haase.
The organization is also advising local synagogues to take precautions, Haase said.
A law enforcement source tells CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine the word is out to synagogues in Chicago not to accept UPS packages from east of New York. The are asked to call Chicago Police if any delivery is attempted.
FBI spokesman Ross Rice added that while there are no identifiable or specific threats to the Chicago area, all churches, synagogues and mosques in the area are being warned to be vigilant for unsolicited or unexpected packages, especially those originating from overseas locations.
The events unfolded four days before national elections in which discussion of terrorism has played almost no role.
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