Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

WEB NEWS

Web users divided over Darren Wilson

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users take on 'Ice Bucket Challenge' to fight ALS

Read more

ENCORE!

From Paris's Liberation to 'arresting' art in Avignon

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Ferguson riots: Pressure mounts on Obama

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'The pen is mightier than the sword'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Requiem for a recorder'

Read more

DEBATE

Pakistan's Political Turmoil: Can Imran Khan's PTI Party Depose the Government?

Read more

DEBATE

Pakistan's Political Turmoil: Can Imran Khan's PTI Party Depose the Government? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Racism, riots and police violence: USA under scrutiny

Read more

  • Special report: Supplying Ukraine’s soldiers on the front line

    Read more

  • US reaches historic $16bn settlement with Bank of America

    Read more

  • US forces tried to rescue slain reporter from IS captors

    Read more

  • Israeli air strike kills three top Hamas commanders

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

  • France delivered arms to Syria, Hollande confirms

    Read more

  • Former Irish PM Albert Reynolds dies at 81

    Read more

  • Former Femen activist detained after fighting veiled woman

    Read more

  • Tensions high in Yemen as Shiite rebel deadline looms

    Read more

  • Thailand coup leader Prayuth Chan-ocha voted prime minister

    Read more

  • Deadly street battles hit Ukrainian rebel stronghold

    Read more

  • French village rallies behind besieged elderly British couple

    Read more

  • Brazil’s Silva launches bid after Campos plane crash death

    Read more

  • Brutal IS beheading video sparks social media pushback

    Read more

  • France’s ex-PM Juppé sets up presidential clash with Sarkozy

    Read more

  • US attorney general visits Missouri town after fatal shooting

    Read more

Middle east

Intercepted terror parcel carried al Qaeda hallmarks, officials say

Video by Nicholas RUSHWORTH

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-10-30

A US-bound air parcel intercepted in Dubai carried hallmarks of the al Qaeda terror network, police in the Gulf emirate said on Saturday. The discovery, along with another parcel in the UK, has sparked a US search for more dangerous packages.

AFP - Two suspected Al-Qaeda parcels from Yemen that were intercepted before arriving at their destination -- synagogues in Chicago -- contained powerful explosives and could have exploded, authorities in Dubai and London said on Saturday.
  
US President Barack Obama said the two parcels, whose discovery on Friday after a tip-off from Saudi Arabia sparked an international security alert, were a "credible terrorist threat."
  
The packages were found on cargo planes in Dubai and at Britain's East Midlands airport.
  
Dubai police chief General Dahi Khalfan told AFP: "This was a parcel bomb and a terrorist act could have occurred," adding that the device could have "exploded" on board the airplane had it not been intercepted in time.
  
In London, Home Secretary Theresa May said "our preliminary investigation is now complete. I can confirm that the device was viable and could have exploded.
  
"The target may have been an aircraft and had it detonated the aircraft could have been brought down," she told reporters following a meeting of the government's emergency committee, Cobra.
  
"We do not believe that the perpetrators of the attack would have known the location of the device when it was planned to explode."
  

Earlier, Dubai police said investigation of a "package that came from Yemen through the US delivery company FedEx has shown that (one contained) a computer printer whose ink contained explosive material."
  
The device contained a highly explosive combination of PETN and lead azide and "was prepared in a professional manner and equipped with an electrical circuit linked to a mobile telephone (SIM) card concealed in the printer.
  
"The manner in which this device was prepared bears the hallmarks of those used by terrorist organisations like Al-Qaeda," the statement said.
  
PETN (Pentaerythritol tetranitrate) is the same substance used by would-be 2009 Christmas day bomber Farouk Abdulmutallab and 2001 attempted shoe-bomber Richard Reid.
  
Obama said on Friday: "We will continue to pursue additional protective measures as long as it takes to ensure the safety and security of our citizens."
  
Top officials said the threat level to the United States was unchanged, but the Department of Homeland Security announced it had boosted security measures.
  
May said there were no plans to change a threat level already at its second-highest point in Britain, suggesting an attack is highly likely.
  
But she said "further precautionary measures" were needed and said that all unaccompanied cargo from the Yemen would be banned from Britain.
  
"I have agreed with the transport secretary that we will take immediate action to stop the movement of all unaccompanied air freight originating from Yemen into or through the UK, and we are talking to the transport sector."
  
Obama and Napolitano both pointed the finger at Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
  
"We know that Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the terrorist group based in Yemen, continues to plan attacks against our homeland, our citizens, and our friends and allies," Obama said.
  

CARGO: THE WEAK LINK IN US SECURITY?
And Napolitano told CNN: "We know that the perpetrators of this -- and it has the hallmarks of Al-Qaeda, the AQAP -- they are constantly trying things to test our system."
  
A Yemeni official said his government had launched a full investigation and was working closely with international partners, including the United States.
  
"This probe is being carried out in coordination with the competent authorities in the United Arab Emirates, Britain and the United States, and its results will be announced in due time," Yemen's Saba news agency quoted him as saying.
  
Yemeni authorities later announced the seizure of 26 other parcels on Saturday and said they were being examined.
  
The source added that employees of an unnamed air transport company and of the Sanaa airport cargo-handling division had been detained for questioning on Saturday.
  
Referring to the possible targeting of synagogues, Rabbi Michael Balinsky, executive vice president of the Chicago Board of Rabbis, told The New York Times: "It’s obviously disturbing. But certainly the Jewish community will proceed as it proceeds. We’ll just exercise caution."
  
The cargo scare offered a new twist as Western authorities have usually focused on dangers posed to passenger planes following the September 11, 2001 attacks, when Al-Qaeda hijacked planes and struck targets in New York and Washington.
  
Yemen, the ancestral homeland of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, has become a haven for violent extremists over the past decade.
  
It is the headquarters Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and the hiding place for US-born radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who has been linked to high-profile terror plots in the United States.


Date created : 2010-10-30

  • USA

    US goes on search for more explosive packages

    Read more

  • USA

    Suspicious parcels on cargo planes trigger international alert

    Read more

  • YEMEN

    Yemeni terrorism suspects on Amsterdam flight released

    Read more

COMMENT(S)