Device 'could have exploded'

2010-10-30 17:30

London - A suspect package from Yemen found on a US-bound cargo plane at a British airport was "viable and could have exploded", Home Secretary Theresa May said on Saturday.

Although she said Britain was not thought to be a target, she also announced a ban on all unaccompanied cargo coming from Yemen into the country.

"Our preliminary investigation is now complete. I can confirm that the device was viable and could have exploded," May told reporters following a meeting of the government's emergency committee, Cobra.

"The target may have been an aircraft and had it detonated the aircraft could have been brought down.

"We do not believe that the perpetrators of the attack would have known the location of the device when it was planned to explode."

The discovery of the British package Friday and another in Dubai caused a major international security alert and US President Barack Obama said they represented a "credible terrorist threat."

Cargo banned from Britain

May said on Saturday there were no plans to change Britain's threat level, already at its second highest level, 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," the home secretary said.

Direct cargo and passenger flights from the Yemen were suspended in January after a Nigerian "underwear bomber" with links to the Arab country allegedly tried to blow up a US airliner over Detroit on Christmas Day 2009.

May said the investigation remained "sensitive" and she remained in contact with the US secretary for Homeland Security Janet Napolitano.

"We are working closely with international partners to increase our understanding of this case and of course to bring those responsible to justice," the home secretary said.

Read more on:    al-qaeda  |  theresa may  |  barack obama  |  dubai  |  yemen  |  us  |  uk  |  security  |  us terror threat
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to 40% on outdoor accessories!

Tents, sleeping, day packs and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Month End Madness Sale!

Save up to 60% on across a wide range of goods from books to electronics, DVDs and many more. Sale end 31 January 2015. Shop now!

Valentine’s Day gifts – 14 Feb!

Gifts to spoil him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off fragrances

Get 30% off fragrances for him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off All Textbooks

Save up to 30% off an extensive range of prescribed textbooks for all major universities and FET colleges. Shop Now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Something is blocking the flow of things today and it is easy to become frustrated and pessimistic. The problem is that your mind...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.