US tightens security over terror threats

2010-10-30 12:03
Washington - The United States searched on Saturday for the culprits behind a plot to bomb Jewish targets in Chicago uncovered by the interception in Britain and Dubai of parcels with explosives sent from Yemen.

US President Barack Obama vowed on Friday that US authorities would spare no effort to find the source of the packages, which he called a "credible terrorist threat" aimed at two places of Jewish worship.

Obama said security would be increased for air travel for as long as necessary. US officials said they were searching for more packages that could have come from Yemen, which has become a haven for some anti-American militants.

The security threat unsettled Americans just days before they vote in midterm congressional elections that have been dominated by economic woes rather than the issue of terrorism.

Suspicion fell on al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which operates out of Yemen and claimed responsibility for a failed plot to blow up a US plane over Detroit on Christmas Day in 2009.

The group is affiliated with al-Qaeda, whose militants killed about 3 000 people using hijacked passenger jets in the September 11 attacks on the United States in 2001.

"Initial examinations of those packages has determined that they do apparently contain explosive material," Obama said at a press briefing at the White House.

Same chemical used in underwear bomb plot

The New York Times reported that the packages contained PETN, the same chemical explosive used in the bomb sewn into the underwear of the Nigerian man who attempted to blow up an airliner over Detroit at Christmas, a plot hatched in Yemen.

The newspaper cited Representative Jane Harman, a democrat on the house homeland security committee, who was briefed by the transportation security administration.

The improvised devices contained computer printer cartridges filled with the explosive, but one used a cellphone as a detonator and the other had a timer, she told the Times.

US law enforcement officials would not confirm the report, saying tests were still being done on the explosives.

The White House said "both of these packages originated from Yemen" and Obama was informed of the threat on Thursday.

One of the packages was found on a United Parcel Service cargo plane at East Midlands Airport, about 260km north of London. The other was discovered at a FedEx Corp facility in Dubai.

UPS and FedEx, the world's largest cargo airline, said they were halting shipments from Yemen. UPS planes were searched and then cleared in New Jersey and Philadelphia.

One US official and some analysts speculated that the parcels may have been a test of cargo screening procedures and the reaction of security officials.

"This may be a trial run," the US official said.

The White House said Saudi Arabia helped identify the threat from Yemen, while Britain and the United Arab Emirates also provided information.

Obama's counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan, would not say how the United States learned of the plot. But he told reporters: "We were onto this. We were looking for packages that were of concern."

Of the plotters, Brennan said: "Clearly they are looking to identify vulnerabilities in our system. We've been able to stay ahead of them."

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

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
/News
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Wednesday Montague Gardens - 10:52 AM
    Road name: Montague Drive Southbound
    DELAYS towards Bosmansdam Road due to roadworks
  • Wednesday Kuils River - 10:21 AM
    Road name: Polkadraai Road Eastbound
    ROADWORKS between the R102 Van Riebeeck Road and the R310 Baden Powell Drive exit - DELAYS
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2 TV Series for R250

Get 2 TV Series box sets for R250 and save up to R148! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Pre-order the Xbox One

Get this all-in-one entertainment system with live TV, movies, social networking and gaming. Pre-order now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Nokia Lumia 800

The stunningly social Nokia Lumia 800 features head-turning design, ...

From R2199.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The ingredients for today are communicating your original ideas in a creative and unique way that can make the right people look...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.