Obama: Two Suspicious Packages Contain Explosives

Published: October 29th 2010
in News » World

JFK International Airport in NYC
Pic: wikimedia commons

According to CNN, federal authorities received a tip during the last 24 hours that  suspicious cargo from Yemen was part of a terrorist plot and might have been intended for synagogues in Chicago.


American law enforcement officials are investigating suspicious looking packages originating in Yemen and dressed up as ink-toner cartridges loaded onto cargo planes that landed in Philadelphia, NJ and Newark NJ along with a UPS plane headed for Chicago that stopped overnight in England on which suspicious cargo was initially discovered.


The cargo in England consisted of a "manipulated" ink-toner cartridge, according to reports. However, a source initially told CNN that it did not test positive for explosives.


As well, FedEx is saying that the courier has found a suspicious package in Dubai that originated in Yemen. FedEx is currently working with the FBI on the matter, and has frozen all further cargo from Dubai for the foreseeable future.


At approximately 4:30 p.m. on Friday, President Obama announced that a further examination of two suspicious packages found in England and Dubai showed that they did contained explosives. He called it a "credible terror threat."


Speaking to the Chicago Sun-Times, the associate vice president of the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, Lina Haase, said that police confirmed on Friday morning the reports coming out of CNN and other media in regards to suspicious packages being addressed to Chicago area synagogues.


The Chicago FBI stated, “There are no identifiable or specific threats to the Chicago area. Since two of the suspicious packages that were intercepted were addressed to religious institutions in Chicago, all churches, synagogues and mosques in the Chicago area should be vigilant for any unsolicited or unexpected packages, especially those originating from overseas locations."


According to the Sun-Times, KAM Isaiah Synagogue, a Chicago synagogue across from President Barack Obama's house, said that they had not received a "particular" warning. However, the Secret Service had visited the building ahead of Obama's scheduled visit next Saturday.


FBI spokesperson Ross Rice said that he was not aware of any suspicious packages marked for synagogues that had arrived in Chicago. He was only aware of the package intercepted in England, he said. He added, “I am aware of one package and do not know what the intended destination was."


Meanwhile, a commercial passenger airplane that also carried cargo from Yemen was escorted by two Canadian CF-18 fighter jets from Canadian airspace to New York City.


American officials stated that no specific threat was attached to the plane but that it was escorted by military jets to John F. Kennedy International Airport in NYC as a precautionary measure.


The plane, Emirates Airlines Flight 201, landed at about 3:30 p.m. with passengers disembarking down two stairways to the tarmac with their luggage. Several law enforcement vehicles, FBI and Port Authority police, were parked around the plane.


US officials believe that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is responsible for the suspicious packages.


There has been speculation by experts that this could have been a trial run in order for the plotters to test the vulnerability of airline security and screening systems.

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