Breaking NewsFalse alarm at U.S., U.K. airports

Published 29 October 2010

Several United Parcel Service flights arriving at U.S and U.K. were moved to areas isolated from other aircraft, and searched for explosive devices; to this point no explosives have been found

Early today, the TSA ordered several United Parcel Service cargo planes isolated from other aircraft and searched for explosive devices. Aircraft landing at airports in Philadelphia, Newark, New Jersey, Portland, Maine, and New York were reported to be included in the sequestration-and-search. CNN reports that, thus far, two suspicious packages have been located.

In addition, a UPS delivery truck was stopped and searched at Metrotech, a Brooklyn, New York commercial and office center, and a “suspicious” package was removed.

A U.K intelligence source has told CNN that several “suspicious” devices were found aboard aircraft in East Midlands Airport outside London. The CNN source reports that the devices that had been inspected thus far had been found to contain no explosives.

U.S. sources matched those of the U.K in describing the devices as laser toner cartridges of the type used in printers, copiers, and other common office equipment. They had been “manipulated” by the addition of wires, circuit boards, and in at least one instance, a white powder on the exterior surface. None of these devices were found to contain explosive material, nor were in any way operational.

DHS had obtained credible intelligence late Thursday evening from what it considered to be a highly reliable source, which was relayed to the U.K. Security organizations in the U.K. had also received what has been described as a “tip” which prompted the discovery of the devices there.

In all cases, the suspicious packages originated in Yemen, and it is believed by many security officials to be the work of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. There have been indications that Yemeni authorities have the name of the person who shipped the packages, and that this person is known to have ties to al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.