President Barack Obama announced that apparent explosive material was found on two U.S.-bound packages from Yemen. The President said that a Chicago synagogue, Jewish center were the intended recipients of the packages, and that other flights with packages from Yeman will now be searched, and an investigation will be launched to determine whether or not al-Qaida was behind this attempt.
According to NBC News, a source claimed that both packages contained toner cartridges with wires and white powder.
Reporters were told that the material “was intended to do harm,” by John Brennan, assistant to the president for homeland security. The devices were found in Britain and Dubai last night.
Homeland Security released a statement saying they are taking new measures, “including heightened cargo screening and additional security at airports.”
One U.S. official told NBC that authorities are investigating whether the incident was a dry run for a plot to send bombs through the mail delivery system.
“We were notified this morning that synagogues should be on the alert,” Linda Haase, associate vice president of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, told Reuters. “We are taking appropriate precautions and are advising local synagogues to do likewise.”
One official said intelligence personnel had been monitoring a suspected plot for days. The packages in England and Dubai were discovered late Thursday after a foreign intelligence service picked up information related to Yemen and passed it on to the U.S., this official said.