WASHINGTON (AP) - Authorities on three continents thwarted
multiple terrorist attacks aimed at the United States from Yemen on
Friday, seizing two explosive packages addressed to Chicago-area
synagogues and packed aboard cargo jets.
The plot triggered worldwide fears that al-Qaida was launching a major new terror
President Barack Obama called the coordinated attacks a
"credible terrorist threat," and U.S. officials said they were
increasingly confident that al-Qaida's Yemen branch, the group
responsible for the failed Detroit airliner bombing last Christmas,
Parts of the plot might remain undetected, Obama's counterterror
chief warned. John Brennan said at the White House that "The
United States is not assuming that the attacks were disrupted and
is remaining vigilant."
One of the packages was found aboard a cargo plane in Dubai, the
other in England. U.S. officials said preliminary tests indicated
the packages contained the powerful industrial explosive PETN, the
same chemical used in the Christmas attack. The tests had not been
In the U.S., cargo planes were searched up and down the Eastern
Seaboard, and an Emirates Airlines passenger jet was escorted down
the coast to New York by American fighter jets.
No explosives were found aboard those planes, though the
investigation was continuing on at least two.