October 29, 2010

Police Investigate Bomb Threat At Phila. Airport (UPDATE: And Newark)[UPDATE: Intended for Synagogues in Chicago][10-20 Packages][Plane escorted by F-15s][2 PACKAGES FOUND WITH EXPLOSIVES?!?!?!]

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Developing....possibly originating from Yemen:

Involves two UPS planes:

PHILADELPHIA INT'L AIRPORT - October 29, 2010 (WPVI) -- Police are investigating a bomb threat at Philadelphia International Airport.

A police source tells Acton News the threat involves two UPS flights.

One of the planes is UPS #218 originating from Paris. The second plane is UPS #204 originating from Philadelphia. That plane had not yet taken off. There was no word on its destination.

The planes have been isolated and authorities are now investigating.

The Philadelphia Fire Department tells Action News that they dispatched two HAZMAT crews to the airport for a "possible radiological event" around 9:21 a.m.

Update:

Crew Reported Package May Have Radioactive Makeup

PHILADELPHIA - A suspicious package found in the UPS terminal at Philadelphia International Airport has triggered an investigation at two different U.S. airports.

We're now up to five suspicious package and three suspicious planes, with the second airport involved being Newark Liberty International in New Jersey.

The concern may be that authorities in London found a computer cartridge container containing 200 to 300 grams of TATP, an explosive used by suicide bombers, along with a cell phone.

Update II:
NEWARK (WABC) -- US and European authorities are attempting to thwart what appears to be an ongoing bomb plot in which more than a dozen potential bombs were shipped to the US aboard numerous air carriers, federal sources told ABC news.

The devices may have been distributed onto UPS cargo trucks in New York and possibly New Jersey.

Other potential devices have been found in London, according to ABC News. It is unknown how many if any of the suspected devices currently under investigation are live.

Authorities in the U.K. said officials discovered that a toner cartridge on one plane had been manipulated and found wires attached to it and white powder. A senior FBI official says explosive tests run on the package in Birmingham, England were negative.

New York, Philadelphia and New Jersey authorities as well as federal authorities are attempting to track down the suspected improvised devices and bomb technicians are on the scene of the numerous suspected devices already located at banks in Queens and at other locations.

Elaborate hoax or dry run?

FNC Live Stream

UPDATE by Rusty
: It doesn't have to be either a hoax or a dry run. Most often these things are just false alarms. Dry runs are not the preferred method of terrorist groups like al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Why risk detection twice when getting past security is hard enough the first time?

UPDATE by Rusty II: Terrorists hate Jews? Say it isn't so!

CNN reported that sources believe the devices that came from Yemen were intended for Chicago synagogues. Frances Fragos Townsend, former Homeland Security adviser in the Bush administration, said American intelligence had been informed within the last 24 hours about devices on flights from the Middle East intended for synagogues in Chicago.
Thanks to WTD.

UPDATE
: CBS
A Joint Terrorism Task Force source tells CBS News that investigators are looking for between 10-20 packages shipped out of the UPS office in Sanna, Yemen during the same time frame. According to the source, there were components inside the ink cartridge.
Thanks to Ed.

As of this writing, it sounds to me like there is a hot intelligence tip out of Yemen and all of the false alarms so far based on some unease about bombs being mailed to the US & UK.

Update by Jane: Yemen denies: Mohammed al-Shaibah, Air Cargo Director for Yemenia Airways said to Yemen Post, "No UPS cargo plane left Yemeni lands over the land 48 hours. These accusations are false and baseless." He added, "No UPS or DHL cargo packages heading to Chicago through Yemen took place in the last 48 hours as well...All packages are checked very carefully in Yemen, and there is no evidence to prove that this package came through Yemen."

UPDATE by Rusty: TWO F-15's are escorting a plane into JFK... its a passenger plane ... Fox is reporting it could be a plane from Yemen....

I thought this story had run its course. It hasn't. The threat may have been bigger than synagogues and Jewish targets....

I asked someone for a link, and he says he can't find one yet but that:

Shep is hyperventilating on FOX....and demanding the public not do the same.
Zing!

If any one finds a link for the F-15 escort story, please send it to me.

UPDATE by MATT DAMON: UAE official in Dubai that claims package found there in Dubai...did contain explosives..

R-UPDATE: If they did find at least one of the packages with explosives, then what we are looking at a bomb plot which AQAP hoped would be lost in the sheer number of leads and false positives. Well played AQAP. Well played.

Still developing this angle of the story. If you have a link for that, please send it in.

Here's an update on the fighter escorts for an inbound passenger plane:

U.S. officials say two military fighter jets are escorting a commercial airliner from the Canadian border to New York City. The plane is carrying cargo from Yemen.
I guess UPS and FedEx packages also go on commercial carriers just like the USPS mail?

Thanks to Jake.

UPDATE by Rusty: Hmmmmm:

An official UAE security source says a suspicious device discovered in an air cargo shipment in Dubai that was headed for the U.S. contained explosive materials.

The person, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, said late Friday the "explosive device" was found in the last 24 hours in a courier company's regional hub and originated in a shipment from Yemen.

Again, if this is true, then it's big. Up to 20 packages, an unknown number of them with real explosives. Others sent out as intentionally false leads.

That kind of plot doesn't take a lot of organizational sophistication. But it is clever and shows their adaptive capacity.

Update by SH: Inbound plane from Dubai has landed. You can watch livestream here[Per Obama, 2 packages found with explosives. One at East Midlands Airport Distribution Depot-UK, & other found at FEDEX distribution facility in Dubai]

Update by Jane: The Yemeni local news site Marib Press reports: The diplomatic source pointed out that the initial information indicates that the person who sent the packages "has a long history of terrorism." .

By Stable Hand at 03:19 PM | Comments |