Yemen bomb went on two passenger jets: Qatar Airways (Lead)

October 31st, 2010 - 10:18 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama London, Oct 31 (IANS) Qatar Airways Sunday said one of the two bombs sent through parcels from Yemen and addressed to Chicago-based synagogues, which were detected on cargo planes in Dubai and Britain, was ferried on two passenger flights in the Middle East.

A package containing explosives hidden in a printer cartridge arrived in Qatar Airways’ hub in Doha on one of the carrier’s flights from the Yemeni capital Sana’a, a spokesman of the airline said according to the Daily Telegraph.

It was then shipped on a separate Qatar Airways plane to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where it was discovered by authorities Friday. A similar package was also found in Britain.

US President Barack Obama’s counter-terrorism adviser John Brennan said the parcel bombs had been made by the same person as the device worn by the so-called “underwear bomber” who attempted to blow up a Detroit-bound flight on Christmas Day in 2009.

“I think that the indications are right now based on forensic analysis that the individual responsible for putting these devices together is the same,” Brennan told ABC.

The devices are similar to those developed by Ibrahim Hassan al Asiri, a Saudi jihadist who is thought to have designed a bomb smuggled on to a US-bound Christmas Day flight last year by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nogerian underpant bomber.

Brennan said that authorities “have to presume” there might be more potential mail bombs like the ones pulled from planes in Britain and Dubai.

“We are trying to get a better handle on what else might be out there,” he said. “That’s why we’ve taken exceptionally prudent measures, in my mind, as far as preventing packages coming in to the US from Yemen.”

A female engineering student has been arrested in Yemen on suspicion of posting the packages. The 22-year-old woman, named locally as Hanan al Samawi, was traced through a phone number left with a cargo company.

Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh said the information that identified her was provided by the US and the UAE.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said he believed the device was constructed to detonate while the aircraft was in flight. He said a plot to blow it up over British soil could not be ruled out.

Security officials believe Anwar al-Awlaki, the US-born figurehead of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), was behind the foiled attack.

Obama earlier called the discovery of the packages as “a credible threat” against the US and confirmed that both packages were bound for the US, “specifically two places of Jewish worship in Chicago”.

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