Two parcels addressed to Jewish institutions in Chicago contained the lethal explosive PETN hidden in ink toner cartridges, and uncovered Thursday on cargo planes headed to the United States in Britain and Dubai.
The Dubai bomb was composed of a highly explosive combination of PETN and lead azide, concealed inside a computer printer with a circuit board and mobile phone SIM card attached, security officials explained.
The boxes were stopped in transit and searched,” per an official. “At the time, people obviously took notice, knowing of the terrorist group’s interest in aviation- considered the possibility that AQAP might be exploring the logistics of the cargo system.”
ABC News, first broke the news, commented it had been told by senior officials that ever since the September discovery of suspicious packages from Yemen, the U.S. intelligence agencies had specific concerns about AQAP’s interest in Chicago.
Saudi bombmaker, Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri, has emerged as a key suspect in the bomb plot.
The militant, thought to be hiding in Yemen, was already wanted for crafting the “underwear” bomb worn by the young Nigerian accused of trying to bring down a packed airliner as it landed in Detroit on Christmas Day 2009.
A team of U.S. experts is heading to Yemen to give screening, training and equipment to examine cargo shipments at the main international airport in the capital Sanaa.