– PARCEL BOMBS PLOT INVESTIGATION
Yemeni police arrested,on Saturday 10/30/2010 evening, a woman on suspicion of mailing the pair of bombs powerful enough to take down airplanes, officials said as details emerged about the Mailed Bombs Plot aimed at the USA that exploited security gaps in the worldwide shipping system.
Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh told reporters that the United States and United Arab Emirates had provided intelligence that helped identify the woman suspected of mailing the packages. A Yemeni security official said the young woman, Hanan al Samawi, 22, was a medical student and that her mother also was detained. The police action was part of a widening manhunt for suspects believed to have used forged documents and ID cards, Yemeni officials said. Hanan al Samawi was released after 24 hours without any charges against her.
Following information provided by Jabr al-Faifi investigators are hunting for more suspects tied to Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula – AQAP and identified the Saudi Ibrahim H. al-Asiri (pic) as group’s top explosives expert in Yemen and the most likely bomb maker and according to intelligence sources Ibrahim Hassan Al Asiri is hiding out at the Yemeni province of Al-Gouf, 140 kilometers south of Sanaa. He also assembled Umar Abdulmutallab’s bomb in 12/2009 and the PETN device for a failed suicide attempt against a top Saudi counterterrorism official last year (see – Jeddah 08.27.09 ), committed by his own brother Abdullah Hassan Tali al-Asiri, then 23. Ibrahim Hassan Al Asiri, 28, is the son of a retired soldier and in the Saudi 83 Wanted List, published on 02/02/2009.
Yemen also arrested, on Friday 10/15/2010, about two weeks ago, Saleh al-Raimi, a Yemeni expatriate living in Saudi Arabia and wanted for financing Al Qaeda terrorist in Yemen. Saleh al-Raimi was captured at Sana’a International Airport.
It still wasn’t clear whether the bombs, which officials said were wired to cell phones, timers and power supplies, could have been detonated remotely while the planes were in the air, or when the packages were halfway around the world in the USA. But the fact that they made it onto airplanes showed that nearly a decade since The 9/11, terrorists continue to probe and find security vulnerabilities.
Although the packages were addressed to two synagogues in the Chicago area, the British Prime Minister David Cameron said Saturday that he believes the explosive device found at the East Midlands Airport in central England was intended to detonate aboard the plane. British Home Secretary Theresa May added that the bomb was powerful enough to take down the plane.
Officials said the plot was discovered thanks to intelligence passed from Saudi Arabia. Without that tip, it’s unclear whether anyone would have discovered the bombs before they were airborne — or on USA soil.
USA officials were still cobbling together details about the packages but one official briefed on the investigation said authorities believed the plotters may have been associated with two institutions called “Yemen American Institute (for) Languages-Computer-Management” or the “American Center for Training and Development”. It was not immediately clear whether those institutions even exist or whether that information came from false documents or fake addresses.
* The parcels plot also prompts a new investigation about the circumstances of a UPI cargo plane that crashed after takeoff from Doha, Dubai, on 09/03/2010. Authorities and intelligence officials are now concern it is possible it was a test promo for the plot.
* German security officials said, on Monday 11/01/2010, that each of the two bombs contained over 300gr of PETN, which could easily crash down any commercial plane.
* US security experts fear that the two men arrested in Schiphole international airport in Amsterdam, Holland, on Sunday 08/29/2010, may have been carrying “mock bombs” for what was seemingly a dry run. The two suspects were, eventually, released without any charges (see- Flight 908 Suspects).
* Brice Hortefeux, the French interior minister, said in an interview on France’s state-run France-2 television, on Thursday 11/04/2010, that one of two mail bombs, sent from Yemen last week was disarmed just 17 minutes before it was set to go off. He also said that two brothers suspected of “criminal association with a terrorist enterprise” were arrested in a Paris suburb.
The communication cards had been removed and the phones could not receive calls, officials said, making it likely the terrorists intended the alarm or timer functions to detonate the bombs, USA officials have said. Each bomb was attached to a syringe containing lead aside, a chemical initiator that would have detonated PETN explosives packed into each printer cartridge. Both PETN and a syringe were used in the failed Flight-253 bombing last Christmas of a Detroit-bound airliner.
The findings suggest the intend of the attack were not Jewish institutions in Chicago but the airplane themselves.
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