President Barack Obama (D) announced this afternoon that the United States fell under a ‘credible terrorist threat’ over the last 24 hours and officials have intercepted at least two packages containing explosive material. The packages were sent from Yemen via U.S. shipping companies, and were addressed to Jewish synagogues in Chicago, IL.
One package intercepted in London contained a modified printer/copier toner cartridge and explosive material. Another intercepted in Dubai, United Arab Emirates also contained explosives. Cargo aircraft have been inspected in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Newark, New Jersey, and a truck has been inspected in New York, NY. Also, Emirates Airlines flight 201 was escorted by fighter jets into John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York and landed safely. No explosives have been found in any of these aircraft or trucks.
Chicago synagogues have been asked to increase their security as a result of this threat, and the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security issued a statement on increased security precautions at U.S. airports. Additionally, FedEx has temporarily suspended all shipments from Yemen to the United States.
Several media outlets are reporting (without clear attribution) that this is likely either a terror plot or ‘dry-run’ orchestrated by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), an Islamic terrorist group loosely associated with al-Qaeda that operates in Yemen and Saudi Arabia.