Cargo plane bomb found in Britain was primed to blow up over US
when Scotland Yard revealed that the device taken from a plane in Britain was
timed to explode in mid-air over the eastern
last month after detailed information was passed through intelligence channels
to the UK and US from Saudi Arabia.
printer bomb was set to go off at 10.30am BST. Tests revealed that if the cargo
plane’s journey had gone to schedule, the device – in a package addressed to a
synagogue in Chicago – would have gone off in midair over the eastern seaboard
of the US.
other was at Dubai airport. Both were capable of bringing down an aircraft.
in aviation security has been discovered by the terrorists.
or PETN. The device found in Dubai had travelled on two passenger planes without
it was initially cleared by military and police explosives experts. When the plane
landed at 2.13am after arriving from Cologne, police were waiting for it. Saudi
intelligence told them which package to look for and it was taken off the plane.
a large device containing a printer cartridge continued. It emerged yesterday
that the bomb was made safe inadvertently by bomb experts. At 7.40am they had
not determined that the package was a bomb and stopped it from exploding by removing
the “printer cartridge from the printer”, police said. The bomb was due to explode
just three hours later.
were alerted about the Dubai bomb, experts re-examined the East Midlands device.
A senior counter terrorism official told the Guardian the device was “one of the
most sophisticated we’ve seen. The naked eye won’t pick it up, experienced bomb
officers did not see it, x-ray screening is highly unlikely to catch it.”
both bombs to detonate over America. That was the assumption from the moment intelligence
agencies in the US and the UK were tipped off by the Saudis. That view was strengthened
by the early discovery that both the bomb on the UPS plane and the one found on
a Fedex plane in Dubai earlier were wired to circuit boards from mobile phones
that did not contain Sim cards, which are needed to receive calls. This points
to phones being used as timers.
of cargo timetables they say it was impossible for the plotters to know where
the bombs would have detonated.
the day after the bombs were found. She said, after a meeting of Cobra, the government’s
emergency planning committee: “We do not believe the perpetrators would have known
the location of the device when it was planned to explode.”
the bombs were set to go off is central to the investigation because it could
indicate whether the terrorists wanted to blow up the planes in US airspace or
take them down regardless of location.
the device had activated it would have been at 10.30am BST on Friday, 29 October
2010. If the device had not been removed from the aircraft the activation could
have occurred over the eastern seaboard of the US. The device was disrupted at
East Midlands airport by explosive officers during the initial examination when
they removed the printer cartridge from the printer at approximately 7.40am on
Friday 29 October 2010.”
of the country’s security concerns.
territory, that stance appears to have been justified, officials said. White House
spokesman Nick Shapiro told CNN the findings by British police “underscore the
serious nature of the attempted AQAP attack and the challenge we all face in trying
to prevent or disrupt such attacks.”
the success of international intelligence agencies working together.
United States will continue to work closely with these partners and the government
of Yemen to address and counter the threat posed by AQAP as well as to provide
humanitarian and economic assistance to help shape a stable and secure Yemen.”