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Dubai Parcel Bomb Was Flown On Two Passenger Planes, Was Designed To Explode Mid-Air

One of the two bombs posted from Yemen last week was transported on two passenger planes before being seized in Dubai, it was revealed on Sunday, reports Daily Mail, London.Qatar Airways says the bomb was
PTI October 31, 2010 22:44 IST
PTI
One of the two bombs posted from Yemen last week was transported on two passenger planes before being seized in Dubai, it was revealed on Sunday, reports Daily Mail, London.

Qatar Airways says the bomb was carried on an Airbus A320 from Yemeni capital Sanaa to Doha where it was then transferred to another Qatar Airways plane to Dubai.



The news came after David Cameron said yesterday the ink-bomb found on a US-bound cargo plane in Britain was designed to explode in mid-air.

‘We believe the device was designed to go off on the aeroplane,' the Prime Minister said. ‘There is no early evidence it [the explosion] was designed to take place over British soil, but of course we cannot rule that out.'
He spoke as it was revealed that a Saudi bombmaker has been named as a key suspect in the plot to bring down the cargo jets and two women were detained in Yemen in connection with attempt.


 
Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri, who tops a Saudi Arabian terrorism list, is the brother of a suicide bomber killed in an attempt to kill Saudi counter-terrorism chief Prince Mohammed bin Nayef last year.That attack, as well as another attempt on a US-bound airliner on Christmas Day 2009, involved the use of pentaerythritol trinitrate (PETN) - a highly potent explosive that appears to be the weapon of choice of al Qaeda's Yemeni branch.At least one of the two US-bound parcel bombs sent from Yemen addressed to synagogues in Chicago and intercepted in Dubai and Britain on Friday employed PETN.



The US official said Asiri was being closely looked at by authorities in view of his experience with explosives.

There were also indications he may have been the bombmaker behind the Christmas Day attempt and the failed attack on Prince Nayaf last year, the official added.
Saudi Arabia, which provided intelligence that helped identify the parcel bomb threat, put Asiri at the top of its terrorism list in 2009.

Security officials are scrambling to track down any AQAP operatives behind the latest plot.

The bomb was found on Friday at East Midlands Airport, near Nottingham. A similar device was found on a plane in Dubai. Both bombs were in packages addressed to Jewish organisations in Chicago.

One is a synagogue where one of President Obama's closest associates, Rahm Emanuel, has been educating his children.
And US security experts warned last night that the bombs could just as easily have ended up on passenger planes, which carry more than half of the international air cargo coming into the country.Home Secretary Theresa May, speaking yesterday after a meeting of the Government's Cobra emergency planning committee, said the device found in Britain was ‘viable' and ‘could have exploded'.
 
She added: ‘The target of the device may have been an aircraft and, had it detonated, the aircraft could have been brought down.'
 
She said the terrorist threat level would remain at its current level of ‘severe', which indicates an attack is ‘highly likely', and announced a ban on all unaccompanied air freight from Yemen moving into or through the UK.
Yemeni police arrested a medical student believed to be in her twenties in the capital, Sana'a, together with her mother.

It is believed a SIM card found attached to the Dubai bomb was linked to the woman. And 24 suspicious parcels were being examined at Yemen's international airport.

Investigators said the suspect was detained as part of a manhunt for a number of people believed to have used forged documents and ID cards that played a role in the plot that was thwarted on Friday.
All of them are believed to have links to Al Qaeda's faction in Yemen.

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh said the U.S. and the United Arab Emirates had provided him with information that helped identify the woman as a suspect.

He said security forces had surrounded a house in the capital city of Sanaa that was believed to be holding the woman. A security official later confirmed the woman had been arrested.