Qatar Airways says Dubai bomb parcel flown on its aircraft

31st October 2010, Comments 0 comments

Qatar Airways confirmed on Sunday that a suspected Al-Qaeda package intercepted in Dubai was flown on one of its aircraft and only discovered after an intelligence tip-off.

"Qatar Airways can confirm that a recent courier consignment was carried aboard one of its aircraft from Sanaa to Dubai via Doha International Airport," it said in a statement.

"The explosives discovered were of a sophisticated nature whereby they could not be detected by x-ray screening or trained sniffer dogs. The explosives were only discovered after an intelligence tip-off," the airline added.

However, "it is not the responsibility of the country in which the cargo transits to x-ray or inspect" it. This is the responsibility of "the country from where the consignment originates," it said.

Two suspected Al-Qaeda packages from Yemen intercepted on aircraft in Dubai and Britain on Friday and addressed to synagogues in Chicago contained powerful explosives and could have exploded, authorities said.

The parcel intercepted in Dubai was flown in on a Qatar Airways flight from Sanaa via Doha, the Emirati state news agency WAM reported on Saturday.

The second package was found on a cargo plane at Britain's East Midlands airport.

US President Barack Obama said the two parcels, whose discovery after a tip-off from Saudi Arabia sparked an international security alert, were a "credible terrorist threat."

Citing unnamed US officials, The New York Times said on Sunday that the intercepted bombs were further evidence that Al-Qaeda's affiliate in Yemen was steadily improving its abilities to strike on US soil.

Yemeni security forces on Saturday arrested a woman suspected of involvement in the alleged Al-Qaeda bomb plot, after surrounding her house on the outskirts of the capital Sanaa.

© 2010 AFP

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