US: Cargo terror plot bore 'hallmarks of Al-Qaeda'
A plot to put explosives on US-bound planes bore "the hallmarks of Al-Qaeda," US Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Saturday, adding the packages were undergoing further analysis.
She said the incident, in which intelligence agents detected two explosives-filled parcels from Yemen bound for synagogues in the United States, highlighted the continued threat from the terror network and underscored the importance of vigilance throughout the US national security system.
"We know that the perpetrators of this -- and it has the hallmarks of Al-Qaeda, the AQAP -- they are constantly trying things to test our system," Napolitano told CNN, referring to Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
The comments backed up those by police in the Gulf emirate of Dubai, who said Saturday that a US-bound parcel bomb intercepted in Dubai was laced with the powerful PETN explosive and bore signs of the Al-Qaeda terror network.
The bomb was described by Dubai police as a complex and professional device made of PETN and lead azide, a highly explosive combination that can cause great damage.
It came in a cardboard box from Yemen which also contained English-language books and souvenirs.
The suspect parcel was one of two discovered on Friday in transit to the United States, in events that triggered security alerts on three continents.
The other package was intercepted at Britain's East Midlands airport. Both were addressed to Chicago synagogues.
US President Barack Obama said Friday the packages represented a "credible terrorist threat," and that "an initial examination of those packages has determined that they do apparently contain explosive material."
Napolitano stressed that further analysis was being done on the explosive packages in order to draw more comprehensive conclusions.
"All of that needs to be done by trained scientists and they are doing that right now," Napolitano told Fox News Channel.
"However, the security system has no one silver bullet," she noted. "You have to have multiple layers."
She praised Saudi Arabia, which tipped off US authorities to the suspicious packages, for "good information sharing" and said the United States was cooperating with Britain and Gulf countries to learn more about the incident.
© 2010 AFP