Obama thanks British PM for help in foiling terror plot: US

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US President Barack Obama thanked British Prime Minister David Cameron Saturday for his country's "close cooperation" in helping disrupt a plot to place explosive packages on US-bound planes, the White House said.

The two spoke early Saturday "to discuss the terrorist plot that was disrupted yesterday at East Midlands Airport and in Dubai as a result of the close cooperation between the United States and the United Kingdom, as well as other international partners," the White House said in a statement.

"The president expressed his appreciation for the professionalism of American and British services involved in the joint effort to stop this plot."

Obama also noted that his counter-terrorism advisor John Brennan was regularly speaking with his British counterpart "as we work together to prevent and disrupt future efforts to attack our citizens," the White House added.

The attempt to send explosive-laden parcels from Yemen to the United States has been linked by US officials to an Al-Qaeda affiliate. On Friday the White House thanked Saudi Arabia for providing tip-offs that helped thwart the plot.

A Downing Street spokesman confirmed the call between the two leaders, saying they "agreed that their teams would remain in close contact in the hours and days ahead.

"The security and safety of the British and American people was the top priority," the spokesman said.

The discovery of a suspicious package from Yemen on a cargo plane in central England, and another one in Dubai, sparked a global security alert Friday.

Obama said they represented a "credible terrorist threat," and his Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said the plot bore the "hallmarks of Al-Qaeda."

On Saturday, British Home Secretary Theresa May said the package found at East Midlands "was viable and could have exploded."

© 2010 AFP

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