Obama told of cargo plane scare Thursday night

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President Barack Obama was told late Thursday of a "potential terrorist threat" from suspicious packages from Yemen on two cargo planes, one in Britain and the other in Dubai, the White House said.

"Last night, intelligence and law enforcement agencies discovered potential suspicious packages on two planes in transit to the United States," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said in a statement.

"Authorities were able to identify and examine two suspicious packages, one in London and one in Dubai. Both of these packages originated from Yemen."

Gibbs said that, as a precaution, extra security measures were taken regarding other cargo planes at Newark and Philadelphia international airports in the United States.

"The President was notified of a potential terrorist threat on Thursday night at 10:30, by John Brennan, assistant to the president for homeland security and counter-terrorism," Gibbs said.

Based on the warnings, Obama directed US intelligence and law enforcement agencies to take further security measures and to determine whether the threats were "part of any additional terrorist plotting."

Obama got regular updates from his national security team after being alerted to the threat, Gibbs said.

© 2010 AFP

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