Powerful parcel bomb bore Qaeda hallmarks: Dubai police

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A US-bound air parcel intercepted in Dubai contained a powerful explosive and mobile phone detonator as hallmarks of the Al-Qaeda terror network, police in the Gulf emirate said on Saturday.

A Dubai police statement said the bomb was a complex and professional device made of PETN and lead -- a highly explosive combination that can cause great damage.

"The investigation into the suspicious packages that came from Yemen... has shown that (one of them included) a computer printer whose ink contained explosive material," said a police statement.

"The device was prepared in a professional manner and equipped with an electrical circuit linked to a mobile telephone (SIM) card concealed in the printer.

"The manner in which this device was prepared bears the hallmarks of those used by terrorist organisations like Al-Qaeda," the statement added.

Dubai police -- quoting experts -- said the bomb found in the printer was PETN combined with lead to form a highly explosive device.

PETN, or Pentaerythritol tetranitrate, PETN, is the same substance used by two would-be bombers of US airliners.

Farouk Abdulmutallab used PETN in a failed bid to blow up a passenger jet over Detroit on Christmas Day last year, which followed a similar attempt in 2001 by shoe-bomber Richard Reid.

PETN is a colourless explosive that is difficult to detect and a small amount can cause great damage.

Police said the bomb had been disarmed.

"Thanks to rapid intervention, the police in Dubai foiled a terrorist operation in the country where the package was destined," the statement said.

© 2010 AFP

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