News / USA

    Top US Official: Bomb Plot Has 'Hallmarks' of al-Qaida

    Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano (file photo)
    Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano (file photo)
    Nico Colombant

    U.S. authorities say thwarted mail bomb attacks this week carry the "hallmarks" of al-Qaida's terrorist branch in Yemen. U.S. officials have been reaching out to other countries as part of their investigation.

    U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said the bombs sent from Yemen destined for the United States in her words "contained all the hallmarks of al-Qaida" and in particular its affiliate al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.

    She said it was too early to tell if the packages which appeared to contain plastic explosives were meant to detonate while airborne on the cargo planes or when they reached their intended destinations at Jewish centers in Chicago.

    Officials say the attacks were thwarted Friday when authorities seized the packages as the massive cargo planes operated by U.S. companies Fedex and the United Parcel Service were parked in the United Arab Emirates and Britain.

    Preliminary tests are reported to indicate both packages contained PETN, a powerful industrial explosive, the same chemical said to have been used in a failed attack on a Detroit-bound plane last year.

    President Barack Obama called British Prime Minister David Cameron and Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah to discuss the attacks and the ongoing international investigation, which is also involving authorities in Yemen.

    President Obama's homeland security adviser, John Brennan, spoke to President Ali Abdallah Saleh of Yemen.

    A White House statement said Brennan emphasized the United States is ready to assist the Yemeni government and people in their fight against al-Qaida in the Arabian peninsula.

    U.S. officials say the packages were initially discovered based on information from Saudi Arabian intelligence.

    A former U.S. intelligence official with the U.S.-based risk mitigation consulting firm TD International, William Ross Newland, said he is not surprised the attempted attack came so close to U.S. Congressional elections Tuesday. "I do not think it is coincidental. I mean al-Qaida pulled off its most spectacular bombing in Spain right before their election, March 11, years ago, which had a direct effect on the election in Spain. I think they are very conscious of these things and try to use these acts as a way to exert pressure and bring about instability," he said.

    In those elections in 2004, opposition Socialists in Spain defied predictions by winning.

    Tuesday, opposition Republicans will try to regain control of Congress, currently dominated by President Obama's Democratic Party.

    The U.S. campaign has revolved much more around the economy and government spending, than terrorism concerns.

    You May Like

    Can EU Survive a Brexit?

    Across Europe politicians are asking if the British vote to leave the European Union will set in motion dynamics that will see other member states leave too

    Video Entrepreneurs Tackle Sexual Harassment, Rural Health Care at Global Summit

    VOA talks to enterprising business people from India, Nigeria, Myanmar about their programs to help their respective countries overcome obstacles

    Key African Anti-Venom About to Permanently Run Out

    The tale of Fav-Afrique’s demise is a complicated one that reflects a deeper crisis brewing in global public health

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Britain’s Vote to Leave EU Sends Shockwaves Through Global Marketsi
    X
    June 24, 2016 10:43 AM
    Britain’s historic decision to leave the European Union is sending shockwaves through global markets. Markets from Tokyo to Europe tumbled Friday under the uncertainty the ballot brings, while regional leaders in Asia took steps to limit the possible fallout. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Britain’s Vote to Leave EU Sends Shockwaves Through Global Markets

    Britain’s historic decision to leave the European Union is sending shockwaves through global markets. Markets from Tokyo to Europe tumbled Friday under the uncertainty the ballot brings, while regional leaders in Asia took steps to limit the possible fallout. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.
    Video

    Video During Ramadan, Faith and Football Converge in Lebanon’s Megadome

    In Beirut, a group of young entrepreneurs has combined its Muslim faith and love of football to create the city's newest landmark: a large, Ramadan-ready dome primed for one of the biggest football (soccer) tournaments in the world. But as the faithful embrace the communal spirit of Islam’s holy month, it is not just those breaking their fasts that are welcome.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora