News / USA

White House Security Advisor Provides Details on Threat

Investigators board a United Parcel Service jet isolated on a runway at Philadelphia International Airport in Philadelphia, Friday, Oct. 29, 2010.
Investigators board a United Parcel Service jet isolated on a runway at Philadelphia International Airport in Philadelphia, Friday, Oct. 29, 2010.

President Obama's homeland security adviser, John Brennan, spoke to reporters in the White House briefing room about the credible terrorist threat uncovered by U.S. authorities with help from foreign partners.  

The presidential homeland security adviser says the two packages identified on aircraft bound for the United States, and addressed to synagogues in Chicago, contained explosive materials, and appeared intended to carry out what Brennan called some sort of attack that could have caused harm, though he would not say on what level.

Addressing the media after President Obama made his statement on the threat, Brennan said there is an active and ongoing investigation underway, with partners in the United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates and Yemen, adding that for now only two packages had been identified.

Brennan said al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula has demonstrated that it continues to focus on the aviation sector to carry out attacks, and the aviation industry has taken steps over the years in response.

He responded this way when asked how al-Qaida has adapted to the sharply enhanced security and intelligence efforts aimed against it. "The Al-Qaida organization has tried to adapt to all of the obstacles and hurdles we put in front of it. That is why we have to remain very agile, we have to make sure that we stay one step ahead of them. But clearly they are looking to identify vulnerabilities in our system and take advantage of those vulnerabilities," he said.

In his statement to the media, President Obama said authorities will spare no effort in investigating the origins of the packages, which Brennan said had been disabled, and their connection to any additional terrorist plotting.

The president spoke about U.S. counter-terrorism cooperation with the Yemeni government. "We will continue to strengthen our cooperation with the Yemeni government, to disrupt plotting by al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, and to destroy this al-Qaida affiliate.  We will also continue our efforts to strengthen a more stable, secure and prosperous Yemen so that terrorist groups do not have the time and space they need to plan attacks from within its borders," he said.

Asked whether authorities believe that the radical Yemeni-US cleric, Anwar al-Awlaki, may have been involved, Brennan said all individuals associated with al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula are being looked at.

In a statement issued late Friday, Brennan said the U.S. is grateful to Saudi Arabia for its assistance in developing information that he said helped to underscore the imminence of the threat emanating from Yemen.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said there would be no change in President Obama's travels on the political campaign trail in support of Democrats before the November 2 congressional mid-term elections. "Our counter-terrorism professionals are on the job and the president is not going to change his schedule and there is no cause for Americans to change their schedule," he said.

After a political appearance in Virginia Friday, President Obama travels to Philadelphia on Saturday, and later to Chicago to support Democrats ahead of the midterm elections.

You May Like

Cambodia Seeks Official UN Maps for Vietnam Border

Notice of request comes as 2 countries open border talks Tuesday after a clash last month More

From South Africa to Vietnam, Cyclists Deliver Message Against Rhino Horns

Appalled by poaching they saw firsthand, sisters embark on tour to raise awareness in countries where rhino horn products are in demand More

Uber Wants Johannesburg Police Protection

Request follows recent protests outside ride-hailing service's Johannesburg office More

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.
Getting it Done Beyond a Nuclear Deali
X
July 07, 2015 12:02 PM
If a nuclear deal is reached between Iran and world powers in Vienna, it will be a highly technical road map to be used to monitor nuclear activity in Iran for years to come to ensure Tehran does not make nuclear weapons. Equally as complicated will be dismantling international sanctions that were originally intended to be ironclad. VOA’s Heather Murdock talks to experts about the key challenges any deal will present.
Video

Video Getting it Done Beyond a Nuclear Deal

If a nuclear deal is reached between Iran and world powers in Vienna, it will be a highly technical road map to be used to monitor nuclear activity in Iran for years to come to ensure Tehran does not make nuclear weapons. Equally as complicated will be dismantling international sanctions that were originally intended to be ironclad. VOA’s Heather Murdock talks to experts about the key challenges any deal will present.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.

VOA Blogs