The Strange Case of the ‘Non-explosive’ Toner Bomb

October 30th, 2010 - by admin

Reuters & Infowars & JihadWatch & NBC NIghtly News – 2010-10-30 22:39:51

Explosives in US-bound Parcels from Yemen — Obama
Phil Stewart and Adrian Croft / Reuters

WASHINGTON/LONDON (October 29, 2010) — Security officials in Britain and Dubai intercepted two parcel bombs being sent from Yemen to the United States in a “credible terrorist threat,” US President Barack Obama said on Friday.

The parcels were bound for “two places of Jewish worship in Chicago,” Obama said. The Anti-Defamation League, a prominent Jewish organization, earlier warned of a danger to US Jewish institutions from packages mailed from Britain, Yemen and Saudi Arabia.

Suspicion fell on al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which had taken responsibility for a failed plot to blow up a US passenger jet on Christmas Day in 2009.

The group, thought to include Yemenis and Saudis, is affiliated with al Qaeda, whose militants killed about 3,000 people in the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States in 2001.

“Initial examinations of those packages has determined that they do apparently contain explosive material,” Obama said in a televised briefing, calling it “a credible terrorist threat against our country.”

The White House said earlier that “both of these packages originated from Yemen” and Obama was notified of the threat on Thursday night.

Speaking just days before the US congressional elections on Tuesday, Obama said a top aide had spoken to Yemen’s president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, and that Saleh had pledged full cooperation in the investigation.

One of the packages was found on a United Parcel Service cargo plane at East Midlands Airport, about 160 miles (260 km) north of London. The other was discovered at a FedEx Corp facility in Dubai.

UPS and FedEx, the world’s largest cargo airline, said they were halting shipments from Yemen.

A Trial Run?
One US official and some analysts speculated that the parcels may have been a test of cargo screening procedures and the reaction of security officials. “This may be a trial run,” the US official said.

Intelligence about the possible plot had come from an ally abroad, the official said, without elaborating. The Daily Telegraph newspaper reported the suspected plot was uncovered by Britain’s MI6 security service “after receiving information from a source in Yemen.”

In the United States, UPS planes were checked in New Jersey and Philadelphia. The Transportation Security Administration said they were searched “out of an abundance of caution.”

The US Department of Homeland Security said it was tightening aviation security measures as a result of the scare. The British government said it was “too soon to say” whether it would follow suit but it was “urgently considering” what steps to take about freight coming from Yemen.

British police said an item found on the UPS plane was sent for further testing. CNN said it was an ink toner cartridge converted into a bomb.

Before Obama spoke, an FBI source had told Reuters that initial tests in Britain revealed no explosives.

An official source in the United Arab Emirates said “an explosive device was found in the package that originated in Yemen” and the parcel was similar to the one found in Britain.

Obama’s homeland security adviser, John Brennan, said it was not clear how the devices were supposed to be activated. “We were on to this,” Brennan said. “Clearly they are looking to identify vulnerabilities in our system.”

The man accused of the failed Christmas Day bombing, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, has told US investigators he got the device and training from al Qaeda militants in Yemen.

Since then, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and one of its leading figures, American-born Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, have become priority US targets. The United States has stepped up military aid to Yemen, which has been trying to quell the resurgent branch of al Qaeda.

Reporting by Ellen Wulfhorst, Michelle Nichols, Christine Kearney, Lynn Adler and Mark Egan in New York, Jeff Mason and Jeremy Pelofsky in Washington and Mohammed Abbas in London; Writing by John O’Callaghan; editing by Christopher Wilson.

Copyright © 2010 Yahoo! Inc. All rights reserved.

Corporate Media On High Alert Over “Manipulated” Toner Cartridge On UK Plane
Kurt Nimmo

(October 29, 2010) — Officialdom and authorities jacked up the scary rhetoric this morning in response to a “manipulated” toner cartridge found on a plane in the United Kingdom that tested negative for the presence of explosive material.

“Airports in some of the United States were on high alert Friday after investigators found a suspicious package on a plane in the United Kingdom the night before, a law enforcement source with detailed knowledge of the investigation said,” reports CNN.

The FBI has added to the pre-election hysteria about scary men donning turbans by stating that they were inspecting “possible suspicious packages on three jets that flew in from Europe” to Philadelphia and New Jersey’s Newark airport, according to Bloomberg. “Out of an abundance of caution the planes were moved to a remote location where they are being met by law enforcement officials and swept,” the TSA said in a statement.

A UPS truck in Brooklyn was also stopped and checked. “Because these incidents are still being investigated, we don’t have any further details,” a UPS statement said.

The suspicious package that is not explosive or apparently threatening but has touched off a corporate media news blitz follows a barrage of absurd government propaganda about impending terror attacks.

In early October, US officialdom told “Americans to be vigilant” over the prospect of an unsubstantiated terror attack. The exaggerated travel warning was based on information described as intelligence that allegedly pointed to al-Qaeda cave dwellers planning attacks throughout Europe. No specific locations or countries were identified as targets. In early October, authorities warned there would be a Mumbai-style attack in Europe.

Prior to the latest scaremongering, Noman Benotman, a Libyan described as a former trainer at an Afghanistan terrorist camp originally established by the CIA, ISI and Saudi intelligence, said a Mumbai-style attack in Britain, France or Germany is still possible. “I have information that I consider to be reliable, according to which Al-Qaeda in North Waziristan is training how to carry out multiple parallel hostage taking in order to enforce the release of a prisoner,” Benotman told the German magazine Speigel.

On Thursday, the arrest of a naturalized US citizen born in Pakistan, Farooque Ahmed, prompted the NYPD to issue a warning to law enforcement reportedly highlighting the desire of violent extremists riled up by the FBI to target the subway system in New York City, according to Fox. “New York City remains a major target for terrorist groups,” states the NYPD SHIELD Terrorism Assessment.

Earlier in the week, the dead Osama bin Laden supposedly threatened French citizens with kidnappings and death for the horrible crime of banning full-face Islamic veils for women and the country’s presence in Afghanistan. “The equation is very clear and simple: as you kill, you will be killed; as you take others hostages, you will be taken hostages; as you waste our security we will… waste your security,” said the dead nemesis in a two minute recording.

The latest carnival of absurd events present more evidence the government is conditioning us to accept back-to-back non-terror events as an excuse to compromise our civil liberties, accept intrusive technology such as dangerous naked body scanners, and get acclimated to troops on the streets.

Harmless toner cartridges with white powder (?) and wires were reportedly headed to Chicago synagogues. “FBI spokesman Ross Rice added that while there are no identifiable or specific threats to the Chicago area, all churches, synagogues and mosques in the area are being warned to be vigilant for unsolicited or unexpected packages, especially those originating from overseas locations,” CBS News in Chicago reports.

“Authorities say the UPS plane was headed to Chicago from Yemen, and had on-board an ink toner cartridge that looked like it had been converted into a bomb. The plane was stopped in the UK Thursday night, CNN reported.”

Obama Says Packages from Yemen Contained Explosive Materials

An update on this story. “Suspicious packages ‘contain explosive material,’ Obama says,” from CNN, October 29:

Suspicious packages found in at least two locations abroad that were bound for the United States “apparently contain explosive material,” President Barack Obama said Friday, calling the discovery “a credible threat against our country.”

The packages led to increased searches of cargo planes and trucks in several US cities, said law enforcement sources with detailed knowledge of the investigation. US officials believe that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, commonly referred to as AQAP, is behind the incident.

Obama confirmed that the packages originated in Yemen — the stronghold of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. “We also know that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula continues to plan attacks against our homeland, our citizens, and our friends and allies,” he said during a press briefing on the incident.

One suspicious package, found in the United Kingdom, contained a “manipulated” toner cartridge and had white powder on it as well as wires and a circuit board, a law enforcement source said. A similar package was discovered in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, the source said.

Both packages were bound for the United States, “specifically two places of Jewish worship in Chicago,” Obama said. “Initial examination of those packages has determined they do apparently contain explosive material,” he said.

Authorities were looking for about 13 other packages shipped from Yemen, a law enforcement source said. Some of them had been found and an investigation of those had not indicated they are a threat, the source said.

There is no specific intelligence indicating the other packages are a threat or that they are in the United States, the source said, but authorities want to check them as a precaution.

A Yemeni diplomat in Washington said his government has opened a full-scale investigation into the incident but it was too early to speculate or reach any conclusions….

The New Face of Terrorism — or a Toner Cartridge?
News Blog & NBC Nightly News

On his October 29 newsblog, Brian Willians wrote:
One comment on the story that has occupied our day, and forced us to do no fewer than five special reports on the television network:

While we are expected to pass along stern Government warnings — delivered by officials with stern expressions, from the President on down, and including terms like “credible terrorist threat”– it’s a bit tough to get past the fact that these appear to be copy machine toner cartriges with white powder on them. One of them has what appears to be the back of an AM pocket radio circuit board attached with three screws and some would-be fasteners.

While it caused an international air cargo scare today, and while there is certainly a lot more we don’t know, this story looks strange on the face of it. Our own Richard Engel, who knows Yemen and the region well, late today called this “an attempt to discombobulate.” All day, Richard has been saying this reminds him of some fake IEDs he’s seen planted by the side of the road in Iraq just to test the US military response…in order to launch an attack the next time.

The good news? We’re getting a whole lot better at finding and following the red flags. We’ll pass along everything we know about this incident on our broadcast tonight.

Richard Engel, Chief Foreign Correspondent, speaking on the October 29 broadcast of Nightly News:
This kind of attack had a very low probability of success. It’s too inept. It doesn’t make sense. You’re sending a device. You’re sending something suspicious. Addressing it to a synagogue. You know you’re going to get caught. You know red flags are going to go up all over the world.

You’re sending something that’s been tampered with — from Yemen, to a synagogue. So the question is: is the intention to cause harm to that synagogue or is it to cause a big diversion?

A lot of attention has been focused on this today. That ties the United States up. It costs money. This attack — or this diversion — maybe cost them a couple of hundred dollars to do. Look how much attention has been focused on this today. And then by sitting back and watching it happen, you can learn a lot.

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