A reason to be thankful that suspicious packages have become a major cause for concern worldwide. And a reminder who Al Qaeda’s principal target still is.
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 U.S. cities, said law enforcement sources with detailed knowledge of the investigation.
U.S. 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.
Not Kiryat Arba. Not Tel Aviv. Chicago.
habibi adds: here is a picture from the White House flickr pages.
President Barack Obama is briefed by members of his national security team in the Situation Room of the White House, Oct. 29, 2010.
This is what Obama had to say.
Update: Jeffrey Goldberg writes:
What is not surprising at all is that the people — presumably, though we shouldn’t assume for certain, Qaeda-affiliated terrorists — who manufactured these bomb are fundamentally annihilationist in outlook, meaning that they have as a primary goal the killing of Jews, everywhere. This shouldn’t be a controversial conclusion to make, but there are many people out there who believe that al Qaeda and its fellow travelers are angry over settlements. They are not. They are angry over the continued existence of Jews.