Suspicious Packages Were a ‘Credible Terrorist Threat’

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Photo: William Thomas Cain/Getty Images

It all started this morning with a report of a suspicious package found on a plane. In the world we live in now, it's something you hear all the time, and ignore, and you could have been forgiven for ignoring this news as well. But this time it's different — this was a real threat, in some form or another.

What we know now is that two suspicious packages originating in Yemen were discovered last night — one on a UPS plane in East Midlands, England, another at a FedEx facility in Dubai. Both packages contained toner cartridges, wires, white powder, and circuit boards, and were addressed to synagogues in Chicago. And although reports initially indicated that both tested negative for explosives, President Obama just revealed that they were explosive after all, and indicated a "credible terrorist threat."

So far, these are the only explosives discovered, despite the investigation of suspicious packages in UPS planes in Newark and Philadelphia and a UPS truck at Metrotech Center in Brooklyn, and an ongoing effort to find other packages coming from Yemen. According to CNN, authorities believes that Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is behind the plot.

While a flight from Dubai was escorted into JFK by Canadian and America Air Force jets earlier this afternoon, there was no specific threat related to the plane. "This is only because there is cargo from Yemen on the flight. There is no known threat associated with this cargo or this flight,” an FBI agent says.

What does it all mean? Was it an attempted attack? A dry run meant to uncover weaknesses, as some have speculated? We'll all find out in the coming hours and days.

Al Qaeda behind airport scares, U.S. says; security tightens; Yemen probing [CNN]
Suspicious packages 'contain explosive material,' Obama says [CNN]