As investigations continue into the ink cartridge bombs found on cargo flights from Yemen heading for the USA, authorities in Yemen confirmed the discovery of a total of 26 suspect packages, increasing fears that the terrorist plot could be moré serious than first suspected.
World governments remain on high alert as reports come in that one of the identified devices had travelled on two passenger flights before being discovered in Dubai. Qatar Airways have stated that the device was carried on their scheduled flight to Doha and transferred there onto another passenger flight to Dubai. Up to 15 per cent of cargo worldwide is transported in the holds of passenger aircraft.
An announcement today suggested that, when intelligence information on the possibility of the bombs being on the two flights was passed on, both Dubai and East Midlands airport staff ran one check without finding the cartridges and were reluctant to search again. When they finally agreed, the devices were discovered.
Jon Brennan, President Obama’s deputy security chief, has announced that the devices were capable of downing a plane if ignited. He added that the sophistication of their manufacture and the way they were concealed is worrying as they were difficult to detect and also were able to be detonated remotely at a time of the terrorists’ choosing.
The UK has banned the landing of any cargo originating in Yemen and the US is treating every package from the region as a threat. Security at UK airports is expected to be stepped up to unprecedented levels as a result. UK and US investigators are flying to Yemen to aid the investigation and five suspects have been arrested, including two local Fedex employees.Author's Google+ page