Cargo bomb found in UK could have exploded over U.S.

LONDON Wed Nov 10, 2010 12:53pm EST

A forensic officer removes a package from a UPS container at East Midlands Airport in Castle Donington, central England October 29, 2010. REUTERS/Darren Staples

A forensic officer removes a package from a UPS container at East Midlands Airport in Castle Donington, central England October 29, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Darren Staples

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LONDON (Reuters) - A bomb found on board a cargo plane at a British airport last month could have exploded over the eastern seaboard of the United States if it had not been defused, British police said on Wednesday.

Al Qaeda's Yemen-based wing has claimed responsibility for sending two U.S.-bound parcel bombs that were intercepted in Dubai and Britain in October.

The bombs, addressed to synagogues in Chicago, were found in computer printer cartridges.

The device found in Britain was taken off a cargo plane at East Midlands Airport north of London on October 29.

"Forensic examination has indicated that if the device had activated it would have been at 10:30 hrs BST (0930 GMT) on Friday, 29 October 2010," London police said in a statement.

"If the device had not been removed from the aircraft the activation could have occurred over the eastern seaboard of the U.S.," they said.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said last month he could not rule out that the East Midlands bomb may have been intended to explode over Britain.

The police said the cargo plane arrived at East Midlands Airport from Cologne at 2:13 a.m. (0113 GMT) on October 29. It left just over two hours later after the suspect package had been removed.

The bomb was only deactivated by explosives officers when they removed the printer cartridge from the printer at about 7.40 a.m. -- less than three hours before it was set to explode.

French Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux said last week one of the two parcel bombs was defused just 17 minutes before it was due to explode.

Governments, airlines and aviation authorities around the world have been reviewing security since the foiled plot, the latest of a number involving aircraft.

(Reporting by Adrian Croft; Editing by Avril Ormsby)

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Comments (2)
bobsinger wrote:
Reguarding the toner cartridges; retun to sender

Nov 10, 2010 1:34pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Psyllicon wrote:
What they intentionally neglected to say in this article was that the original luggage scan turned up nothing. Only after the discovery in Dubai of an explosive device in the ink cartridge of a printer (still in place no less, camouflage to be sure) was the luggage aboard that flight checked a SECOND time.

Then and only then did they discover the explosives on the flight. It had previously been cleared for flight..

Isn’t that comforting?

Nov 10, 2010 10:59pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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