Saturday, October 30, 2010
Obama Vows to 'Destroy' al Qaeda in Yemen After Bomb Discovery
President Obama on Friday vowed to "destroy'' al Qaeda in Yemen after two explosive devices were found aboard U.S.-bound cargo jets.
The apparent destinations for the two explosive packages, which authorities disabled, were two Jewish synagogues in Chicago, although the president did not specify which ones. At a White House news conference, Obama called the plot a "credible terrorist attack against our country" and vowed that counterintelligence agencies would "take whatever steps are necessary" to prevent an attack.
U.S. intelligence learned late Thursday that explosives may have been planted among the tons of cargo on U.S.-bound cargo jets flying from Yemen. Agents working with British intelligence and others quickly found one device on an airliner at Britain's East Midlands airport, and another on a cargo jet parked at the Dubai airport. Officials declined to say how they learned of the plot.
Each package was roughly the size of a bread box and contained "explosive materials ... in a form that was designed to try to carry out some type of attack,'' said John Brennan, White House counter-terrorism chief, who spoke after the president. "They were intended "to do harm.''
Brennan and other officials stressed that the investigation has not yet determined whether the planted devices were part of a probe to test western counter-terrorism defenses or an actual attempted attack. Nor do officials know if there are other explosive packages hidden aboard jetliners. "We don't want to presume that we know the bounds of this plot,'' he said.