U.S. Investigates Yemen Packages Shipped Via UPS, FedEx

(BLOOMBERG)

U.S. officials are investigating packages sent from Yemen to the U.S. after suspicious parcels were found in the U.K. and Dubai, spurring a security alert and inspections of cargo planes.

United Parcel Service Inc. said the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation checked packages on three jets from Europe, while FedEx Corp. said a parcel sent from Yemen was seized by officials at its Dubai facility, and it embargoed shipments from Yemen.

Investigators are looking at whether the packages were a dry run for a future terrorist attack, said a U.S. official. Links to al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, a branch of the group that operates in Yemen, also are being studied, said the official, who requested anonymity.

Tests for explosives were negative on a toner cartridge found on the plane that landed in the U.K. en route to Chicago from Yemen, said Richard Kolko, a spokesman for the FBI in New York, in a telephone interview. He didn’t specify whose flight was involved.

Two suspicious packages were discovered late yesterday, spurring additional security precautions, the White House said today in a statement. President Barack Obama was notified about a potential terrorist threat at 10:35 p.m., the White House said.