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Terror Scare Puts Spotlight On Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Authorities isolated five cargo planes both locally and abroad following a scare involving suspicious packages that originated in Yemen. The White House says President Barack Obama was notified about a potential terrorist threat Thursday night after the packages were discovered aboard a plane in England and Dubai.

As a result of the discovery, additional security measures were taken and two UPS cargo planes at Philadelphia International Airport and a plane in Newark, New Jersey were detained Friday morning.

President Obama called the attacks a “credible terrorist threat.”

The Department of Homeland Security, the FBI and other local and federal agencies are investigating the incidents that began when a UPS plane in East Midlands, England, and a FedEx plane in Dubai, were found to have suspicious packages on board.

“Based on close cooperation among U.S. government agencies and with our foreign allies and partners, authorities were able to identify and examine two suspicious packages,” said White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.

The packages were found on the planes that were bound for synagogues in Chicago, Illinois and were part of approximately 10 to 20 that originated out of Yemen.

A U.S. official tells CBS News that the package on the UPS cargo plane in East Midlands contained a toner cartridge rigged to look like a device, with a syringe, white powder, wiring and cell phone components, but the device tested negative for explosives. A CBS News law enforcement source says that preliminary indications are that TATP was an identified ingredient, which was an element used by the Christmas Day bomber. TATP is a potentially potent explosive mixture that needs an ignition source to become a bomb.

east mids Terror Scare Puts Spotlight On Philadelphia

This modified ink cartridge was found on a flight headed from Yemen to Chicago. Authorities say it tested negative for explosives. (credit: CBS News)

The other packages were believed to have made their way onto planes that departed Cologne, Germany en route to the United States. Two of the planes out of Cologne landed in Philadelphia Friday morning and were immediately detained and the cargo was searched.

Another plane landed at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey, but the cargo was offloaded before the plane could be searched.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) released a statement and said, “Out of an abundance of caution, local law enforcement evacuated the UPS cargo facilities at both airports (Philadelphia and Newark) and the planes were moved to remote locations where they were met by law enforcement officials. After security sweeps, both planes and their cargo have been cleared.”

As a precaution, authorities stopped a UPS truck on the Queensboro Bridge in New York to search the packages that were picked up at Newark airport. The truck was later cleared.

A UPS spokesperson says they are cooperating with authorities as they investigate the incidents.

At this time, there is no direct connection to the threats in Europe. Yemen remains a concern because it is the home of the al-Qaida branch that claimed responsibility for an attempted bombing of a U.S. bound airliner on Christmas day 2009.

“At this stage, the American people should know that the counter-terrorism professionals are taking this threat very seriously and are taking all necessary and prudent steps to ensure our security,” President Obama said.

Operations at Philadelphia International Airport were not affected and no delays were reported.


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  • Shish

    Oh let me guess genius Big Sis will be issuing a statement soon to let us know it is a radical Christian tea partier that is a suspect again

  • lmao

    the names of the people leaving these messages makes me laugh – laughing is great fun – thank you for all the entertainment :)

  • UPS guy

    I am proud to work for UPS. So I am not an objective commenter.

    One thing that is true about UPS is that safety is first. On a day to day basis we employees are constantly being updated on safety improvements. We have to memorize things like the Smith System for driving, the hazmat posters, and policies related to reacting to disasters, chemical spills and dangerous weather.

    My best guess is that other shippers, do not empower their employees to voice concerns about safety as well as UPS. This sends a message: If you want to send unsafe stuff, don’t use UPS because we will actually cooperate with homeland security and stop the planes.

  • Bohica

    How could they detect it? If it were a package with liquid in it and it started leaking.

    How did the other planes detect it? One likely found it, and the information was transmitted to the other planes.

  • Randy Jacobson

    Hahaha! Well played.


    What can brown do for Pennsylvanians?

  • johnny

    no, no, no, this can’t be true,, OBAMA says our boarders are safe

    • mucklucky

      You meant borders, but yes the boarders who cross our borders are protected by the courts.

  • dave c

    Another FAKE terrorist warning.
    There is no enemy (here) so teh Govt has to invent one to increase its police power

    Nothing will come of it.

    Read about Govt sponsored TERRORISM

    • EdCapt

      Alcoa can arrange shipments of tin foil by the ton.

  • JB

    Hey, watch it buddy, I work for UPS

  • Tom

    Don’t worry folks. They switched to the new mercury filled light bulbs the government mandates and a light broke when the plane landed. They had to call hazmat to clean it up.

    • zbacku

      LOL. Do people realize that the light bulbs the government are forcing us to use have MERCURY implanted.
      The school across the street was evacuated because a ‘drop’ was spilled on the floor.
      We can’t eat fish that have minute amounts and yet we are forced to use ‘glass’ light bulbs that depend on mercury to work.
      That’s the government for you.

  • RussRamey6

    Imagine Xmas with packages going thru xtra security? Oy!!!!

  • JB





  • Fred

    Hmm.. must be an election coming up huh?

  • zipity

    Probably those damn radical Unitarians again…..

    • EdCapt

      Or the Boy Scouts… you know they are a dangerous radical organization too.

    • Dannohaney1

      LOL…yea, or perhaps “Radical Catholics”…wouldn’t want to profile though…

  • Freedom_Isnt_Free

    The latest news reports mention “radioactivity”! Something tells me if there is something on any of these planes that is dangerous, we’ll never know the truth!

    • Mad_Real_In_Philly

      yea thats called living in the fraud that is america. 9/11 was an inside job – dont ever forget or debate it. do your research and stop watching the corporate controlled media people. think for yourself, god gave you that brain to use didnt he?

      • tk

        I have some bulk tinfoil to sell you.

      • M

        Corporate controlled media? I think you meant leftist controlled media. Check your brain scarecrow.

      • Mad William Flint

        don’t ever debate?

        The height of intellectual dishonesty.

        You sir, fail.

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  • Tad

    I wonder how a crew member could detect a radiological component of a package, and why it wasn’t identified before it was placed on the plane. Also, how could this occur on multiple planes at one time unless it was a coordinated effort by some group or multiple groups to disrupt the distribution of products even if there is no actual radiological component found. As we know, all it really takes is a claim or rumor that something is wrong to get Homeland Security to jump in, unless you say it’s caused by a Muslim, then they forget to use Mapquest or street signs and never seem to make that case happen.

    • Lauren

      thought about that after I heard the report…thought about why all of a sudden it is getting reported. You would think you would see it packing the plane or the containers they packages are put into…something isnt adding up..

  • Raul Figeuroa

    Haha — don’t worry “gabsy” — your shipment of hashish will be delivered as soon the plane gets cleared by the Feds — hahaha

  • cloonfush

    Most excellent idea.

  • gabsy

    They can investigate all they want, but I have a package that is going through Philadelphia. This better not delay the arrival or I will be really peeved.

    • johnny

      get over it,, maybe they will confinscate all of them,, that will realy ‘peeve’ you off

    • Scott

      You must be sooooo important. As Archie Bunker would say, “Shut up, you!”

    • TRX

      Feeling a bit self absorbed today are we? Let me just offer you a thought to weigh. If the plane explodes, your package might not ever get there.

    • EdCapt

      Yes! I always hold my self-interest above the safety and good of my neighbor. You know it is the golden rule! — Love myself as I love myself.
      gabsy is hopelessly in love with himself… isn’t it sweet?

  • Bob

    Tyrone, you are exactly right!!!!

  • wdarwin

    Wag the Dog baby!

    • Idonothinkitmeanswhatyouthinkitmeans


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