PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Amid word of a new, emerging terrorist group in the Middle East, a US congressman serving Delaware County held a homeland security hearing today focusing on Philadelphia and the surrounding area.

meehan pat ap Rep. Pat Meehan Says Terrorists Eyeing Philadelphia Area Targets

(File photo from AP)

Rep. Pat Meehan (R-Pa., right), chairman of the Counterterrorism and Intelligence Subcommittee on Homeland Security, says the hearing focused on a group out of Yemen called “Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.”

“They are the ones that were responsible for the UPS parcel bomb that landed in Philadelphia,” says Meehan (see related story).

He says the leader of that group, Anwar al-Awlaki, is a New Mexico native who is responsible for producing an online magazine called “Inspire.”

“And a UPS plane effectively made the cover of that (magazine based) on the impact of that particular incident,” Meehan says.

Meehan says the online article boasted that the $4,200 toner cartridge bomb plot, even though it failed to blow up a plane, will cost America billions in security enhancements.

“Part of what they’re trying to do is get attention for themselves and make themselves look stronger than they actually are, but they are a genuine threat and they are trying to probe and carry out acts of terrorism.  And obviously there have been prudent steps to protect against this kind of thing, some of which do cost money,” he says.

Meehan says the goal of this hearing was educational.

Reported by Hadas Kuznits, KYW Newsradio 1060.

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