THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
October 29, 2010
Statement of White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs
Last night, intelligence and law enforcement agencies discovered potential suspicious packages on two planes in transit to the United States. 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, one in East Midlands, United Kingdom and one in Dubai. Both of these packages originated from Yemen. As a result of security precautions triggered by this threat, the additional measures were taken regarding the flights at Newark Liberty and Philadelphia International Airports.
The President was notified of a potential terrorist threat on Thursday night at 10:35, by John Brennan, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counter-terrorism. The President directed U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies, and the Department of Homeland Security, to take steps to ensure the safety and security of the American people, and to determine whether these threats are a part of any additional terrorist plotting. The President has received regular updates from his national security team since he was alerted to the threat.
RELATED: Two suspicious packages on planes in Dubai and London led U.S. authorities to search cargo planes headed from Europe to Philadelphia and Newark today. Thus far, a law enforcement source told The Inquirer, a search of UPS planes in Philadelphia had discovered no potential explosive or other suspected terrorist devices. The threat was serious enough that President Obama was notified of a potential terrorist attack late last night, the White House said. . MORE
UPDATE: Two packages containing explosive devices originating in Yemen and bound for two places of Jewish worship in Chicago set off a global terror alert that began when one package was found at a FedEx facility in Dubai on Thursday, and then another was found early Friday morning near London, sparking a day of dramatic precautionary activity in the United States. Speaking at the White House Friday afternoon, President Obama confirmed that the two packages contained explosives. Earlier reports had said that the device found in Britain did not. Mr. Obama called the packages a “credible terrorist threat against our country.” MORE