President Obama Confirms Packages Found Overseas Had Explosives, Sweeps in New York Area Friday Are Clear

Friday, October 29, 2010

This November 24, 2009 photo shows Continental Airlines jets on the tarmac at Liberty International Airport in Newark, New Jersey. THe New York City skyline is in the background. Newark Liberty International Airport (KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images/Getty)

In a speech from the White House Briefing Room on Friday afternoon, President Barack Obama confirmed that suspicious packages found overseas did contain explosive material.

The president said he was informed on Thursday night of suspicious packages from Yemen, en route to the U.S. — specifically, two Jewish sites in Chicago. Those packages were intercepted, and found in Midland, England, and Dubai. Obama said additional precautions are being taken at the nation's airports — including additional checks of cargo — as investigations continue.

New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly has given the all clear in Brooklyn, where one of several suspicious packages was investigated on Friday. Kelly said an envelope removed from a UPS truck in Brooklyn appeared to contain bank receipts bound for JP Morgan Chase.

It was intercepted because it arrived on a UPS plane from Yemen — the same route as items being investigated on cargo planes in Newark, Philadelphia, and in England. Sweeps were conducted at Newark Liberty International and Philadelphia airport. No explosives were found in any of the packages. Kelly said there's no threat or claim of a terror threat at this time.

The White House said intelligence and law enforcement agencies discovered potential suspicious packages in transit to the U.S. on Thursday night, and examined one in England and one in Dubai. The White House said the "additional measures" taken in Newark and Philadelphia are "a result of security precautions triggered by this threat."

Meanwhile, a United Arab Emirates flight from Yemen landed at JFK International Airport on Friday afternoon, escorted by two military fighter jets. Officials are investigating. They said there is no known threat associated with the plane, but that it was escorted to JFK as a cautionary move.

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