Paris: An Al-Qaeda bomb intercepted in
Britain last week part way between Yemen and the United States
was disarmed just 17 minutes before it was programmed to
detonate, French officials said on Thursday.
Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux said that one of two
parcel bombs found last Thursday at airports in Dubai and
Britain was close to exploding, and officials in his office
told AFP he was referring to the British package.
"There were parcel bombs from Yemen heading for the
United States, and I can tell you, for example, that one of
these parcels was disarmed 17 minutes before the planned
explosion," Hortefeux told France 2 television.
Hortefeux made the remark during a more general
discussion of the threat of militant attacks on France and was
not pressed for more information. He did not say what the
source of his information about the imminent blast was.
Packages addressed to synagogues in Chicago and
holding the hard-to-detect explosive PETN hidden in ink toner
cartridges were uncovered in Dubai and Britain`s East Midlands
Airport last week, sparking a global security alert.
Washington believes the parcel bombs were the work of
Saudi militant Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri, a suspected Al-Qaeda
bombmaker, and British officials have said they were powerful
enough to bring down a plane in flight.