Suspect packages addressed to US religious institutions: FBI

Last Updated: Saturday, October 30, 2010 - 09:35

Chicago: Two suspicious packages intercepted
on cargo planes in transit to the United States were addressed
to religious institutions in Chicago, the FBI said today as
Jewish synagogues nationwide were placed on alert.

The FBI said it does not believe an attack is imminent
but cautioned area religious institutions to be `vigilant.`
"There have been no threats made or received indicating
that anyone or any location in Chicago is at risk," Ross Rice,
spokesman for the FBI`s Chicago office, told a news agency in an e-mail.

"The two suspicious packages did not contain explosives."
Rice declined to say whether the packages were addressed
to Jewish synagogues or another type of religious institution.

"Since two of the suspicious packages that were
intercepted were addressed to religious institutions in
Chicago, all churches, synagogues and mosques in the Chicago
area should be vigilant for any unsolicited or unexpected
packages, especially those originating from overseas
locations," Rice said.

Jewish organisations in the city were contacted early
today and warned of the threat, said Linda Hasse, vice
president of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago.
"We were told that synagogues should be on the alert,"
Hasse told a news agency.

"We are taking appropriate precautions and advising local
synagogues to do likewise."

The Anti-Defamation League said it was informed by "law
enforcement sources" of a threat to Jewish institutions "in
the form of packages mailed from overseas, particularly Great
Britain, Yemen and Saudi Arabia."

The group sent notices to Jewish organisations across the
country urging them to "increase mailroom security and to
contact law enforcement immediately if they see anything
suspicious."

President Barack Obama was told late yesterday of a
`potential terrorist threat` from suspicious packages from
Yemen on two cargo planes, one in Britain and the other in
Dubai, the White House said.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said that as a
precaution, extra security measures were taken regarding other
cargo planes at Newark and Philadelphia international airports
in the United States.

US package delivery giant FedEx suspended deliveries from
Yemen today after a suspicious package originating from there
was confiscated in Dubai.

"In cooperation with the FBI, local authorities have
confiscated a suspicious package at the FedEx facility in
Dubai," a company statement said.

"The shipment originated in Yemen and as an additional
safety measure, FedEx has embargoed all shipments originating
from Yemen."

PTI



First Published: Saturday, October 30, 2010 - 09:35
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