Yemeni student released with no charges
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Last Updated: Monday, November 01, 2010, 13:29
  
New York: The 22-year-old woman arrested by Yemeni authorities in connection with the two parcel bombs sent on US-bound flights was released with no charges and investigators now believe it was a case of identity theft.

The engineering student and her mother was picked up on Saturday after the authorities tracked her down from the name and phone number on the shipping documents. But, it now appears that the woman's identity was stolen, the media here reported.

There is currently no-one in custody for the terror plan, which is being blamed on al Qaeda operating in the Arabian Peninsula.

A Yemeni official in Washington told the LA Times "they brought in several people from the shipping company where the package was dropped off. They had them look at the woman and see if they could identify her. All of them said it was not her".

The official added that the woman who did drop off the package "used a passport and an ID that had the full name of Hanan Samawi, and her address and phone number.... We believe it was someone who knew Hanan Samawi or somehow their paths crossed".

Many of Samawi's friends protested on how she had been treated by the police, and her lawyer, Abdulraham Barman, who is active in the field of human rights, suggested that the US was preparing to get involved in Yemen.

"I think it's an orchestration to draw more attention to Yemen," he said.

"The US wants to be more active here, and this plot is a fabrication to justify coming military strikes against al Qaeda".

Earlier yesterday, John O'Brennan, chief counterterrorism advisor to President Barack Obama, appeared on several morning talk shows in the US to speak about the discovery of the bombs on Friday in the UK and Dubai.

Brennan suggested that the bombs were intended to blow up the cargo aircrafts carrying them.

"We're looking at the potential that they would have been detonated en route to those synagogues aboard the aircraft as well as at the destinations," said John O'Brennan, chief counterterrorism advisor to Obama.

"But at this point, I think, would agree with the British that it looks as though they were designed to be detonated in flight," he said in an interview on CBS's 'Face the Nation'.

In ABC's 'This week,' the top US official said it was "an al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula effort (AQAP)" and that the Obama administration "can't presume that we have identified all of the packages that are out there".

Brennan pointed out that the possibility that the man who made the bomb that was used by Umar Farouq Abdulmutallab, the failed Christmas Day bomber, also made the explosives that were headed to Chicago.

PTI


First Published: Monday, November 01, 2010, 13:29


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