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Entries in FedEx (3)

Saturday
Nov272010

FedEx Finds Radioactive Material Lost in Transit

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(KNOXVILLE, Tenn.) -- After a Thanksgiving Day scare, FedEx on Friday located radioactive material that had fallen out of a box while being shipped from North Dakota to Tennessee.

The missing radioactive rods, used to calibrate hospital CT scanners, are believed to have fallen out of a box Thursday that became wet in transit from a hospital in Fargo to a company that processes the material in Knoxville.

After the federal government issued an alert and several state agencies began investigations, FedEx located the errant container in Knoxville.

"The box had become separated and was set aside to try to match it to the shipper because there was no label on it," FedEx spokeswoman Sandra Munoz said. "Everything was intact and nothing had been tampered with."

FedEx said it routinely ships small amounts of radioactive material, which adhere to state and federal guidelines.

An official with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission described the amount of material, 684 megabecquerels, as "a very small amount" and "nothing that would pose threat to public health or safety."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov012010

US Feared Parcel Bomb Plot Was Coming; Saw September 'Dry Run'

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- U.S. intelligence officials feared that al Qaeda terrorists in Yemen were plotting to attack the United States and actually intercepted what they now believe were "dry run" shipments to Chicago in mid-September, according to several people briefed on the plot and a senior U.S. official.

The senior U.S. official told ABC News that the "dry run" involved a carton of household goods including books, religious literature, and a computer disk, but no explosives, shipped from Yemen to an address in Chicago by "someone with ties to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula."

Another person briefed on the incident said it is now believed the terrorists sent the package "so they could track how long it took and whether there would be any problems for the package getting through the system."

Senior administration officials told ABC News that, after the September shipment was discovered, U.S. intelligence agencies had specific concerns about the Yemen-based group's interest in Chicago, noting not only the destination of the September shipment, but also a photograph of the Chicago skyline in a magazine recently published by the terror group's propaganda arm.

U.S. intelligence "intercepted the packages in transit," the senior intelligence official said, searched them, and then allowed them to continue to Chicago.

"The dry run is always important to al Qaeda," said Dick Clarke, a former White House counterterrorism official and now an ABC News consultant. "In this case they wanted to follow the packages using the tracking system to know exactly when they got to a point, how long the timer had to be set for, so the bomb would go off at the right point, which presumably was over Chicago."

The U.S. official said the CIA feared the packages "were intended to probe the security system for air cargo but there was nothing in them that could have been used to hide a bomb."

While officials believed air cargo might be used for an attack, "no one in the U.S. government had specific timing or date" for the real bombs, the senior U.S. official said.

The White House said it only learned of the actual air cargo plot late Thursday night when Saudi intelligence provided "a tip" about the bombs being shipped.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said the tip involved the FedEx and UPS tracking numbers which made it possible for the U.S. to stop the shipments at transfer points in Dubai and the United Kingdom.

"We were able to identify where they were emanating from by package number, where they were located," Napolitano told ABC News.

The senior U.S. official said the tracking numbers were not known to the U.S. until after the packages had left Yemen.

The timing is significant because one of the bombs, the one shipped by FedEx, was moved to Dubai on two separate Qatar Air passenger jets.

The UPS shipment was moved on an all-cargo flight through Germany and on to England where it was to have been sent to the United States.

U.S. and British authorities say they now believe that the bombs, hidden in desktop printers, were designed to be detonated on board the aircraft carrying them.

"If one cargo plane is taken down by a bomb," said Brad Garrett, an ABC News consultant and former FBI agent, "you could literally shut down cargo transport across the world."

The White House has publicly thanked the Saudi intelligence service for its cooperation but the weeks of intelligence sharing with the Saudis that allowed the U.S. to know in advance that parcel bombs were coming has not previously been reported.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov012010

US Hunts For Saudi Man Believed to Be Behind UPS, FedEx Bombs

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(CHICAGO) -- The full force of the U.S. is now targeted on Ibrahim al-Asiri, the young Saudi bombmaker believed to be behind the two bombs found Friday in UPS and FedEx packages bound from Yemen to Chicago.

Asiri, 28, also said to have been behind last year's attempted Christmas bombing of Northwest flight 253, continues to outmatch billions of dollars in airport security equipment and presents a clear and present danger.  "We need to find him," said John Brennan, President Obama's top antiterrorism advisor.

American officials now concede that Asiri's two latest bombs would have made it onto flights to the U.S. but for the Saudi intelligence service providing the parcel tracking numbers.  Said Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, "We were able to identify by where they were emanating from and package number, where they were located."

The bombs were cleverly disguised inside Hewlett-Packard printers being shipped along with clothes, books and a tourist souvenir.  Asiri packed the toner cartridge with explosives and added the circuit board of a cell phone--something that did not stand out in state of the art cargo screening.

While the packages were addressed to two synagogues in Chicago, U.S. officials now agree with an initial British estimate that the UPS and FedEx cargo planes that were to carry the parcels over the Atlantic were the real targets of the plot.

"At this point," said Brennan, "we, I think, would agree with the British that it looks as though they were designed to be detonated in flight."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio