Obama: Yes, two of the UPS packages contain explosive material

posted at 5:48 pm on October 29, 2010 by Allahpundit

That’s what the initial tests say, anyway; as I recall, false positives aren’t unheard of during preliminary examinations. When I first heard about this today, I thought maybe jihadis were shipping bomb components to operatives in the U.S. for assembly here. (Remember that Abdulmutallab’s bomb on Flight 253 required him to mix a liquid with a powder to form the combustible.) Not so. Sounds like these things were ready to pop, which makes terrible sense given their destination — two Jewish synagogues in Chicago. More from NBC:

Sources told NBC News that both packages contained toner cartridges with wires and white powder. The devices were found in Britain and Dubai last night…

The devices were “in a form that was designed to try to carry out some kind of attack,” added White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan. “Clearly, from the initial observation, the initial analysis that was done, the material that was found … was intended to do harm.”

Brennan said the two packages were addressed to two Chicago synagogues, adding that they had “been made inert.”

If you’re looking for a silver lining in this otherwise very dark cloud, consider that AQ may be resorting to mail bombs now simply because it’s too difficult to get people in place onboard passenger planes or inside the U.S. The Unabomber route might actually be their most effective means of detonation, at least for the moment. What I’m most curious about at the moment is figuring out how the feds uncovered all this. Does UPS typically screen packages for explosives, or did they get a tip-off from someone inside Yemen? If the latter, then our intelligence there is much better than I thought.

As for Obama’s announcement, needless to say, it’s smart politics. Always a good idea right before an election to remind voters that you’re on the case against the bad guys. Especially after he took a beating in the press for not saying much publicly for days after Abdulmutallab’s plot was busted.

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Comment pages: 1 2

A Credible Threat? Damfool man! This isn’t a threat. This is an attack.

A threat is when someone waves a knife in your face. An attack is when he plunges it into your belly.

Obama can’t tell the difference, and he’s speaking to his base, which doesn’t want to tell the difference.

And his empty bureauspeak about “the counterterrorism professionals” shows that he can pick strong words, but he cannot project strength.

njcommuter on October 29, 2010 at 9:49 PM

wayyyyyy too convenient. I still smell a rat.

maineconservative on October 29, 2010 at 9:56 PM

OK, more interesting now: the latest report is that the explosive appears to be SEMTEX. SEMTEX is, in fact, very difficult to detect in its base state. An international protocol was adopted some years ago to add a taggant to SEMTEX, to make it more detectable.

Did the dispatchers of the altered toner cartridges have access to untagged SEMTEX? Potential sources of it would be Iran, Syria, or North Korea.

J.E. Dyer on October 29, 2010 at 9:10 PM

CNBC said PETN, the same explosive used by the knickers-bomber. All sources have said it was a powder. Where did you see Semtex?

slickwillie2001 on October 29, 2010 at 9:56 PM

im sorry but it reminds me of when Clinton did an airstrike during the lewinski scandal to try to draw attention away…

maineconservative on October 29, 2010 at 9:57 PM

Luckily, the full investigation of all this won’t be through until, oh would you look at that, after the election. By the way, did anyone hear about the GDP numbers today? What? There’s a “suspicious” package somewhere in the UK!?!?!? TELL ME LOTS MORE!

Seixon on October 29, 2010 at 10:03 PM

Suspicious Package! The name of that new muslim gay bar next to the ground zero mosque right?

maineconservative on October 29, 2010 at 10:08 PM

Andy McCarthy questions whether the bomb attempts by AlQaeda have anything to do with our electoral politics in that the group hates us all, not making the distinction over which party is is power.

The more insidious group, he says, is the Muslim Brotherhood, which is trying to collapse us from within through infiltration and the imposition of sharia law.


onlineanalyst on October 29, 2010 at 10:34 PM

If he “strengthens” Yemen’s economy like he “strengthened” ours, we will have World War III.

PattyJ on October 29, 2010 at 10:47 PM

Where did you see Semtex?

slickwillie2001 on October 29, 2010 at 9:56 PM

Saw it on Fox. It was also being reported by multiple news sources online a few hours ago. SEMTEX is a PETN compound so there may be some category bleed-over in the reporting.

J.E. Dyer on October 29, 2010 at 11:32 PM

What I’m most curious about at the moment is figuring out how the feds uncovered all this.

They got a tip from Saudi Arabia. Apparently, they’ve all been tracking a terrorist threat for days and the Saudis came through.

From the AP:

Intelligence personnel had been monitoring a suspected plot for days, officials said. The packages in England and Dubai were discovered after Saudi Arabian intelligence picked up information related to Yemen and passed it on to the U.S., one official said.

What I don’t get is that thousands of illegal Middle Easterners come across the Mexican border every year. It would be extremely easy to get terrorists and their bombs into the US by this route. Why haven’t they?

They seem to be quite incompetent at the terror thing. I would think that sneaking across the border with a bomb in a backpack, then setting it off in a random mall in middle America would cause far more terror than these repeated failed attempts in the big eastern cities. Especially if it happened multiple times.

I know that most people who don’t live in the big cities, feel quite personally safe from all of this terrorist activity.

Common Sense on October 30, 2010 at 12:56 AM

Comment pages: 1 2