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November 3 - 92010
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We do not torture MI6 chief Sir John Sawers goes public to deny allegations
Economy shows signs of life Interest rates could rise sooner than expected if recovery holds
The Emir’s over here Aprofile of the Emir of Qatar, who visited London last week
After the flood Extremists are taking advantage of the chaos in Pakistan
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Ink bomb plot For all the latest developments go to telegraph.co.uk/terror
Continued from page 1
America. “With these freight flights, sometimes the routing can change at the last moment so it is difficult for those who are planning the detonation to know exactly where — if it is detonated to a time, for example — the aircraft will be,” she added
After investigators in Yemen confirmed that they were examining 26 other packages, John Brennan, President Barack Obama’s counterterrorism adviser, said “it would be very imprudent … to presume that there are no other [bombs]”.
Mr Brennan described the bombs as “sophisticated”, adding: “They were selfcontained. They were able to be detonated at a time of the terrorists’ choosing.”
He said the plot “bears the hallmark” of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the Yemeni-based terrorist organisation whose leaders include the US-born preacher Anwar Al-Awlaki.
The man who is most likely to have made the bombs is said to be Ibrahim Hassan alAsiri, who made the device in the foiled Christmas Day airline plot in Detroit last year.
The bombs, which were addressed to two synagogues in Chicago, Mr Obama’s home town, contained the contact details of a 22-year-old computing student, Hannan al-Samawi, who was arrested at her home in Sana’a last Saturday night.
Investigators, however, released her and revealed that they are now seeking another woman, who it is thought had posted the devices, using Miss al-Samawi’s personal details.
Mr Brennan said that in the light of the bomb plot, the National Transportation Safety Board was re-examining the remains of a UPS cargo jet that crashed in Dubai in September, though sources in Dubai said there was no evidence that an explosion had been the cause.
Officials in Washington expressed concern that British police had initially missed the bomb at East Midlands, which
EAST MIDLANDS Bomb arrives on a UPS cargo plane from Doha via Cologne
DUBAI Bomb is found on a Qatar Airways passenger jet from Doha
YEMEN Both bombs leave on passenger jets to Doha
Anwar al-Awlaki (above) the al-Qaeda figurehead suspected of being behind the cargo bomb plot, and the printer, circuit boards and toner cartridge that comprised the explosive device (below)
was discovered only during a second search.
Mr Cameron said the Government would “take whatever steps are necessary” to keep British people safe, but Downing Street was forced on to the defensive after the Prime Minister took until 6pm last Saturday – a full 26 hours after he was first briefed – to make a public statement. It was left to Mr
Obama, and later Mrs May, to break the news that viable devices had been found.
Sources said Mr Cameron “wanted ministers to take the lead” and had decided Mrs May should be the first to address the nation.
Meanwhile, the airline pilots’ union Balpa said it had warned for years of the terrorist threat to flights from cargo.
By Duncan Gardham INTELLIGENCE that helped crack the ink bomb plot may have come from a leading member of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula who turned himself in.
Jabir Jubran al-Fayfi surrendered to Saudi authorities last month and he is believed to have “changed sides” at least twice.
He was recruited by alQaeda at a mosque in Saudi Arabia after reading a newspaper article that urged Muslims to join the jihad in Afghanistan. He did so because he felt he was not a faithful Muslim, due to drug abuse and lack of prayer, he later told interrogators.
Al-Fayfi travelled to Pakistan and Afghanistan, where he received two weeks of weapons training at the alFarouq camp before moving to Bagram, where he waited to be sent to the front lines in the fight against the Northern Alliance.
After the September 11 attacks in the US, he took refuge at Osama bin Laden’s Tora Bora hide-out between November and December 2001, and then fled to Pakistan.
He was handed over to US forces after the fall of the Taliban and sent to Guantánamo Bay, where he eventually recanted his views, telling interrogators he wanted to go back home to Saudi Arabia to take care of his parents and resume his job as a taxi driver, US documents say.
Al-Fayfi was transferred to a Saudi rehabilitation centre in December 2006, where he was “de-radicalised”.
However, he travelled across the desert border to Yemen after his release to join al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
The Saudi Interior Ministry said on October 16 that he had contacted them from Yemen to express his readiness to surrender and they had arranged for his return.
PASSENGERS AT RISK AS CARGO NOT X-RAYED
KEY SUSPECT STOLE STUDENT’S IDENTITY TO PLACE BOMBS
PASSENGERplanes were vulnerable to terrorist attacks because of the lack of screening of cargo on board, experts warned onSunday.
Aviation specialists told of the difficulty of checking all cargo after it emerged that both parcel bombswere flown out of Yemenon passenger jets.
There is no standard procedure for screening freight cargo. Somecountries rely on sniffer dogs, others onX-rays and someontargeted intelligence. About 60 per cent of all freight cargo to the US is transported in passenger planes, rather than specialist flights. About 10,000 parcels are transported from Britain to the US every day.
As investigations continued into the terrorism plot, the Government announced a review into security. Company representatives have been called to a meeting to discuss the latest technology as it emerged that muchof the cargo on passenger planes is searched by sniffer dogs, rather than being screened.
Philip Baum, from Green Light aviation security international, said technology wasof limited usewhen screening cargo.
“X-ray is hugely limiting when it comes to cabin baggage, has even greater limitations with checked baggage and is almost useless when it comes to cargo,” he said. “You cannot effectively screen cargo with technology. Cargo security has always been a loophole – it is a system which is open to abuse.”
AWOMANwhoposted the twoparcel bombs in Yemenusing a stolen identity is thought to hold the key to finding the terrorist cell behind the plot.
The suspect gave her nameasHannan al-Samawi whenshe deposited the packages last week, and investigators thought they had madeabreakthrough when they arrested Miss al-Samawi last Saturday night.
But the 22-year-old engineering student was released after investigators established that she wasnot the woman whosent the bombs via UPSandFedEx from the Yemeni capital, Sana’a.
Shewasfreed on condition that she madeherself available for further questioning, as the Yemeni authorities tried to establish whether she might knoworhave someconnection to the suspect, whogave the student’s mobile phone numberwhen she filled in forms at the parcel office.
Police in Yemen were also understood to have visited two language schools in Sana’a that were given as return addresses on the bombpackages. Cargoworkers at Sana’a airport and all local employees of UPSandFedExwere also being interviewed, while police in Britain andDubai, where the bombswere intercepted, were examining the devices for fingerprints or other evidence that could identify the bomber.
Fellow students at Sana’a University staged aprotest against Miss alSamawi’s arrest..