Obama notified of potential terrorist threat Thursday
U.S. President Barack Obama was notified of a potential terrorist threat on Thursday night, the White House said on Friday, referring to a security scare caused by suspicious cargo plane packages, Xinhua reported.
John Brennan, assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counter-terrorism, briefed Obama at 10:35 p.m. last night on this matter, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said in a statement.
"Last night, intelligence and law enforcement agencies discovered potential suspicious packages on two planes in transit to the United States," said the statement.
"Based on close cooperation among U.S. government agencies and with our foreign allies and partners, authorities were able to identify and examine two suspicious packages, one in East Midlands, United Kingdom and one in Dubai. Both of these packages originated from Yemen."
Threat triggered by those suspicious packages has led to " additional measures" regarding three cargo planes and a truck in Philadelphia, Newark, and New York City on Friday.
Officials said the suspicious package found in East Midlands contained a "manipulated" toner cartridge but was later tested negative for explosive material.
"The President directed U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies, and the Department of Homeland Security, to take steps to ensure the safety and security of the American people, and to determine whether these threats are a part of any additional terrorist plotting," said the White House.
U.S. aviation security authorities have announced decision to enhance security measures in the aftermath of the cargo incidents.
"As a precaution, DHS has taken a number of steps to enhance security," the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said in a statement Friday. "Some of these security measures will be visible while others will not. The public may recognize specific enhancements including heightened cargo screening and additional security at airports."
Passengers may see upgraded security measures through explosives trace detection, advanced imaging technology, canine teams and pat downs, among others.