U.S. President Barack Obama on Saturday spoke to British Prime Minister David Cameron to discuss a parcel bomb plot against the United States a day earlier, which came just four days ahead of U.S. congressional mid-term elections, Xinhua reported.
The two leaders agreed that the plot against synagogues in Chicago was disrupted as a result of "the close cooperation" between the U.S. and Britain as well as other international partners, the White House said, noting "the president expressed his appreciation for the professionalism of American and British services involved in the joint efforts to stop this plot."
Obama said John Brennan, his assistant for homeland security and counter-terrorism, has spoken regularly with his British counterpart, and will continue to do so "as we work together to prevent and disrupt future efforts to attack our citizens."
Two explosives-filled parcels from Yemen were bound for synagogues in Chicago but were intercepted Friday respectively on cargo planes in Dubai and at Britain's East Midlands Airport on a tip-off from Saudi Arabia authorities.
British Home Secretary Theresa May old reporters Saturday that "our preliminary investigation is now complete. I can confirm that the device was viable and could have exploded. The target may have been an aircraft and had it detonated the aircraft could have been brought down."
U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Saturday that the plot bore "the hallmarks of al-Qaeda."
"We know that al-Qaeda in the Arabian peninsula, the terrorist group based in Yemen, continues to plan attacks against our homeland, our citizens, and our friends and allies," Obama said on Friday. "Going forward, we will continue to strengthen our cooperation with the Yemeni government to disrupt the plotting and to destroy the al-Qaeda affiliate."