Suspect packages from Yemen destined for religious institutions in Chicago led to the issuance of an international security alert Friday as investigators swept American cargo planes for possible Al-Qaeda bombs. US President Barack Obama was told late Thursday of a "potential terrorist threat" surrounding the packages and intelligence agencies were investigating whether Al-Qaada's branch in Yemen was involved, officials said.
"Last night, intelligence and law enforcement agencies discovered potential suspicious packages on two planes in transit to the United States," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said in a statement, cited by AFP. "Authorities were able to identify and examine two suspicious packages, in East Midlands, United Kingdom and one in Dubai. Both of these packages originated from Yemen."
The FBI confirmed that no explosives had been lcated in the packages, both of which originated in Yemen and were destined for undisclosed religious institutions in Chicago.
US authorities warned Jewish leaders in Chicago of a threat against synagogues in the city, which reportedly could be part of the suspected plot.