U.S. Agents Target Mail Bombers in Yemen

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A team of U.S. investigators is on its way to Yemen to search for suspects in last week's mail bomb plot involving explosive materials found in the United Kingdom and Dubai, which were shipped to the U.S.

The United States Postal Service, FedEx and United Parcel Service, have stopped all shipments from that country as authorities try to understand more about the attack that was set in motion last Friday.

CBN News Terrorism Analyst Erick Stakelbeck gave more insight about the plot on the Nov. 1 edition of The 700 Club. Click play to watch the interview.

Yemeni authorities arrested a suspect over the weekend, but later released her. Officials still don't know if they have found all the bombs that were a part of the plot. However, they do believe al Qaeda may have more intentions of attacking the U.S. now then at any time since the terrorist attacks on New York City's World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

"I think they want to inflict damage, death and destruction on the United States," said Michael Chertoff, former secretary of the U.S. Homeland Security department. "And we're going to have to now look for a whole wide range of tactics."

The government thinks the two printer bombs found on cargo planes originating from Yemen may have been designed to blow up planes in mid-flight.

Authorities have also linked the failed plot to the so-called shoe bomber and underwear bomber. That's because they found a white powder, the highly explosive Pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN), in the packages. It's the same substance used in the other two attacks.

"They are trying to again make different types of adaptations based on what we have put in place," said John Brennan, White House Homeland Security Advisor. "So the underwear bomber, as well as these packages, are showing sort of new techniques on their part."

The U.S. is expected to step up security at all U.S. airports starting this week. It has also sent inspectors to Yemen to help with the screening of all U.S.-bound cargo.

"What I hear, still, is that about 90 percent of that cargo is not screened," said Charles Slepian, a risk analyst. "At least not in the fashion where you could determine what's inside the containers."

While the mail bomb plot exposes yet another weak leak in U.S. security, it also presents an opportunity. The White House is hoping to persuade Yemen to widen its war on terror by allowing more active U.S. operations on Yemeni soil.

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CBN News
Heather Sells

Heather Sells

CBN News Reporter

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