The Transportation Security Administration announced that the UPS cargo planes that landed at the Philadelphia International and Newark Liberty airports have been cleared after extensive security sweeps by law enforcement.
The planes, two of which landed in Philly and one of which landed in Newark, were isolated and searched by Federal agents after they touched down. They contained “questionable shipments” from Yemin, which is the home of the al-Qaida branch that claimed responsibility for an attempted bombing of a US-bound airliner on Christmas.
Two occupants of one of the UPS planes at Philadelphia International were removed from the plane around 9:20 a.m. and a bomb squad immediately conducted a search. The Philadelphia Fire Department and Police Department assisted in the operation. No explosives were found and no one was injured.
The UPS Company also went on lock down, not allowing some employees to come to work and sending others home early.
The searches were conducted after police found a suspicious package bound for the US at the East Midlands airport in England on Thursday night. Another suspicious US-bound package was found in Dubai.
President Barack Obama confirmed that the packages contained explosive materials. The shipments were addressed to Jewish synagogues in Chicago.
The item found in England was a printer toner cartridge that contained explosives, according to police. Authorities are investigating whether the packages may be a dry run for a plot to send bombs through the mail, according to a U.S. official.
Aside from the planes in Philadelphia and Newark, a UPS truck in Brooklyn was stopped Friday morning and searched by the NYPD, according to the Associated Press. No explosives were found.
President Obama has ordered heightened security. The Department of Homeland Security also announced stricter checks of passengers and cargo.
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