According to a Qatar Airways spokesman, one of the two powerful bombs that were mailed from Yemen to Chicago traveled by way of a passenger flight within the Middle East. The airline spokesperson said that one of the packages contained an explosive hidden in a printer cartridge that traveled on an Airbus A320 with 144 passengers on board.
The spokesperson went on to say that after that, it was then shipped on a separate Qatar Airways plane to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, where it was discovered by authorities. The second bomb, which had a similar package turned up in England.
The Qatar Airways spokesperson disclosed this information on conditions of anonymity in line with the company’s standing policies on conversations with the media. Most companies do not talk to media while investigations are still going on.
This plot has now exposed even more security gaps in international air travel and cargo shipping. It shows that there are still gaps in security despite the big crack down that took place on September 11, 2001. Extremists are, of course, using these vulnerabilities against airlines.
Riad Kahwagi, the head of Dubai-based Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis, said that the security gap is now for things leaving Yemen. On the Yemen side, they will have a lot to answer for to regain their credibility.
So far Yemeni authorities have taken many people into custody for questioning. This included a young student whose telephone number was used to register the packages. She has been conditionally released into her father’s custody. More information on this case is sure to come out as more investigations take place.