News Article - October 29, 2010

A UPS jet isolated on a runway in Philadelphia. Officials are investigating reports of suspicious packages on cargo planes. The FBI was looking into a series of possible suspicious packages on three UPS planes that landed in the U.S. on Friday morning from Europe. A UPS delivery truck in Brooklyn also was being swept for explosives. Law enforcement officials told NPR that authorities don’t yet know what they have and no explosives have been discovered so far, but the tests continue.

   Authorities did confirm that one of the cargo planes thought to be carrying suspicious packages came in from Paris and another from Cologne, Germany. Both landed at Philadelphia International Airport and were taken to a remote tarmac for inspection. The third flight originated in East Midlands in the United Kingdom. The FBI was inspecting that plane at New Jersey’s Newark airport. An FBI spokesman would not confirm reports that at least one of the planes was headed for Chicago. A spokeswoman for the Chicago Department of Aviation said they were made aware of the situation, but wouldn’t comment on any stepped-up security measures at O’Hare or Midway Airports, except to say that they had not received any bomb threats.

   Two sources close to the investigation backed away from earlier reports indicating that a possible bomb had been discovered on a UPS plane in the U.K. They said it was a printer toner cartridge that had been “manipulated” in some way. Tests conducted for explosives came back negative. Officials also told NPR that a UPS truck in Brooklyn, N.Y., was being swept because of a suspicious package. The New York Police Department and the FBI could not provide details on that incident. Reports of suspicious packages are common. But Friday’s events were unusual because of the sheer number and the various cities that were simultaneously involved. Authorities said the checks were being done “out of an abundance of caution.”

Source - Chicago Press