Cargo bomb timed to detonate over US

The bomb found on the cargo plane at East Midlands Airport last month was timed to detonate over the eastern seaboard of the United States, Scotland Yard said today.

The device, which was removed from a UPS aircraft by Leicestershire police officers shortly after 3.30am on October 29, was timed to go off some seven hours later, police said.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "If the device had not been removed from the aircraft the activation could have occurred over the eastern seaboard of the US."









The bomb, disguised as an ink cartridge, was found following a tip-off from Saudi intelligence.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said the cargo plane arrived at East Midlands Airport from Cologne at 2.13am BST and left at 4.20am BST "after the suspect package had been removed".



"Forensic examination has indicated that if the device had activated it would have been at 10.30am BST," he said.



"If the device had not been removed from the aircraft the activation could have occurred over the eastern seaboard of the US."



He added that the bomb was "disrupted" when explosive officers removed the printer cartridge from the printer during their initial examination of the device at about 7.40am BST.



Experts in Germany said the bomb, and another found in Dubai, contained at least 300g (10.58oz) of the powerful explosive PETN.



It had travelled through a UPS hub at Germany's Cologne airport before being detected in the UK following the tip-off, officials said.











Both devices, which were bound for Chicago, originated in Yemen and are thought to have been made and dispatched by al Qaida.

An anti-terror investigation was focusing on Saudi-born bomb-maker Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri, believed to be a member of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (Aqap), as the prime suspect for making the bombs.



He is also believed to have been responsible for making the device involved in the failed Christmas Day bomb plot over Detroit last year.



As part of new security measures brought in following the foiled attacks, countries sending airfreight to the UK will be "graded" according to risk, Transport Secretary Philip Hammond said.



Rules which allowed some freight not to be rescreened if it was merely passing through the UK were being amended, he added.



Ink cartridges larger than 500g (17.6oz) will be banned from hand baggage on flights departing from the UK and also on cargo flights unless they originate from a regular shipper with security arrangements approved by the Department for Transport.



The FBI and Homeland Security Department in the US have warned local officials across the country that packages from abroad with no return address and excessive postage required a second examination.



They added that Aqap was not behind the September 3 crash of a UPS cargo plane in Dubai, despite claims to the contrary from the group itself.



Crash investigators have found no evidence of an explosion on board the UPS cargo plane.

News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Sport
Danny Welbeck's Manchester United future is in doubt
footballGunners confirm signing from Manchester United
Sport
footballStriker has moved on loan for the remainder of the season
Sport
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
New Articles
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
News
The five geckos were launched into space to find out about the effects of weightlessness on the creatures’ sex lives
i100
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
News
i100
Life and Style
The longer David Sedaris had his Fitbit, the further afield his walks took him through the West Sussex countryside
lifeDavid Sedaris: What I learnt from my fitness tracker about the world
Arts and Entertainment
Word master: Self holds up a copy of his novel ‘Umbrella’
booksUnlike 'talented mediocrity' George Orwell, you must approach this writer dictionary in hand
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering