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All is Cool at Austin Airport Despite Security Panic Elsewhere

No heightened security at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, despite security concerns elsewhere in the US.
Image courtesy Dave Wilson
No heightened security at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, despite security concerns elsewhere in the US.

President Obama is scheduled to speak at 3:15 pm CST today about a potential terrorism plot being investigated on three continents. The scare involves suspicious packages shipped on cargo planes from Yemen to the United States, reportsPhiladelphia's ABC affiliate WPVI.

The investigation included two planes at Philadelphia International Airport. Officials tell Action News that a total of six packages were removed from the planes there.   A total of 13 packages have been recovered in this entire operation, federal law enforcement sources said.

CNN is all over the story this afternoon with a "suspicious package exclusive", having obtained photographs of the items in question. CNN cites unnamed "law enforcement sources with detailed knowledge of the investigation."

U.S. officials believe that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, commonly referred to as AQAP, is behind the plot. One suspicious package, found in the United Kingdom, contained a "manipulated" toner cartridge but tested negative for explosive material, the source said. It led to heightened inspection of arriving cargo flights in Newark, New Jersey, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and a UPS truck in New York. The package had white powder on it as well as wires and a circuit board, a law-enforcement source said; someone shipped it from Sanaa, Yemen, with a final destination of Chicago, Illinois. A similar package has been discovered in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, the source said.

At Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, no additional searches are being conducted and security levels are unchanged, spokesman Jason Zielinski told KUT News.

"Nothing that's happening related to those incidents is taking place here at Austin-Bergstrom," Zielinski said. "Everything is operating as normal here. There's no additional searches taking place at this time."

Nathan Bernier is the transportation reporter at KUT. He covers the big projects that are reshaping how we get around Austin, like the I-35 overhaul, the airport's rapid growth and the multibillion-dollar transit expansion Project Connect. He also focuses on the daily changes that affect how we walk, bike and drive around the city. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on X @KUTnathan.