Local synagogues on alert after terror threat

Local synagogues on alert after terror threat

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by Kyle Iboshi

kgw.com

Posted on October 29, 2010 at 7:25 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 29 at 7:44 PM

PORTLAND -- Police around the country are warning Jewish synagogues to guard against suspicious packages, especially large boxes and those containing printers, printer cartridges, cell phones or timers.

Homeland Security is calling for stricter checks of passengers and cargo after two suspicious packages originating in Yemen and bound for places of Jewish worship in Chicago were discovered.

“Initial examination of those packages have determined that they do apparently contain explosive material,” aviation expert Richard Gritta told KGW.

It began Thursday night in England. Acting on a tip, police searched UPS shipments and found a suspicious package bound for the US.

It triggered a wide-scale alert.

The shipment had come from Yemen, which is considered an Al Qaeda stronghold.

In Dubai, more U-S bound explosives were discovered.

Investigators said both parcels were addressed to Chicago area synagogues.

President Obama ordered heightened security.

"The department of homeland security has also taken steps to enhance air travel, including additional cargo screening," Gritta said.

He added, "What most people don't know is: when you step on a plane, as a passenger that there's cargo in the hold of that plane, a lot of which has not been screened. At one point, it was only ten percent of all the cargo coming on that was screened."

He suggested security experts have long worried that dangerous cargo could be smuggled into the US by ship or by air.

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