Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said that the U.S. is extending its halt on air cargo bound for the U.S. from Yemen for at least a week.
Britain and Germany on Monday also joined the U.S. prohibition on air cargo from Yemen, following Friday's interception of two package explosives bound for Chicago from the Yemeni capital. In the United Kingdom, where one of the devices was recovered, Home Secretary Theresa May said the government is expanding its indefinite suspension to include cargo originating in Somalia.
An alert issued by the FBI and Homeland Security Department asked state and local authorities to be on the lookout for suspicious packages, including those without return addresses or displaying excessive postage.
Napolitano said investigators are still working to determine whether the targets of the powerful package bombs — laden with the highly explosive PETN — were actually intended to take down aircraft or explode at their destinations at two Chicago-area Jewish worship centers. The two bombs contained 10.5 ounces and 14 ounces of the industrial explosive PETN, according to the Associated Press. By comparison, about 3 ounces of PETN was used to construct the underwear bomb used in the attempted Christmas Day attack on a plane bound for Detroit.