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Al Qaeda linked to Yemeni bombs. -

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The Yemeni government has announced a crackdown on cargo shipments after two bombs were discovered
on cargo planes destined for the United States.


LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: The Yemeni Government has announced it'll increase security measures on all
cargo shipments leaving the country.

It follows the discovery on the weekend of two bombs on cargo planes destined for the United

One package containing explosives was picked up in Dubai and the second was found in England.

The bombs are believed to be the work of a renowned Al Qaeda explosives expert.

Europe correspondent Philip Williams reports from London.

PHILIP WILLIAMS, REPORTER: As new details emerge about how and where the explosive devices
travelled, governments and security agencies are grappling with the consequences. It's now clear
one of the packages was indeed aboard a passenger plane from Yemen to Doha, and then on to Dubai
where it was intercepted.

And it now appears the other device, found at East Midlands Airport in the UK, also travelled on a
passenger plane for part of its journey.

The chief suspect is Saudi-born Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri. It's believed he's linked to Al Qaeda and
is hiding in Yemen, where the organisation has training camps.

He's also thought to have been the bomb-maker in the failed attempt by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to
down a jet over Detroit last Christmas.

Authorities are worried the latest attacks may mark a new phase in terrorist operations.

JOHN BRENNAN, US DEPUTY NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: It's a very active investigation that is
ongoing. We can't presume again that we have identified all of the packages that are out there. We
need to make sure that we get to the bottom of this, understand who is behind it and what else
might we be facing.

PHILIP WILLIAMS: But how to react? Already there are suggestions freight will face more scrutiny,
but the question then is: who pays?

PAUL CHARLES, AVIATION ANALYST: The problem they face is the cost. Essentially, if you had somebody
screen every bit of cargo going through the system, who's going to pay for that?

You've got to put scanners in every airport, small or large, around the world because it has to be
a secure ring-fence security system; and secondly, you've got to add on costs somewhere in the
system so the shippers or people putting televisions onto planes or fresh fruit and vegetables,
whatever the cargo might be, will have to pick up the costs somewhere.

PHILIP WILLIAMS: And the passenger industry is deeply concerned there may be overreactions to this
latest threat that will burden customers already subjected to checks many think are unnecessary.

MICHAEL O'LEARY, RYAN AIR CHIEF EXECUTIVE: The UK (inaudible) is dancing through hoops, security
committees meeting. Nothing happened!

Have a little bit of common sense and actually let's have some effective security, not the
ineffective nonsense we've had for the last number of years about women's lipsticks and bottles of
water and people's shoes.

PHILIP WILLIAMS: In the Yemeni capital, the Government is reportedly unhappy with the increasing
Western pressure to act against the terrorists as it already faces challenges on many fronts.

JENNY HILL, YEMEN EXPERT: The country is facing a range of challenges, not just the presence of Al
Qaeda. There's a civil war in the north, there's a southern separatist movement in the south and
oil and water are running out.

PHILIP WILLIAMS: As the British Government's inner circle of security experts meets to discuss its
latest response to all of this, aviation officials and the travelling public are bracing themselves
for possibly more restrictions to come. If the aim of the terrorists was to create confusion and
fear, they have at least in part succeeded.

Philip Williams, Lateline.