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(generated from captions) This Program is

Captioned Live. This morning, on high

tight in America, on high alert, security is

the Middle East after two

suspicious packages were found

on cargo planes. The

were heading to the US from

Yemen. The FBI say the parcels

have were addressed to

religious ips tutions in Chicago. In the USA searchs being carried

being carried at several airports but no explosives have been found so far. There is concern about packages

emanating from Yemen

UPS and FedEx aircraft at various airports in the United

States. We had two... At least

was identified as being one package, I should say, that one package, I should

possibly involved with this threat.

threat. That package has been

scanned by our bomb squad and has been cleared. Good morning you're watching

ABC News 24 this at day. Jane Hutcheon. Rainy in

Melbourne, Canberra and Melbourne, Canberra and Hobart, possible thunder in Adelaide

with a top of 15. Afternoon showers in Darwin.

showers in Darwin. 28 be mostly fine elsewhere. We begin this morning with a developing major developing major story.

Security alerts are in place in Britain, the US and Britain, the US and the Middle

East after a suspicious package

was found on a plane in

England. The US President England. The US President will

shortly make a statement from

the White House and we'll cross

to that live when it starts. The international scare began this morning when a

package containing a toner cart

ridge with wires and powder was discovered in a delivery in the east Midlands in discovered in a delivery centre

Britain. The package was found on a UPS cargo plane travelling

from Yemen to Chicago. Another suspicious package was discovered in Dubai at a centre. The White House says discovered in Dubai at a FedEx

it was made aware of a terrorist threat and it was made aware of a possible

terrorist threat and

information from allies and government agencies helped government agencies helped to

identify the package. For the latest on this developing story

I'm joined now by Lisa Millar

in our Washington bureau. Take

us through the latest developments. Just in the last few minutes, in fact, Jane, a

passenger jet coming from the

united Arab emrits handed at

New York's JF K-Aire port. New York's JF K-Aire port. It

was escorted in by military jets. There was some concern that that flight had originated

in Yemen and perhaps there

could be cargo on board.

That's the first time over That's the first time over the last few hours that passenger jets have been last few hours that any

involved in what has become an

international security scare.

We were looking at these suspicious packages as you said

one in England, one in Dubai, both delivered both delivered on cargo planes.

The FedEx cargo company has

put a freeze on any deliveries

from Yemen and UPS which was the other car depo company involved, the one delivered the suspicious involved, the one that

package to England from Yemen. It is also cooperating with US authorities. There's still not anything was found in those indicating

packages, whether there were anything was found in those

any explosives at all.

Certainly the package in the east mitt Midlands delivery

centre had wires and powder. It looks like a toner cartridge

that you would find for a

printer. There's suggestions perhaps there were 13 perhaps there were 13 packages

they all came from one sent out from Yemen and that

they all came from one source

bound for addresses in

bound for addresses in America,

Jewish sin cogs in Chicago were perhaps that they were and put on alert, suggestion

intended targets for at least perhaps that they were the

some of these packages. Do we some of these packages. Do we

know anything more about that know anything more about

passenger jet that was helped

into the airport, so to speak? I'm watching it now. It's

just sitting on the tarmac. They're trying to get some of the passengers off. It hasn't been taken

been taken into the terminal at

all. There is security and

buses around the jet. The words that are being used here,

Jane, are a an abundance of

these decisions are being caution. That is

these decisions are being made.

As you can imagine, certainly

when it comes to Yemen, the US reacts very quickly whenever there is there is some kind of security scare. You will

December on Christmas Day the

man who was dubbed the under pants bomber, his originated in Yemen and there's pants bomber, his flight

a real concern about a real concern about the rise

of Al Qaeda and the threat it poses in that area. We're of Al Qaeda and the threat that

seeing some pictures of seeing some pictures of that

President Obama airport at the moment.

to the media shortly. What's he likely to say? The White

House did put out a statement not so long

not so long ago suggesting not so long ago suggesting that it was allies it was allies and government

agencies that had managed to be

tipped off and to locate these packages before anything could

happen. The President no doubt

Certainly he was told at about will be elaborate on that.

10.30 last night, Washington time, that there was a possible terrorist threat in the terrorist threat in the making

packages were being delivered. and that was when

Hopefully, he will elaborate a

little bit more. As you imagine, Jane, the actual little bit more. As you can

details of what we now are

still very slim with things

like that. You know there are certainly an international

security scare that has

occurred and that's what we're

aware of. The exact details

will continue to come out. Many thanks to our Washington correspondent Lisa Millar for

keeping us updated there.

We'll come back to Lisa in later bulletins. Phillip

Williams joins us now on phone from London. Phillip, Williams joins us now on the

it's Friday night in the UK, a

busy time for air commuters. Are US authorities in a state of high ha lert? Yes, of high ha lert? Yes, they

are, Jane. Obviously are, Jane. Obviously very concerned about the turn of

events and the fact that this

suspicious package was found on

British soil. Albeit not bound for for a British address, it was

actually in transit and this is what appears to have tipped

people off to the problem in the first place, this suspicious looking toner that

you'd put in a photocopier. Some wires hanging out, a suspicious looking powder. The

effect it had was really localised initially. The East

Midlands Airport, they are the distribution centre was shut down, but flights have

continued all through the day. In fact, if you were a normal passenger using that airport you wouldn't have known there

was a problem. In fact, it was

a good 12 hours before a good 12 hours before the

public was informed what was

happening. But there is a threat level of "severe". It

has already applied.

hasn't changed. Out of five, the it's at the fourth highest

level, so it's just under what

they would regard as an attack is imminent. is imminent. That hasn't

changed. What has changed is

flights too and from flights too and from Britain

and Yemen have been suspended.

This has happened before when

there have been other problems,

but this has been a security precaution

precaution that the home precaution that the home minister has ordered in the

last couple of hours. Have the authorities, has the government, made any announcement announcement as such announcement as such yet, Phillip? Just to say that

Theresa May who is the home

minister, apart from suspending

those flights, gave the bare

bones what they have discovered

and that's what we know already, that the package

originated in Yemen, it was addressed to a destination in

the US and at this stage there's no suggestion that there's no suggestion that any

location in the UK was being

targeted. However, sin cogs targeted. However, sin cogs in particular, as these particular, as these the apparent targets in the United

States, in Britain have been warned to be on state of alert. Clearly even though the threat level

been elevated to that top level at this point, obviously at this point, obviously the security operatives here will

be working overtime at be working overtime at the moment to ensure that there aren't any other suspicious objects floating around and

that this is in the the start

of a new wave of attacks. Our

Europe correspondent Phillip

Williams there. US President

Barack Obama will address a news conference in Washington

shortly on the threat as we've

heard. We're bring that to

live here on ABC News 24. To

other news now, and other news now, and there's growing frustration among

growing frustration among

Federal politicians over the longer hours they're being

forced to work in the new hunks

hung Parliament. Speak out

about possible health risks.

For more on this we'll cross to

Andrew Greene in Canberra. Good

Good morning to you, Andrew. Who It is fair to say, Jane,

behind the scenes in Parliament

House a lot of MPs have been very frustrated with these longer working hours. In longer working hours. In the

new hung Parliament

have so finally balanced that

MPs on both sides of politics always have to be in the

building just in case a

division is called and division is called and they're urgently needed in the chamber for a vote and with the numbers

so finally balanced, no vote is

really predictable. What this

has led to is the fact that now

MPs feel they have to be here

in the building until late at

night when in the past they could normal

a pair and left early and gone

home and got some rest. The

disquiet has been disquiet has been growing louder in recent weeks louder in recent weeks and prompted Dr prompted Dr Malwasher the Liberal backbencher to Liberal backbencher to speak

out. He's the only practising

GP who currently sits in the House of House of Representatives and he

says that we could see a return

to bad old days where MPs were drinking a lot more and even

sometimes taking drugs, perhaps

even illicit drugs. Dr Malawi

washer sat down with me at the end of this most and this is a bit of what he

had to say about the health

effects that he has seen with some of his fellow parliamentarians. People walking around with lots of

respiratory problems, they're

fatigued, not as sharp as they

would normally be, and so we're creating to some level slight dysfunction nalt in our

politicians. Andrew, what's

been the response to those

claims? At this stage, number of MPs are already quietly saying they quietly saying they agree with a lot of what Dr Washer has to

say. They'd prefer to see the

sitting hours reduced. There

are a lot more sitting hours in

the hung Parliament and it

looks like next year that

situation is going to get a lot

worse. Dr Washer also

acknowledges that the general

public and voters won't be

particularly sympathetic because this is a situation most Australian workers face themselves with unpaid overtime in the workplace. There is a lot of disquiet, but whether

politicians cut back on their

own hours we'll have to wait

and see. In any case, there is only two weeks left of Parliament in 2010, Jane. Thanks Jane. Thanks for that Andrew Greene pour political correspondent there in Canberra. The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, has met with the Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao at

the ASEAN summit in Vietnam this morning. It will this morning. It will be Ms

Gillard's in days of talks in Hanoi. If the ABC's Zoe Daniel

is there. Prime Minister's Julia Gillard Chinese Premier is an obvious

point of interest. China will

feel some unease at the entry

of the United States and Russia to this summit and keeping that economic powerhouse at the negotiating table absolutely

crucial to the future of this region. At the same time,

though, some of China's though, some of China's ASEAN

neighbours have concerns about

its economic strength,

particularly in regard to its

currency policy and how that's

affecting them when it comes to

competitiveness and trade.

Countries like Australia have a

role to play in getting concerns heard, but then of course Australia has its agenda

as well. Prime Minister

Gillard has already met with Ban Ki-moon,

Secretary-General, where

they've discussed Burma and the elections next week end. They've also talked about the

possibility of a regional processing centre for processing centre for asylum

seekers. She's met with seekers. She's met with her Singapore counterpart about the possibility of a merger between the Australian Stock Exchange

and the Singapore exchange.

That, she says, is That, she says, is the responsibility of

the normal approval processes. Next, the Next, the actual East-Asia Summit involving all the

countries that have countries that have gathered

here and then the inaugural

Australia ASEAN summit. In Hanoi, Zoe Daniel, ABC

News. Burma will be high on the agenda at the ASEAN agenda at the ASEAN summit

later today. The country is due to hold its first elections

in 20 years next weekend. The UN UN Secretary-General Ban

Ki-moon has reiterated his hope for

upcoming elections in Burma. Win

Win some denier has more. The

opening ceremony was full

smiles, applause, and plenty of

colour. But soon it was down

to business. Before the ASEAN

summit had even begun, the UN

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

was appealing for members for

action on Burma. I have been

urging the leaders of ASEAN that the resolution and helping

this Myanmar issue would not

only be beneficial to the

people of Myanmar, but also

will have implications to the

integration process of ASEAN.

Myanmar being a member of ASEAN. Ban Ki-moon says it is

not too late for Burma not too late for Burma to

release more than 2000 political prisoners, including

Nobel law ret Aung San Suu Kyi

before next weekend's But it seems it is too late for

landmark talks between Japanese

and Chinese leaders. The two Prime Minister's lateral talks hosted by South Korea. TRANSLATION: I am pleased to have

pleased to have this opportunity to exchange frank opinions with both of opinions with both of the leaders as to leaders as to further

cooperation among us. I also

hope that I will have a chance to meet

to meet each of the leaders

even after this meeting, such

as a G20 and APEC which I as a G20 and APEC which I will chair. But Japan there are no plans for

bilateral talks between the

strained nations. Tensions

have been especially high since September when a Chinese

trawler collided with trawler collided with Japanese patrol boats. Adding patrol boats. Adding to China's unease is the presence

of the US at this year's meeting. Washington is

expected to press Beijing on

economic issues, particularly

currency controls, which has

ASEAN nations concerns they're

being disadvantaged when it comes to trade. In the 21st interests for the United States

and China to see each other as add sar Rhys. The add sar Rhys. The summit conclude this is evening. And

just a reminder just a reminder that we will be

crossing to Washington shortly for the US President Barack

Obama who is due to address the

Indonesia. This is the shot Indonesia. This is the shot in

Washington and as soon as he

gets there we'll take you to

Washington. These have been triggered in America,

Britain and the Middle East after after two suspicious packages

were found on cargo planes. A package containing a

cartridge was discovered in

Britain en route to the US.

Another package, also bound Another package, also bound for

America, was found in Dubai. The

The FBI says the parcels were addressed to religious

institutions in Chicago. A

Federal MP has spoken out about

the longer working hours in the

new hung Parliament. Malwasher

is the only practising GP in

the House of Representatives. He says the hours worked by his colleagues are un sustainable

and could lead to drug and

alcohol abuse. And checking the Capitals, Melbourne, Canberra and ho

part, possible thunder in Adelaide with a top of 15,

afternoon showers in Darwin, it

will be mostly fine elsewhere. As we've been hearing this morning, a security alert is underway in

underway in the UK and in the

US after a suspicious package

was found on a car depo plane.

Authorities say

containing a toner cartridge was found

was found at East Midlands

Airport in the UK on a plane en

route from Yemen to Chicago. Another Another suspicious package was

discovered in Dubai at a FedEx

centre. In the US there are searches in airports in Philadelphia and

Philadelphia and Newark but Philadelphia and Newark but no explosives have been found

yet. A bomb disposal team at Newark airport in New Jersey in the United States, part of the United States, part of an

airline security alert that

took in at least four American

cities. It was triggered by a

suspicious object reportedly

atoner cartridge for a printer

found on a cargo plane at Britain's east mitt lands airport between Nottingham and Lester. The

by the parcels company UPS.

Its journey started in Yemen and stopped at east mid-lappeds

on its way Chicago. Two on its way Chicago. Two bhor

aircraft in Philadelphia and

Newark were removed to re Newark were removed to re parts of the air for the for examination. A examination. A section of East

Midlands Airport was cordoned off reopened and then cordoned off

then at 2 o'clock this

afternoon. Nothing was found during initial tests of the suspicious package, but it has been sent scientific examination. It is definitely not a complete bomb but was described as

potentially sinister. The alert was taken very seriously in America where the FBI and the Department of Homeland

Security met in the middle of the night. But at this stage it is not clear if this was

just a dramatic reaction to a

suspect package or more significant. An Australian Air Force plane searching for a helicopter missing in

Antarctica appears to have

found the wreckage. The Australian Maritime Safety

Authority says the plane

reported the debris about 100

kilometres from the Sister Anne

Derwin base in tark at that.

It was one of two helicopters

which took off the from ship

slas last night. The helicopter was carrying four

French Nationals bound French Nationals bound for the research base. It no-one survived the crash. In

business news, EU leaders have

adopted a plan to tighten budget rules to budget rules to improve the union's response to union's response to future economic crease cease. Leaders have meeting in Brussels over the

the past two days. They've

cleared the way to make changes to the to the bloc's treaty including sanctions on states that fail

to keep deficits and debt to keep deficits and debt in check. The council says check. The council says the new rules will help protect the

union from another global financial crisis. The US

economy grew by 2 per cent

between July and September, boosted by a rise in boosted by a rise in consumer

spending. It's an is being

acceleration on the quarter despite continuing high unemployment and weakness in

the housing market. With

nearly 1 in 10 workers without

jobs, consumers have tended to

keep their wallets shut. It's caused a vicious circle for spending that accounts for 70

per cent of US gross domestic product. To the markets now,

and Wall Street has closed down. The Dow

05 of a per cent and the SP 5

Craig Hunter is a bit lower. The Australian share market The Australian share market has

closed out the week half a per

cent lower. The fell 19 points and the ASX

Australian dollar has Australian dollar has fallen

against the major currencies. It's

It's buying just over 96 It's buying just over 96 US cents. More than 400 bodies

have been recovered across Mentawai Islands and hopes are

fading fast for the more than 300 people still registered as figuring from Monday's tsunami.

It was also a day of mourning

across the archipelago

burials taking place for those killed in two separate killed in two separate natural

disasters. Matt Brown reports. Villagers in the

Mentawai Islands are burying

the dead wherever they can with whatever they can. TRANSLATION: What can I say,

you know. Everybody here is

sad, you know. The first major worst hit areas but worst hit areas but aid

agencies say the situation

remains dire. TRANSLATION:

Now there are bodies that have

not been found yet and the obstacle has been a

equipment for excavation. As

the scale of the disaster became

became more clear so too the realisation there's little chance of finding many more

survivors. Knees's president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono cut short a meeting in short a meeting in Hanoi to oversee the planning. It will

need a revaluation of housing that's located in areas prone

to earthquakes, Tsunamis and

landslides. These kind of

areas are not suitable for housing. In Jakarta, Indonesian

officials have officials have revealed significant holes in the

Tsunami early warning system.

Most of the censor boys

installed off the Boxing Day

Tsunami in 2004 have been

damagerd are not working . If

the boy near Indonesia is not

working, then we cannot send

the information to other countries. Across archipelago in central Java

another burial was another burial was taking

place. This time for more than 30 victims of the 30 victims of the first

volcano. Many of them had

ignored Government warnings

leave. They'd followed the

lead of the man considered the

spiritual keeper of the volcano. US President Barack Obama is addressing the media

in Washington. We'll take you

live to that right now. Last

night and earlier today our intelligence and intelligence and law enforcement professionals

working with our friends and

allies identified suspicious packages bound for

the United States. Specifically, two places of

Jewish worship in Chicago. Those packages have been located in Dubai and East Midlands Airport in the United Kingdom. An initial

examination of those packages

has determined that they do

apparently contain explosive

material. I was alerted to

this threat last night by this threat last night by my top counter-terrorism adviser John

John Brennan. I directeded the Department of Homeland Security

and all our law enforcement and

whatever steps are necessary whatever steps are necessary to protect our citizens from protect our citizens from this

type of attack. Those measures

led to additional screening led to additional screening of some planes in Newark and

Philadelphia. The Department

of Homeland Security is also

taking steps to enhance taking steps to enhance the

safety of air travel, including

additional cargo screening. We will continue to additional protective additional protective measures for as long as it takes to

ensure the safety and security of our

directed that we spare no effort in investigating the origins of these suspicious packages and their connection

to any additional terrorist plotting. Although we are still pursuing all the facts,

we do know that the packages originated in Yemen. We originated in Yemen. We also know that Al Qaeda in know that Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, a terrorist

group based in Yemen, continues to plan attacks against to plan attacks against our homeland, our citizens and

friends and allies. John

Brennan, who you will be hearing from, spoke with the

president of Yemen today about the seriousness of the seriousness of this threat and the President pledged and the President pledged the

full cooperation of the Yemen government in this investigation. Going forward,

we will continue to strengthen our cooperation

our cooperation with the Yemen government to disrupt plotting

by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and to destroy this Al

Al Qaeda affiliate. We'll Al Qaeda affiliate. We'll also continue our efforts strengthen a more stable,

secure and prosperous Yemen so that terrorist groups do not have the

have the time and space have the time and space they

need to plan attacks from within its borders. The events

of the past 24 hours underscores the necessity remaining vigilant against terrorism. As usual, our intelligence, law enforcement and homeland security

professionals have served professionals have served with

extraordinary skill and resolve and with the commitment that

their enormous responses effectively and closely with

our friends and allies who are

essential to this fight. As we

obtain more information, we'll

keep the public fully informed. At this At this stage, the American

people should know that the counter-terrorism professionals

are taking this threat very

seriously and are taking all

necessary and prudent steps to ensure our security. The

American people should American people should be confident that we will waiver in our resolve to waiver in our resolve to defeat

Al Qaeda and its affiliates and to route out vie hadn't

extremism in all its form. And that was President Barack Obama there detailing

information about the packages that

that were found on board that were found on board cargo

planes. He does confirm that

they were bound for Jewish end centres in Chicago. A thick trough is stretching from the Northern Territory down into

the south-east causing the south-east causing heavy

rain and thunderstorms. Scattered cloud Scattered cloud pushing over South Australia and western

Victoria behind a cold front is

triggering showers. Skies are

clear over interior WA under a high. Around the states now,

rain and thunderstorms will tread through Queensland's

west. In New South Wales,

heavy showers and storms will spread from the west and

moderate rainfall is likely

over the southern inland. It will and try in the north-east. A

cold southerly change will sweep through sweep through Victoria, rain

will spread throughout the

State with heavy falls over the ranges. Wet weather will

extend across Tasmania today. Heavy rain is expected in Heavy rain is expected in the north-west and isolated

thunderstorms are possible.

thunderstorms are possible. To South Australia and gusty

southerlies will spread

throughout with rain over the

south-east, possible heal over

the Eyre Peninsula in the evening. A mainly clear day is

predicted in WA except for some isolated showers east of Esperance. Further north,

isolated showers and

thunderstorms over the north

and Kimberley. Gusty cool south-easterlies in the south-easterlies in the south. Around the Capitals tomorrow, fine in Brisbane with a top fine in Brisbane with a top of

27, a day ahead in Sydney

Melbourne and Adelaide. For

more details on the stories we're following today and to

send us your comments and

pictures, you can log-on to our website.

website. The address is: You're watching ABC News 24. Closed Captions by CSI. Making headlines today, headlines today, suspicious

packages on a cargo plane in Britain have set off an

international security scare. A package containing a toner cartridge with wires and powder

was discovered in a delivery

centre in the east Midlands.

It had arrived from Yemen on

board a UPS plane. Another

suspicious package was

discovered in Dubai at a FedEx

centre. Bomb experts in

are sweeping cargo planes at

Philadelphia and Newark

airports. Security agencies

have been put on alert have been put on alert and military jets escorted a passenger plane from the united

Arab emrits as it descended Arab emrits as it descended

into New York's JF K-Aire port. The Prime Minister Julia

Gillard has met the head of the

United Nations moon non-in Vietnam this morning. Ms

Gillard is in Hanoi for the

ASEAN summit. She says ASEAN summit. She says she'll

raise her plan for a regional processing centre for seekers in East Timor during

the talks. A second the talks. A second French helicopter will be send to the

site of a helicopter site of a helicopter crash in Antarctica to end form there

are no survivors. The Australian Maritime Safety

Authority says the plane reported

reported the debris about 100

kilometres from the Durmont

Deville base in arc tarkt ka.

It was one of two helicopters

that took off from the L'Astrolabe last night. As

we've just heard, Britain is urgently considering new

security measures for air ah go

from Yemen after a suspect package flown in from the country sparked an international alert. Police

have examined the package after it arrived on board an American

registered cargo plane at East Midlands Airport in central England. The plane was en route to Chicago via

Philadelphia. The package,

along with another found in Dubai, sparked an international alert

alert as investigators in the US

President Barack Obama has addressed the White House and told them of a told them of a potential

terrorist threat. The chief Australia's Defence Force has

confirmed reports that a group

of Afghan fighters were brought to Australia for military training, but questions remain

over whether the group has links to a supposed Afghan links to a supposed Afghan War Lord. Links between the Afghan

national police and Australia's military. The plans been

clouded by claims the men are

part of an Afghan War Lord's

private army. The chief of Australia's Defence Forces says they're police veer advices.

If we want to get our act

together so we have an absolutely seam less operation,

it is absolutely imperative

that we train with the people that we're going to befied ing

sidepy side by side about with He says the operation

helps to enhance the safety

helps to enhance the safety of Australian soldiers. He's confirmed Australian forces

have engaged with the war Lord

as they have with other

as they have with other tribal leaders. Some have warned of the dangers of siding with any particular group in Afghanistan. For all the

friends that one may make by

cuddling up to the likes of

this man, one may at the

this man, one may at the time be acquiring additional

enemies. News the Afghan's have

been training in Australia

comes as the Parliament has just wrapped up its debate on Australia's involvement in

Afghanistan. Against the backdrop of flagging backdrop of flagging public support. The chief of the Defence Force have been done to have been done to explain Australia's role. As Australia's role. As we've

stayed there our mission has

evolved in accordance with

Government direction and I think sometimes the public haven't kept up. Air haven't kept up. Air Marshall

Houston says he hopes plans for Houston says he hopes plans for more regular reporting to

Parliament may help the

situation. Elizabeth Byrne, ABC News Canberra. Three months

after floods devastated

Pakistan, a relief team is returning of the civilian and military

medical taskforce arrived home yesterday and declared their

mission a success, but aid

agencies are warning much more

help will be needed. I've help will be needed. I've just

heard that we're going to take you live back to Washington where the White House press secretary, Robert Gibbs is

addressing the media. Deputy security adviser to receive security adviser to receive an update on the suspicious package identified in the Midlands of the United Kingdom.

At 8 am there was a teleconference to discuss with official with CIA, DOD, FBI,


9.15 John had a phone call to discuss the discuss the threat the

president of Yemen. At 10 am

Brennan held a phone call to discuss the threat again discuss the threat again with director Muller and a third

phone call with Ally Robyns

shortly afterward. At 10.15

national security adviser and

deputy security adviser discussed the threat with the president at the president's

daily brief. These are the activities from this morning that were coordinating out of

the White House. Obviously,

this, as you can see from the

run down, has encompassed

activities throughout the

government, but agencies also

whether doing a lot and have

been doing a lot since we were

first made the president aware last

last evening. I'm going to direct some traffic while John answers some questions. I will remind that you this remind that you this is an active investigation involving

sensitive tell e intelligence,

so there is a limit to what

John will be able to talk about publicly here. Mr Brennan,

could you talk about what we

know beyond the fact that this

was from Yemen and there are

people in Yemen with a QAP who

want to harm us if there's more that can be established create a direct link beyond the

country of origin? I think country of origin? I think as

Robert said, this an active and ongoing investigation. ongoing investigation. We're

working very closely with working very closely with our partners in Yemen and united

Arab emrits as well as the United Kingdom come and United Kingdom come and other countries as well. We know that Al Qaeda

that Al Qaeda has been trying

to Carrie out attacks against

US and western interests as

well as against Yemen. As we continue with this

investigation, we're trying to

understand who is behind it, the responsibility, and make sure that scope of the threat that we

might face. We've identified

these two pack Kims right now.

They've been isolated and they have been

Therefore what we're trying to

do now is make sure we're toibl

address any other threats that

might be out there. You've

identified two. What identified two. What about reports there are up to 15

packages out there that you're

looking for? Is that possible?

What we are doing is making

sure that we take a close look

at other packages that might

also have some type of materials in them of Both of these packages that

we've identified to date

originated in Yemen and so I

think it is very prudent for think it is very prudent for us

to make sure that other packages that might being coming in from Yemen as well are looked

at very carefully and that's

what we're doing right now. what we're doing right now.

There are only two There are only two packages

right now that have

right now that have materials

of concern. The President

described this as a credible terrorist threat against terrorist threat against the

United States. Can you say whether this was actually an attempted terrorist attack or

some sort of practice run for something down the line? I

think as the President noted,

it does appear there were

explosive materials in both explosive materials in both of these packages, that they were in a form that was designed to try

try to carry out some type of attack. The forensic

attack. The forensic analysis is underway. We're relying

heavily and working closely with our partners in this

regard, but clearly from the initial observations, the initial analysis that's initial analysis that's done, that the materials that were

found and the device that was uncovered, was intended to do

harm. Do harm? Do you have any

sense on the extent of the harm

or the extent of the damage

that could have been done by this

this and secondly, are you

looking into the possibility that they were involved in

this? I don't want to

speculate at the moment what the damage could be from the damage could be from the explosive material that we have

found. That's the found. That's the analysis that's yunds way. It is still at

at the very early stage of the

analysis. We're working close with our partners. looking at all individuals that we think might be involved in

this. Al Qaeda in the Arabian

Peninsula has been rather open

in its venom towards the United interests. There are a number of individuals there we're

concerned about. We're looking

at all possibilities. When I

have my conversation with the

president this morning he did pledge the full cooperation

with the Iemma government.

We're working closely with

emthis. We're going to get to

the bottom of this plot. Anybody who is associated

request Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is a subject of the quantity of the explosive

even if your analysis hasn't

determined the quality of it

yet? We have had some

preliminary discussions with

our partners. I don't want

go into the details about the

quantity or the exact types of

materials because I think materials because I think this

is still preliminary and I

wouldn't want to say something that was going to be corrected

in the future. Prior to

learning about the plot, was

the intelligence community

aware of this option as a

possibility using cargo planes with packages to attack? has demonstrated that it has demonstrated that it is focused intently on the

aviation sector. A lot of its plots have focused trying to

carry out attacks against

aircraft, using aircraft aircraft, using aircraft also

as potential missiles as we well know. The aviation industry has taken those steps

over the years expressly

because Al Qaeda, when I'm

talking about Al Qaeda I'm

nouft juking about Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, I'm talking about

the franchises including Yemen

I which are intending to do certain things against this homeland,

but as we saw last Christmas

Day, that they will in fact

take steps to take steps to carry out those

intentions. The cargo planes

were those ever focused as a

possibility? We're concerned

about commercial airliners,

cargo planes, for many, many

years. Were there any suspects in custody?? Not

knowledge, no Is there any

reason to believe that this

plot goes beyond cargo flights to regular passenger travel and

has any conversation been given

to putting an embargo on padge kings originating in Yemen a returninging returninging

people to reconsider travel plans. We are not assuming we

know the bounds of this plot.

We're looking at all types of packages, air draft, packages, air draft, whatever. We're going to make to whatever length we need to ensure the safety and security

of air travel at this of air travel at this point. An

embargo of any packages originate working with the Yemen

government now. We've taken

some steps to ensure some steps to ensure that packages that come from packages that come from Yemen are going to be screened and we're working screened and we're working with the Yemen government right now. At this point, one of the

reasons why we looked at some planes that were coming down

into Philadelphia and Newark

today is because they were in

fact carrying cargo from Yemen. We have had these interagency

meetings to discuss all these

options. I don't want to go

into the details of this

because this is all part of the

security measures in place.

Several of these measures have already

you walk us through the

decision to send fighter jets

to escort that Yemen flight

into JFK today. These are

decisions by US and Canadian

military Air Force. If there

is a threat, I've only seen

some of the preliminary reports

about this, my understanding

was there was concern about

possible cargo on flight and so

again, with an abundance caution, sometimes Air Force our Air Force, the our Air Force, the Canadian Air

Force will scramble jets to

make sure everything is

okay. There's been a lot of

concern about threats

European targets. Is this at all related to any of that

chatter that we've heard in

recent weeks? We issued the travel alert because travel alert because of

concerns of Al Qaeda carrying

out attacks in Europe. One

package was uncovered in East

Midlands Airport in the UK.

We're looking at all the parts of piecing together over the past several weeks from Al Qaeda but

we're not presuming that's

parts of this plot. We're not

presuming we disrupted our

plot. We need to maintain plot. We need to maintain pour ville against. Considering the targets were in the targets were in Chicago, the Jewish places of worship, any extra precautions any extra precautions that you're putting out for them? The FBI, Department of

Homeland Security and other agencies have reached out to

the propose private sector

entities as well as

organisations to ensure that any such attacks are alerted, such attacks are alerted, so we're working very closely with state and local officials. The Yemen Yemen cooperation considering this is now attempted terrorist attacks, it looks like emanating

looks like emanating from Yemen, is it fair to say Yemen, is it fair to say that we don't have the best

cooperation yet with the Yemen government? I would say over

the past 22 months or so during this administration and in the

prior administration there prior administration there has

been a steady improvement in that cooperation. I would say

that the CT cooperation right now with quem

it's ever been before. That

couldn't mean it can't improve more. It more. It needs to improve

more. I've been to Yemen four

times in the past two years.

We're working very closely

them and we found that they them and we found that they are courageous partners. Many

people from Yemen have lost

their lives in the battle

against Al Qaeda. Have US

authorities been able to

inspect these packages in have

we increased our presence or we increased our presence or do

we plan to do so in Yemen and

Robert, Philadelphia and Chicago involved in this? Will the President's

working very closely with the

authorities in Dubai fan at East Midlands Airport so we can participate in whatever investigative efforts that are

underway. Let me add the president's travel plans both this evening and

this evening and tomorrow at

this point are not expected to

change and I think at the end

of the statement the President

was clear, as you can see John and others who have been here overnight, that our

counter-terrorism professionals are on the job and the

President's not going to President's not going to change

his schedule and there's no cause for Americans to their schedule. Do you their schedule. Do you expect

this issue to come up at all during the campaign events, Robert, in the next few days.

I get some guidance from the

speech writers to see if speech writers to see if this

gets mentioned. Certainly I

will say, as the president

said, we will take the opportunity if need be

throughout the weekend to

continue to update the public

on information as it comes

in. Considering what Al Qaeda

has done in the past targeting

other countries during an

election season, are you

that into account, that there's

anything that, this more than a

coincidence? There's never a

day we relax Al Qaeda and its

potential to carry out attacks. I wonder if you back

that up a bit. What did you know at the time when you these packages discovered

through random screenings through random screenings or was there something that tipped

you off? I knew enough last

night to be able to brief the

president number one. Number two the American people

feel particularly good since feel particularly good since 91 the US Government has built up a very capable a very capable robust homeland security system. As a result

of the strength of that system information became available

that we were able to act upon

very quickly. We were able to

locate these packages. I'm not going to go

how we become aware of it, but

the redundant layers of the redundant layers of the

security, the work of the law enforcement, homeland security officials was the were able to succeed. You're saying then that you were aware

of this plot, not because of

the packages, but because of

something else? I'm saying that when you pull a string

there's a reason why you start

to pull that string and we had a

a reason to pull it. As a

result of what we were able to

uncover in East Midlands Airport with the very strong cooperation of British

authorities, we were able

steps. That's why those

prudent measures were taken

today to ensure we were able to

identify other packages that

might be out concern. Did you direct the

authorities in the east

Midlands to look for this

package? We were working very closely with our British

partners to identify, locate,

identify and isolate that package. To be clear, sir,

which of the two padge kicks

was found first, was it Dubai,

east Midlands or was there any

connection? was east Midlands. Did that lead you to Dubai The furs lead you to Dubai The furs one

we found watt east mid- lands. Were they also addressed to to Jewish organisations. There

were two packages we identified

one in Dubai and one in east

Midlands. Both of them Midlands. Both of them were addressed to Jewish institutions in Chicago. Are

any of the other padge packages addressed packages addressed to

Dubai. With all the mail that

goes through the system I'm not something. The only two

packages we've been able to

identify of concern is the one

in Dubai and east Midlands.

All the other he was for thes

we can isolate. Are the Chicago church the one next to the president's house where I

believe he'll be staying this weekend. No. Can you clarify

you found the first package after the president was briefed on this issue last night; is that correct? Yes, from a

sequencing standpoint, yes Is it your belief it your belief that

institutions in Chicago the targets of the attack and

not say the cargo flights? You

made some reference to the

security of cargo flights and

so forth. The intent was so forth. The intent was to injure people at institutions? It is less than

24 hours since we first started

to look at this very intensively and so it is still

the very early stage of the investigation and the analysis,

as far as the intended target,

the impact of the explosives,

how it could have been used and I don't want to speculate at

this point, at this time. Could you give us any more detail on

the size of these packages, are

these letter bombs or large

boxes? Is it your belief they were designed praches to

explode when opened? They were not letters, they were larger

than that. Think of bread