Live Links: Pre-election Red Alerts again?

CNN on  U.S. alerts based on weird and wired cargo.  This news has been unwinding all day.

Cargo planes and trucks in several U.S. cities were inspected Friday after investigators found suspicious packages in at least two locations abroad, said 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 incident.

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.

The President is speaking on it now.

update:  PBS video on the Presidential Presser.  (h/t to woman voter’s tweet)

56 Comments on “Live Links: Pre-election Red Alerts again?”

  1. dakinikat says:

    The President used the words credible and he’s said that they contained explosive material. That’s a bit more than the testing of fakes planted to see what the reaction of the security forces would be.

  2. mablue2 says:

    The President is speaking on it now.

    Link is not working.

  3. dakinikat says:

    They’re talking about finding blast powder in a toner cartridge.

  4. mablue2 says:

    It’s also the opening news here in Germany on Der Spiegel website.

  5. gxm17 says:

    In the DC area, we’ve been getting warnings for about two or three weeks now that DC-area restaurants are being targeted. And they arrested that guy in Ashburn earlier this week. When I was pulled over last week driving through National Airport I just assumed that I was profiled because of all the heightened fears. Still, the timing does make me suspicious.

  6. mablue2 says:

    Something must be going on.

    This morning I was reading an article about Al Qaeda planning something here in Europe. I actually wanted to add it to the news but I forgot:

    Al-Qaida Said To Be Planning European Hostage-Takings

    Security agencies suspect that al-Qaida is planning new attacks in Europe. Details of a possible 'Euro Plot' remain unclear, but ex-jihadist Noman Benotman, a former trainer in terror camps, believes that al-Qaida wants to take hostages here to force the release of 9/11 terror mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Experts say the theory is plausible.
    • dakinikat says:

      well, it’s ten years out from the 9/11 so that’s about the right timing for some of the big things and about five from the london/madrid events

    • Woman Voter says:

      These Bush WARS, haven’t helped our situation much (in loss of life and financial deficit growth/spending) and I wish we would be out of there sooner than later. This action of being the world’s policeman isn’t helping and the cut backs or elimination of reproductive programs have just made things worse in Third World Countries (thanks to BUSH II…I think they are stil in place now).

      NOW we will fear our office supplies. 😦

  7. dakinikat says:

    Two packages found were both addressed to synagogues in the Chicago area.

  8. Glad you started a thread on this. I’ve been watching it unfold on the idiot box. Seems like somebody’s trying to manipulate our upcoming elections.

    • zaladonis says:

      The timing seems that way but which way would they –whoever they are– think the election would be effected? What do they want to manipulate, which way do they want it to go? I mean, I can see ObamaCo benefitting –people don’t like change when they’re afraid– but otherwise ???

      • votermom says:

        It could go either way, with the GOP/TP using it to say the admin is not protecting the USA etc etc. Strange that Chicago is the target too.

  9. Pat Johnson says:

    Thank goodness for law enforcement agencies across the globe working together. This kind stuff is going to go on for a long, long time and we need the cooperation of these agencies on full alert.

  10. mablue2 says:

    Because I’m a sucker for graphs:


  11. Wapo:

    U.S. counterterrorism officials said that two suspicious packages removed from cargo planes en route to the United States on Friday did not contain explosives but may have been part of an attempt by an al-Qaeda affiliate in Yemen to test cargo screening systems for vulnerabilities.

    I was away from the tv during O’s conference, but someone else saw it and is telling me O said the packages did contain explosives. which is it?

  12. mablue2 says:


    I can’t post a graph.

  13. votermom says:

    U.S. officials believe that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, commonly referred to as AQAP, is behind the incident.

    Does this mean they are Saudis?
    (Totally ignorant question)

  14. dakinikat says:

    They seem to be taking this very seriously

  15. dakinikat says:

    CNN is saying the Saudis and uae helped with the Intel

    • votermom says:

      That would imply that AQAP has criminal operations within SA & UAE, I am guessing, which is how their govt agencies would have been able to gather info.

  16. Branjor says:

    Scary stuff. I’m glad they detected the explosives. We get our deliveries here from Newark Liberty. Wouldn’t want my friendly UPS truck blowing up outside my house. Not that it would if the packages were headed to synagogues in Chicago though.

  17. pdgrey says:

    Hi, Dak. I know this is OT on this post but this just blew me away knowing you are from LA and I from Fl. H/T Suburban Guerrilla.

    • Woman Voter says:

      I saw the Death Threats post of the Glenn Beck show and that really upset me, as it wasn’t enough to have only stopped the massacre in the Bay Area due to good police work and now this poor woman and the League of Woman Voters facing Death Threats, for doing what they have been doing for decades.

      I hope Palin is big enough NOW to let go of Glenn Beck, because HATE/VIOLENCE politics isn’t anything to associate with.

      • dakinikat says:

        okay, haven’t heard that one, I’ve been stressing over my crashed hard drive and loading the word press app to my blackberry while waiting for this old clunker to slowly load stuff…

  18. dakinikat says:

    Egads what a week … my harddrive just crashed and they said they will ship me another by the fourth. Way too late for my presentation on Tuesday

    • grayslady says:

      How are you managing to post? Do you have a second computer or are you at the library? If you have a regular independent tech who cares for your computer those types almost always have loaners.

      • dakinikat says:

        I have an old laptop I got from a grant at work just before Katrina hit. It doesn’t even have a USB port and it’s slow as molasses but it’s working for the basics right now. The blackberry also has a wordpress app but I’m not sure how I’m going to get power points done for my presentation for Tuesday. I’m going to have to go the university office tomorrow.

        • grayslady says:

          If you already put your power point presentation up on your other computer, take it to a really good geek. They can usually rescue about 95% of everything on the hard drive (it’s happened to me, so I know). Then just have them transfer the presentation to your laptop and hope that the place you’ll be making your presentation has smart technology. If it does, you should be able to hook up without a USB being necessary. It will cost you about $100, but for an important presentation, it might be worth it.

  19. Pilgrim says:

    Excuse me, Dak, for mentioning this OT matter, but I see that Confluence are still licking and trying to ‘heal’ what RD calls their festering wound. They seem to be trying to justify themselves for something.

    I do think that the general civilized opinion (not just blogs) has pretty well come down on the foot-stomper incident as being completely outrageous. And the video is chilling.

    I know Chris Matthews is not many people’s favourite cup of tea (nor mine), but the other night he said a true thing. He said the acting-out of all this hatred is reminiscent of something seen in the 1930’s in another country. It’s just dangerous.

    At least RD had the decency to let people over at TC know where they could find you, and I see many of them have done so.

    • dakinikat says:

      I watched the Senate debates yesterday from here and it was UGLY. I think the newscasters that were asking the questions were taken aback by the entire thing. The lack of not just civility but humanity this election cycle is just worrying. Maybe not enough people get exposed to debate and logic where you actually have to win arguments with data, reasonable arguments and some sense of conviction. It just seems everything is a pile on these days. Every one thinks just screaming an opinion is making a valid argument.

      • grayslady says:

        There was never any question for me about voting for the Repub running in my congressional district, but my rep., Melissa Bean, has been a complete corporate sell-out and pretty horrible on every issue except women’s rights. So this evening, I decided to check out the platform of her Repub opponent, Joe Walsh, and it turns out he’s a TP candidate, despite saying he’s a Reagan Repub. From his political philosophy section:

        Every day, the government is getting involved in parts of our lives that it didn’t used to and spending money it doesn’t have.

        He then goes on to say that he’s opposed to a woman’s right to choose, stem cell research, etc. So it’s okay for the government to tell a woman what she can do with her body, but, if you’re a guy the government shouldn’t be able to tell you what to do? I wonder if these candidates have any idea how ignorant they sound to anyone with an ounce of common sense. Walsh seems to be one of these Paul Ryan types–young, attractive and ideologically dangerous. I supported Bean initially just to get our alcoholic right-wing congressman out of office, but her record has been so disappointing I was planning on simply voting for the independent who’s running (an anti-war candidate). After reading Walsh’s fear-mongering website, I’m beginning to re-think my vote.

        • Zaladonis says:

          One of the things I’ve thought is just bizarrely amped up this election season -though maybe it’s always been this outsized and just wasn’t as evident to me- is the idea of voting for a Democrat or Republican in local races for any reason other than what’s good for our district and state.

          As I say, maybe my perspective changed when I felt abandoned by the Democratic Party — or did I abandon it? — but it just seems so desperate sounding this year. For weeks I’ve been appalled by some of the material Dems have posted, like that picture of George Bush surrounded by: “I screwed you all but thanks for blaming it on the black guy” — and I mean by some people, friends, I think of as decent.

          Just seems like people are losing their marbles.

  20. Sima says:

    This election does seem more visceral than some of the past (but not the last Presidential one, that was ugly too, as we all know). I’m astonished at the phone calls I’m getting. A while back I got a call from the DNC wanting money and I told them to start acting like Democrats again before I’d support them.

    Now it seems like every right wing loon in the world is calling me. Ohh I still get the Emily’s list type calls and so on, but really, Family Council with Dobson (or whatever his name is)????? Me??? So, I’m thinking the hired goons that do these calls keep records on who reacts to what, and then turns around and sells the list to the opposition.

    I don’t give money to liberal causes any more because I’m broke, not because I’m not a liberal. I don’t support the DNC because it sold out. Get a few FDR types in the mix and I’ll be right back fighting for them.

    • dakinikat says:

      I don’t think they want FDR dems any more. Obama dissed him the other day.

      • Sima says:

        Yea, I know. Not that my opinion needed cementing, but that cemented my opinion on him. I’ve been teaching friends and relatives about FDR and Eleanor lately. It’s been eye-opening, both for how little they know, and how happy they are to learn. Next I think will be a letter writing campaign to our Reps, asking for FDR type initiatives for our country.

      • Zaladonis says:

        That’s it. You’re right. I’ve known that but this election cycle it’s really smacking me in the face and I guess I’m finally fully getting it. They don’t want FDR dems any more.

        And I will not succomb.

        Some very good long-term friends and I are struggling to not part ways but we’re not pleased with one another. It’s been okay as long as I know when to shut up but, increasingly, I’m unwilling to. And that’s impacting other parts of my life.

        Riverdaughter (not a good friend, but still someone I feel I know a little and agree with a lot, and there is a part of my life now that’s online) posted to me yesterday morning that I wasn’t to “poke” myiq because it displeases her, then yesterday afternoon told me not to piss her off — and not that she doesn’t have the right to say anything she wants on her own blog but I’m so sensitive now to Dems telling me to STFU that I can’t stand to be around those kinds of threats now.

        • Pips says:

          Zaladonis, if I may chirp in here – and I really don’t want to make Kat’s blog into a “Bash the Clown” site, but as another (abused) former TC commenter said here the other day, it’s nice to get a chance to speak up!

          Anyone who read the vile, disgusting, sexist and gay-loathing things myiq wrote at Balloon Juice in 2007 (and I never would have known if he himself hadn’t started the fight with the “Buttboys”, who pointed to those quotes), no one who saw these comments, all of course with disgusting sexual connotations, would for a minute believe that this middle aged guy, within 6 months suddenly became a full fledged feminist and a fierce advocate for LGBT rights!

          To see strong, independant, feminists go out of their way to love, defend, and protect him is both sad and strange. The whole scenario at TC, reminds me of the scenario surrounding Obama: The petty, vindictive, thinskinned man who tries to make everything about him, surrounded by adoring female Obots (/Mybots).

          Yesterday I tried to find Kat’s thread at TC to re-read the comments but to my surprise it had been deleted. Don’t they want the readers to hear her point of view? Are they afraid that she’ll get new readers, commenters? Or do they want to hide that myiq warned that if Kat left, he would too?

          I’ve liked TC very much and been grateful that I was allowed to comment there (when I was, heh!) and I’m sorry to see that TC apparently can’t (won’t?) co-exist in harmony with dakiniland. Maybe when things settle down? I would really hope so.

          • Branjor says:

            To see strong, independant, feminists go out of their way to love, defend, and protect him is both sad and strange. The whole scenario at TC, reminds me of the scenario surrounding Obama: The petty, vindictive, thinskinned man who tries to make everything about him, surrounded by adoring female Obots (/Mybots).

            I’m glad you wrote this. I’ve silently wondered what myiq’s great appeal is at TC in the same way I wondered what the great appeal of Obama to Obots was. I just didn’t share it. I didn’t know about the comments at Balloon Juice, but he struck me as a closet sexist.

          • Zaladonis says:

            I didn’t know about his comments at Balloon Juice either, but I can’t say I’m surprised. Just out of curiousity, and maybe validation of what my intuition told me, I’d kind of like to read them, are they still online?

            He’s tried to bully me at TC and I’ve seen him do it to others (recently he did it to Dee in a way that just made me sad and turn away from TC for a few days – I’d have said something but that only makes it worse with a bully and those he seduces into defending him), and it’s the way he’s consistently selective about it that I think red flagged it for me. He does it cleverly, and that’s one way so many people get away with it, but it’s insidious. All along I sensed his sexism and dismissiveness of LGBTs but very recently it kept flashing at me like big red hazard lights. He camoflages it really well and does that backtracking thing that makes you question your own judgment of what’s been said. And then Riverdaughter threatened me simply because I mentioned that he’d said he’d leave if Kat did, and others chimed in; I mulled that over, read a few more comments and finally concluded that TC isn’t the safe place I believed it was.

            I think Riverdaughter is super smart and a terrific writer, and the same about WTV (she’s amazing) and some other frontpagers, and certainly the group there is generally, well just so wonderful. And those who adore, defend and protect myiq have every right to do so, especially RD. But you’re right in comparing myiq to Obama in the way he charms and manipulates individuals into a group that protects and defends him at any cost.

            The Confluence is a great place in most ways and I wish them well, in all sincerity, but that Obamaclown stuff is not for me.

          • Zaladonis says:

            Okay, I read a few of myiq’s posts at Balloon Juice, and a few is enough. I had no idea that that was part of TC’s backstory.

            Has everyone at TC read those? Bostonboomer?? And they adore him and protect him. I thought they had more self-respect than that.

            And, lastly, that “it was a joke” thing following those kinds of comments is a sure sign of a bully and manipulator who’s insecure and likes to undermine other’s confidence. They can twist your head in so many directions you end up enslaved with a tenuous grasp on your own sense of right and wrong.

            Thanks for alerting me to those comments. Seeing the missing pieces always make the puzzle easier to understand.

          • Branjor says:

            I read that exchange where you asked about myiq saying he’d leave if Kat left (I was wondering about it too. I’m glad myiq answered the question) and saw how you were piled on and mocked there. So, the lesson I’m taking away from TC lately is pile on and bully our own (referring here to Kat as well as you), but coddle the Tea Partiers. Got it. Check.