Interpol publicizes details of Yemen mail bombs
PARIS (AP) – Interpol released on Saturday details and photographs of two U.S.-bound mail bombs intercepted by authorities in Dubai and United Kingdom, to help police and the public look out for such devices in the future.
The France-based international police agency said it alerted its 188 member countries about the devices sent from Yemen and intercepted Oct. 29, “to encourage greater vigilance.”
Interpol secretary-general Ronald K. Noble said in a statement the move was designed to help law enforcement agencies “take all appropriate measures to identify potentially lethal devices.”
He said the agency decided to release the pictures of the devices for the wider public as well, because it was tips from the public that led to the arrest of the Times Square bomb suspect in the U.S. in May.
The police agency posted a four-page warning, where it listed a number of signs that indicate the packages should be treated with suspicion: unbalanced packaging; uneven weight; excessive use of sealing tape; stains, discoloration or other wrapping markings; strange odors; protruding wires; excess postage paid.
Interpol said such explosives cannot be detected by using standard X-ray equipment, but noted that airport “puffer” machines, swab tests and bomb-sniffing dogs could help aid detection.
Interpol issued its statement from Doha, Qatar, where the agency’s general assembly meeting starts on Monday.
A Yemen-based al-Qaida group has claimed responsibility for the mail bomb plot uncovered last week.