Communication Cards in Mail Bomb Cell Phone Were Removed, Detonation Possibly Linked to Alarm Function

Al Jazeera’s Hashem Ahelbarra reports from Sanaa in Yemen: US and Yemeni authorities have named the man they believe to be the mastermind of the parcel bombs plot. They have issued photographs of Saudi Arabian born Ibrahim al-Asiri. He is thought to be al-Qaeda’s top explosives expert in Yemen.

The offender behind last week’s unsuccessful mail bombings could not have known exactly where their Chicago-bound packages were when they were set to explode.

The communication cards for the cellphones had been removed, which disabled the communications function of the cellphone. Officials believe it is likely the terrorists intended the alarm or timer functions to detonate the bombs.

Neither FedEx nor UPS lets customers access information about precisely which planes are carrying their packages. Packages are transported on cargo planes and on passenger planes, but there is no way for customers to know what airplane is carrying their packages. Although other Internet services provide real time tracking of flights, there is no associated information that could pinpoint the package on a particular flight.