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Europeans, North Americans Boost Air Security Over Reported Al-Qaeda Plot


Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, France, Canada, and the United States have announced restrictions on flights and cargo originating in Yemen in a bid to guard against potential bombs.

Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, France, Canada, and the United States have announced restrictions on flights and cargo originating in Yemen in a bid to guard against potential bombs.

European and North American countries are among those implementing strengthened aviation-security measures after two parcel bombs were sent in cargo planes from Yemen as part of an alleged Al-Qaeda terror plot.

The bomb packages, which were supposed to go to the United States, were found on planes last week in England and Dubai, reportedly after Saudi Arabian intelligence officials provided a tip to their Western counterparts.

In reaction to the discovery of the devices, Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, France, Canada, and the United States have announced restrictions on flights and cargo originating in Yemen in a bid to guard against potential bombs.

Western officials say they suspect the bombing attempts were organized by the Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula group, and U.S. intelligence officials have said a key suspect is a Saudi, Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri, who is believed to be connected to the Al-Qaeda Yemeni branch.

State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said the United States was seeking to help increase Yemen's ability to counter extremists.

"We believe that Yemen has made significant improvements in its security and counterterrorism capability, but obviously that stems from a still-limited capacity that Yemen has," Crowley said.

"It's the poorest country in the region, and our efforts are geared towards steadily increasing Yemen's ability to deal with violent extremists."

U.S. officials say Washington has sent a team of investigators to Yemen to help screen cargo for potential dangers and to train Yemeni personnel.

compiled from agency reports
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