U.S. Tipped Off Three Weeks Before Parcel Bombs

Saudi intelligence warned the United States that al Qaeda’s Yemen branch was planning an attack using airplanes shortly after the U.S. intercepted what was believed to be a trial run for the parcel bomb attack and three weeks before the attempted attack itself. But American officials say the tip made no mention of how the planes would be used or even that they were cargo planes. Another tip from Saudi intelligence on October 28 provided more detail, including the tracking numbers of the parcel bombs. In a statement addressed to President Obama, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has claimed responsibility for the attempted bombing, as well as for the crash of a United Parcel Service plane in Dubai on September 3, though U.S. officials doubt they had any involvement in that crash.