Area synagogues alerted after suspicious Chicago-bound package found in England

| October 29, 2010

A warning has been issued for synagogues in the Chicago area to be on the alert for suspicious packages that might be coming via UPS, FedEx, or by other means.

The warning comes after a suspicious package, which contained a "manipulated" toner cartridge, was found Thursday night on a Chicago-bound cargo plane from Yemen, according to CNN.

Officials isolated UPS cargo planes at Philadelphia and Newark airports on Friday morning because they were carrying packages that appeared to have the same origin as the suspicious device in Britain, The New York Times reported. A UPS truck in Brooklyn was also stopped and checked on Friday.

“Last night, intelligence and law enforcement agencies discovered potential suspicious packages on two planes in transit to the US,” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said on Friday. “Based on close cooperation among US government agencies and with our foreign allies and partners, authorities were able to identify and examine two suspicious packages, one in London and one in Dubai. Both of these packages originated from Yemen.”

The Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago has alerted area synagogues not to open packages that appear suspicious due to the way they are wrapped, or which come from Yemen or from any organization that has the name “Yemen” in it. Any institution that receives such a package is advised to call “911” and to evacuate the premises until law enforcement arrives.

“Needless to say, we all hope that nothing will come of this. But given the realities of today’s world and the information that has been made available, it is important that these security precautions be taken by all area synagogues,” said Michael C. Kotzin, Jewish Federation Executive Vice President.

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Category: CSI Security Alerts, Synagogue/Jewish Security