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Local Synagogues on High Alert Following Bombing Dry Run

By Chuck Sudo in News on Oct 30, 2010 3:30PM

More details are slowly trickling out regarding the discovery of possible explosive materials discovered on cargo planes; at least two packages were earmarked for Chicago-area Jewish facilities.

President Obama was alerted to the plot late Thursday night and declared it yesterday to be a "credible terrorist threat against our country." A federal source told the Sun-Times that at least one area synagogue and one Jewish Community Center was targeted by the packages. Neither package was intended for KAM Isaiah Israel Synagogue, located across the street from the Obama's Kenwood Home. Citing intelligence shared from Saudi officials, as many as fifteen packages were destined for the United States from Yemen, all of them sent using UPS or FedEx cargo planes.

The two packages that did test for high explosives contained 10 to 14 ounces of homemade high explosives inside gutted toner cartridges. The cartridge also contained cell phones and other materials that could be fashioned into detonators.

The Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago was alerted of the plot early Friday morning. Emanuel Congregation in Loyola/Rogers Park was one of the intended targets. Rabbi Michael Zedek told the New York Post:

"I received a phone call from a reliable, well-placed source that there were in fact four packages, all of them directed to synagogues, and that our building was one," the rabbi said. "It's one of those wakeup calls. This is the new normal -- we have to acknowledge it and respond."

UPDATED: The Associated Press is reporting that a woman has been detained by Yemeni officials in connection with the bombs.