Investigators are examining cargo planes in the northeastern U.S. after British inspectors found a suspicious package on a United Parcel Service plane en route from Yemen to Chicago, according to reports.
Update, at 1:50 p.m. ET: An all-clear has been issued at Newark Airport after a UPS plane was inspected for a potential suspicious package.
And in Chicago, synagogues have been asked to be on alert following reports of suspicious packages on cargo planes, the spokeswoman for a Chicago Jewish organization tells the AP.
Reports have been emerging that some of the suspicious packages that triggered alerts at several airports were addressed to synagogues in Chicago.
Linda Haase, associate vice president of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, says the group is "taking appropriate precautions'' after being contacted early Friday.
Our original post: "Bomb Squads Investigate Suspicious Items Found On UPS Cargo Flights"
Investigators are examining three cargo planes in the northeastern U.S. after a suspicious package containing an item resembling a bomb was found on a United Parcel Service cargo plane believed to be en route from Yemen to Chicago.
The flight was stopped in England late Thursday night, CNN reported. That prompted conflicting reports, with many emphasizing the likelihood that a bomb had been found.
NPR's Dina Temple-Raston reports that law enforcement officials testing the materials have not discovered any explosives.
The security alert began with the discovery of "potential suspicious packages" on two planes headed to the United States, according to a White House statement issued Friday afternoon.
The two packages were sent from Yemen, according to the statement:
Based on close cooperation among U.S. 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. As a result of security precautions triggered by this threat, the additional measures were taken regarding the flights at Newark Liberty and Philadelphia International Airports.
President Obama was notified about "a potential terrorist threat" at 10:35 Thursday night, according to the statement, which adds that the White House has received regular updates on the potential threat.
The item found on a UPS plane at England's East Midlands Airport was reportedly a "manipulated" ink toner cartridge, which had wires attached to it. Inspectors also found white powder, according to the AP. Test results for explosives were negative.
Law enforcement officials from the FBI and Transportation Security Administration examined two planes at Philadelphia International Airport and one at New Jersey's Newark airport -- all of which had landed safely. They were moved off to remote areas of the airports to be inspected.
"Suspicious package reports are very common," according to Temple-Raston's report. "What is unusual about today's events is the sheer number of them and the various cities that are simultaneously involved. Officials say the checks are being done 'out of an abundance of caution.'"
According to an AP report, an official speaking on the condition of anonymity says the packages in Britain and the U.S. all originated from Yemen -- possibly the same address.
The New York Police Department bomb squad also stopped a UPS truck to undergo an inspection. The AP says that an envelope from Yemen was tested for explosives and found not to be a threat. Copyright 2010 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.