US intelligence officials feared that al Qaeda terrorists in Yemen were plotting to attack the United States and actually intercepted what they now believe were “dry run” shipments to Chicago in mid-September, according to several people briefed on the plot and a senior US official.
The senior US official told ABC News that the “dry run” involved a carton of household goods including books, religious literature, and a computer disk, but no explosives, shipped from Yemen to an address in Chicago by “someone with ties to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.”
Another person briefed on the incident said it is now believed the terrorists sent the package “so they could track how long it took and whether there would be any problems for the package getting through the system.”
Senior administration officials told ABC News that, after the September shipment was discovered, U.S. intelligence agencies had specific concerns about the Yemen-based group’s interest in Chicago, noting not only the destination of the September shipment, but also a photograph of the Chicago skyline in a magazine recently published by the terror group’s propaganda arm.
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