The Obama administration's top counter-terrorism official says authorities want to look more closely at the September crash of a UPS freighter in Dubai, although investigators in the Middle East say it is unlikely the plane was brought down by a bomb.
The United Arab Emirates' General Civil Aviation Authority issued a statement Sunday saying the agency "thoroughly analyzed the technical data" from the crashed 747 and concluded there was no evidence "supporting the detonation of an explosive device."
The UPS 747-400 crashed while trying to return to the Dubai airport Sept. 3 after a fire that apparently broke out in the main cargo hold filled the cockpit with smoke, obscuring the pilots' vision. The two crewmembers died in the crash.
UPS was one of the operators that apparently carried sophisticated bombs disguised in printer cartridges that were shipped through air express networks from Yemen last week.
John Brennan, the White House assistant to the president for homeland security, told CNN on Sunday that the September crash now is drawing new scrutiny.
"The crash of the one plane off of Dubai, we are looking very carefully at that," Brennan said in the televised interview. Investigators are "working with the (National Transportation Safety Board) and others to make sure that we understand the cause of that crash. And so right now we're making sure that we look at possible other events or other developments that might have some relationship with the most recent packages that we've discovered."
The NTSB is not the primary investigating agency for the Dubai crash but its experts work with other agencies around the world to assist investigations of crashes involving U.S.-built aircraft such as the Boeing 747.
An NTSB spokesman said the cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder from the downed UPS plane had been brought to Washington and that the agency had assisted UAE investigators in reading the recorders.