One of the parcel bombs sent out of Yemen through air cargo carriers was defused 17 minutes before it was set to explode, according to France’s interior minister.
The cabinet official made the statement on French television as new details about the bombs emerged in published reports in Europe and the Middle East suggesting they were set to go off through timers.
The Associated Press reported the devices, found in packages in the UPS and FedEx air express networks, were packed in toner cartridges and contained more than 300 grams of the explosive PETN. The report, citing unnamed security officials, said the explosive material was connected to cell phones with the communications cards removed and to syringes filled with detonation chemicals.
The French interior minister, Brice Hertefeux, did not provide details about the timing of the bombs or which bomb was defused so close to detonation.
“One of the packages was defused only 17 minutes before the moment that it was set to explode,” he told the state-owned France-2 television station, according to published reports of the interview.
The bombs were discovered at a FedEx facility in Dubai and in the UPS system at the East Midlands Airport in the United Kingdom. Officials have said the disguised package in Dubai was the first one found and investigators later found the device in the UK.