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Obama - terror threat 'credible'

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President Barack Obama, followed by White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, gives a briefing on the terror alert (AP)

President Barack Obama, followed by White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, gives a briefing on the terror alert (AP)

President Barack Obama, followed by White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, gives a briefing on the terror alert (AP)

President Barack Obama says the terror probe into suspicious packages believed to be linked to a plot by Yemen's al Qaida branch is a "credible terrorist threat".

The president spoke at the White House after having been first briefed about the terror probe on Thursday.

Authorities are investigating a package containing explosive materials intercepted in Dubai on its way from Yemen and another package in Britain.

US officials say they are increasingly confident that the packages were part of a plot by Yemen's al-Qaida branch.

Mr Obama said he had instructed officials to take "whatever measures were necessary" to protect Americans, and planes in Newark and Philadelphia had been searched as part of tougher cargo screening.

Meanwhile, two military fighter jets have escorted a commercial airliner from the Canadian border to New York City which is carrying cargo from Yemen, US officials say.

There is no known threat associated with the Emirates Air plane, which originated from Dubai, but it was escorted to John F Kennedy International Airport as a cautionary move.

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FBI spokesman Richard Kolko said the plane - Emirates Airlines Flight 201 - was met at JFK by FBI and Port Authority police.

He said the action was being taken solely because the plane was carrying cargo from Yemen.

John Cornelia, a spokesman for US North American Aerospace Defence Command, said the airliner was escorted by a Canadian fighter to the US border, where two US fighters took over.


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