Saudis Warned US 3 Weeks Before Mail Bomb Plot
Vague tip warned of plane attack, readied US for threat
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 6, 2010 8:32 AM CDT
Armed Yemeni police stand guard by closed UPS office Thursday, Nov. 4, 2010, in San'a, Yemen. One of two mail bombs sent from Yemen last week was disarmed just 17 minutes before it was set to go off,...   (Hasan Jamali)
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(Newser) – Saudi Arabia tipped the United States about a terror plot some three weeks before the Yemen mail bombs exploded into the news, a vague warning that US officials are now crediting with having helped stop a potentially devastating attack. The October intel contained no mention of mail bombs, but warned of a plane attack—which US officials say gave them enough of a head's up that they were able to move swiftly when the more specific tip came along, reports the AP.

The US is quietly saying it benefited from a steady flow of intelligence dating back to September. "Over the past several months, we received intelligence—which was shared across our government—from our foreign partners about threats from AQAP and other terrorist groups," says a CIA spokesman. "Last week, we received specific intelligence that allowed the United States and our allies to disrupt the cargo plot." Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, meanwhile, yesterday finally claimed credit for the attempt, saying, "We have struck three blows at your airplanes in a single year" in a statement on a website.