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Package Bomb Was Minutes From Detonating

Air cargo planes in Dubai. Both package bombs transited through the transportation hub. KARIM SAHIB/AFP/Getty Images/AFP hide caption

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France's Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux told French television that one of the package bombs sent from Yemen was 17 minutes away from detonation when it was discovered. From the BBC:

"There were parcel bombs from Yemen heading for the United States, and I can tell you, for example, that one of these parcels was disarmed 17 minutes before the planned explosion," Mr Hortefeux said.

He did not say which of the two bombs he was referring to and the interviewer did not ask for more details.

Mr Hortefeux was speaking more generally of security threats facing France. He said two people had been arrested and were being questioned on suspicion of "preparing a terrorist act".

He said the two men arrested were brothers and French citizens. France has been under heightened security alerts for weeks because of threats against the country.

The bombs on the cargo planes were wired to cell phones, but with their SIM cards removed, implying they were to be detonated by a timer, not a phone call.