Obama Learned of Terror Threat Late Last Night

President Barack Obama is briefed by members of his national security team in the Situation Room of the White House, Oct. 29, 2010. Pete Souza/White House

President Barack Obama is briefed by members of his national security team in the Situation Room of the White House, Oct. 29, 2010.
Pete Souza/White House
The White House has released a statement on reports of suspicious packages on U.S.-bound airplanes and trucks, saying that President Obama was told of "a potential terrorist threat" late Thursday night.

"The President was notified of a potential terrorist threat on Thursday night at 10:35, by John Brennan, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counter-terrorism," press secretary Robert Gibbs said in a statement.

He continued: "The President directed U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies, and the Department of Homeland Security, to take steps to ensure the safety and security of the American people, and to determine whether these threats are a part of any additional terrorist plotting. The President has received regular updates from his national security team since he was alerted to the threat."

The statement also says that intelligence and law enforcement discovered possible suspicious packages on two U.S.-bound airplanes last night.

"Based on close cooperation among U.S. government agencies and with our foreign allies and partners, authorities were able to identify and examine two suspicious packages, one in East Midlands, United Kingdom and one in Dubai. Both of these packages originated from Yemen," it says. "As a result of security precautions triggered by this threat, the additional measures were taken regarding the flights at Newark Liberty and Philadelphia International Airports."

CBS News Senior White House correspondent Bill Plante reports that there are not currently plans to cancel the president's trip to Charlottesville later today to campaign for Rep. Tom Perriello.

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Brian Montopoli is a political reporter for CBSNews.com. You can read more of his posts here. Follow Hotsheet on Facebook and Twitter.

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