The officials said the woman was detained as part of the manhunt as authorities search for a number of suspects believed to have used forged documents and ID cards that played a role in the plot that was thwarted Friday.
U.S. investigators have said the mail bombs were headed to two synagogues in Chicago, raising fears of a new al-Qaida campaign against Western targets. The Yemeni officials said the suspects were believed linked to the terror network's faction in Yemen.
Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh told reporters in the capital, San'a, that the United States and the United Arab Emirates had provided him with information that helped identify the woman as a suspect. He said security forces had surrounded a house that was believed to be holding the woman.
Two security officials later told The Associated Press the woman had been arrested, although they did not specify where she was detained.
One of the officials, who is a member of the country's anti-terrorism unit and is close to the Yemeni team probing the case, said the other suspects had been tied to al-Qaida's faction in Yemen.
Several U.S. officials also have they were increasingly confident that al-Qaida's Yemen branch, the group behind the failed Detroit airliner bombing last Christmas, was responsible for the plot.