Digital News Report – The Obama Administration does not want to see a repeat of the Christmas Day attempted bombing of a Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Detroit. On Tuesday the President said there was an urgency to get this right (see video below).
After Nigerian born Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab allegedly tried to bring down the plane last month, President Obama ordered two reviews to improve security. “Elements of our intelligence community knew that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab had traveled to Yemen and joined up with extremists there,” the President said today. “It now turns out that our intelligence community knew of other red flags”.
The intelligence community was aware that Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula was planning something in the United States. “And we had information that this group was working with an individual who was known — who we now know was in fact the individual involved in the Christmas attack,” the President said.
The intelligence community did not fail to collect the intelligence, they failed to integrate and understand it. President Obama said “Agencies and analysts who needed it had access to it.” There will be changes.
Here are some changes since the Christmas Day attack:
1) New airport screening and security measures.
2) More air marshals
3) More cooperation with international partners
4) More explosive detection teams
5) Update of the terror watch-list system
6) Embassies and consulates will now include current visa information in their warning on individuals with suspected terrorist affiliations.
There will also be some changes at the TSA (Transportation Security Administration). The TSA is “requiring enhanced screening for passengers flying into the United States from, or flying through, nations on our list of state sponsors of terrorism, or other countries of interest.”
Although Abdulmutallab’s name was already in a huge U.S. database of about 550,000 terror suspects, the watch list has been expanded to include even more people.
The President concluded by saying: “In short, we need our intelligence, homeland security and law enforcement systems — and the people in them — to be accountable and to work as intended: collecting, sharing, integrating, analyzing, and acting on intelligence as quickly and effectively as possible to save innocent lives — not just most of the time, but all the time. That’s what the American people deserve. As President, that’s exactly what I will demand.”
By: Tim Edwards