Wednesday, 30 December 2009

U.S. had early information of a terror plot

The United States government had intelligence about a possible Al Qaeda attack around the holidays and had more information about where the suspect had been and what some of his plans were, an official said.
Some of the information at the time was partial or incomplete and it was not obvious that it was connected, the official said, but in retrospect it now appears clear that had it all been examined together it would have pointed to a pending attack involving the Nigerian suspect, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. Mr. Abdulmutallab allegedly tried to carry out a bombing on a Detroit-bound flight Christmas Day.
The official said the administration is “increasingly confident” that Al Qaeda had a role in the planned attack, as the group’s Yemeni branch has publicly claimed.
President Obama alluded to the intelligence in a statement he issued Tuesday. “Had this critical information been shared, it could have been compiled with other intelligence and a fuller, clearer picture of the suspect would have emerged,” the president said. “The warning signs would have triggered red flags and the suspect would have never been allowed to board that plane for America.”
In his statament, Mr. Obama blamed a “systemic failure” in the nation’s security apparatus for the attempted bombing of a passenger jet on Christmas Day and vowed to identify the problems and “deal with them immediately...

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