The CIA knew?
President Obama said Tuesday that a "systemic failure" on multiple levels allowed a passenger armed with explosives to board a Detroit-bound flight last week.
The president, in his most extensive comments so far on what went wrong in the security process, said information about the terror suspect was not properly shared among intelligence agencies. He said that information, particularly a warning to authorities from the 23-year-old suspect's father in Nigeria, should have landed him on a no-fly list well before he boarded the Northwest Airlines flight in Amsterdam.
"The warning signs would have triggered red flags and the suspect would have never been allowed to board that plane for America," Obama said. "A systemic failure has occurred, and I consider that totally unacceptable."
Suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab has since been charged in connection with the failed plot.
There were a number of apparent warning signs before the attempt. Sources said he spent time in Yemen and may have been groomed for the mission. The suspect was on a terror database of more than a half-million people. He also reportedly paid for his airline ticket in cash and brought no check-in baggage with him. He ultimately cleared security at Amsterdam but the explosive mixture failed to properly detonate.
Obama said a mix of "human and systemic failures" contributed to what could have been a "catastrophic breach of security."
Later Tuesday, the CIA acknowledged that it had Abdulmutallab on its radar.
"We learned of Abdulmutallab in November, when his father came to the U.S. embassy in Nigeria and sought help in finding him," Paul Gimigliano, a CIA spokesman said. "We did not have his name before then. Also in November, we worked with the embassy to ensure he was in the government's terrorist database-including mention of his possible extremist connections in Yemen. We also forwarded key biographical information about him to the National Counterterrorism Center.
"This agency, like others in our government, is reviewing all data to which it had access-not just what we ourselves may have collected-to determine if more could have been done to stop Abdulmutallab."
Not bloody good enough. The terrorists only have to be right once. We have to be right all the time, and we almost screwed this up due to the utter incompetence int his administration. If this were Bush, the media would be screaming for heads on a platter. I'm not the first to call for that, but there needs to be a ton of heads that roll on this one. It should start with Panetta, and work it's way down.
We almost had a completely successful attack on America, and while it wouldn't have been a body count to rival 9-11, it still would've been a victory our enemies would've waved like a banner.