Obama Moves Dozens of Names to No-Fly, Selectee Lists

January 5, 2010

(ChattahBox)—-As part of a continuing probe into intelligence failures that led to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab boarding an airliner on Christmas-day with an explosive sewn in his underwear, Obama made some changes to the terrorist watch lists. On Monday dozens of names were transferred from the unwieldy Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment list to the more heightened Transportation Security Administration’s no-fly list. The thwarted Christmas-day bomber was not on the no-fly list, despite various intelligence reports that should have raised red flags subjecting the Nigerian underwear bomber to greater scrutiny.

After a meeting with White House counterterrorism chief John Brennan, National Security Adviser James Jones and Deputy National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, an examination of “thousands upon thousands” of names from the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment list resulted in the shifting of dozens of individuals to the no-fly list. Abdulmutallab was placed on the low level Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment list in November, but that action didn’t prevent the would-be bomber from boarding a plane from Amsterdam bound for the United States and it did not result in greater security at the airport.

Intelligence, defense and law-enforcement agencies delivered reports to the White House Monday night on the “systemic” failures that failed to prevent the bombing attempt despite numerous red flags that a terror plot was in the works, by the al-Qaeda faction based in Yemen.

On Tuesday, Obama held a 90-minute meeting with all of his security heads and made a few brief televised remarks about the reports he had just received from his security advisers on the intelligence breach. Obama was clearly angry at the failures of our security agencies to properly evaluate and act upon intelligence relating to the Christmas-day bombing attempt. The reviews and recommendations from all security agencies will be delivered to Obama at the end of the week, when the President is expected to announce a series of new policy changes in the intelligence gathering process.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton defended her agency’s handling of the intelligence regarding the terror plot. Clinton said, the department “fully complied with the requirements set forth in the interagency process.” However, the Secretary of State acknowledged that she was not pleased with the end results. “We are not satisfied. We are conducting an internal review,” said Clinton.

Source: Wall Street Journal

Photo Source: U.S. Marshals Service via Getty Images


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