Obama Slams Intel Agencies for Christmas Day Attack Attempt
Posted on Jan 5, 2010
Barack Obama gave U.S. intelligence agencies the presidential equivalent of a knuckle-rapping Tuesday for their failure to connect the dots and nab Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab before a fellow passenger on Northwest Airlines Flight 253 was forced to foil his underwear bomb plot the old-fashioned way. —KA
The Washington Post:
President Obama rebuked the U.S. intelligence community Tuesday for a “potentially disastrous” failure to detect an airline bombing plot, saying it ignored various “red flags” and failed to pull together pieces of information it already had. He called the intelligence breakdown intolerable and vowed that “we will do better” in the future.
On his first full day back at the White House after an 11-day vacation in Hawaii, Obama briefly outlined preliminary findings in a review he has ordered of “human and systemic failures” that allegedly allowed a radicalized young Nigerian to smuggle explosive chemicals aboard a Northwest Airlines jet and attempt to bring it down as it approached Detroit on Christmas morning with nearly 300 passengers and crew.
Declaring that “the system has failed in a potentially disastrous way,” Obama said elements of the U.S. intelligence community knew that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab had traveled to Yemen and joined up with extremists there.
Watch Obama’s speech about the incident and its aftermath below:
Still image taken from The Washington Post’s video coverage of Tuesday’s speech.