Security officials flagged the name of the airline bombing suspect for extra screening after he was already in the air, U.S. officials said today, as President Barack Obama got ready to outline government missteps in the nearcatastrophe and order fixes. The White House was to make public a declassified account of how a suspected terrorist slipped through post-Sept. 11 security to board the plane with an explosive. Obama's national security adviser said that people who read the report will feel a "certain shock" about all the missed warning signs. Obama was to address the nation about the findings this afternoon. A government official said the president will order U.S. agencies to move faster and more accurately in adding suspects to a watch list designed to stop terrorists before they strike. This would mean that individuals, like the suspect in the attempted bombing of a Detroitbound airplane, with potential ties to terrorist organizations or violent extremists, would be included in the watch list more rapidly. The government's much smaller "no-fly" list is drawn from the most worrisome names on the watch list. It was expected that building up the lists would require additional resources. The official, who is familiar with the president's strategy, was not authorized to speak publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity. Obama's remarks today follow a promise earlier in the week to reveal new steps to thwart future terror plots. No f i r i n g s o v e r t h e December security debacle are expected — for now, at least. In an interview published this morning by USA Today, national security adviser Gen. James Jones said people who read the report will "be surprised that these correlations weren't made" between clues pointing toward a threat f r o m U m a r F a r o u k Abdulmutallab. Even though the 23-year-old Nigerian man was in a database of possible terrorists, he allegedly managed to f ly f rom Niger i a through Amsterdam to Detroit with an explosive concealed on his body. Administration officials say t h e y h a d f l a g g e d Abdulmutallab as someone who should go through additional security screening upon landing. In a statement early this, the department said the alleged bomber's potential ties to extremists came up in a routine check of passengers en route to the U.S. from overseas — and not because of any suddenly gathered intelligence that emerged during the flight.
Obama orders changes after foul-ups
Published: Thursday, January 7th, 2010
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