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December 29th, 2009
07:54 PM ET

Evening Buzz: "Systemic Failure" in U.S. Security

Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab is accused of trying to blow up an airliner as it was landing in Detroit on Christmas.

Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab is accused of trying to blow up an airliner as it was landing in Detroit on Christmas.

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

Pres. Obama said today a "systemic failure" is to blame for the attempted bombing of a jetliner as it was landing in Detroit on Christmas Day.

"I consider that totally unacceptable," he added.

"There were bits of information available within the intelligence community that could have and should have been pieced together. We've achieved much since 9/11 in terms of collecting information, but it's becoming clear that the system that has been in place for years now is not sufficiently up to date to take full advantage of the information we collect and the knowledge we have," Pres. Obama told reporters while on vacation in Hawaii.

As for those "bits of information", a reliable source told CNN's Jeanne Meserve that the father of suspected bomber Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab talked about his son's extremist views with someone from the CIA and a report was prepared, but the report was not passed along to other agencies.

We'll have the latest developments tonight on 360°.

We're also tracking new details on AbdulMutallab that have emerged from online postings he made on http://www.gawahar.com, under the name Farouk1986 – apparently a combination of his name and year of birth.

The 23-year-old Nigerian writes on the site about feelings of loneliness and the struggles he faces as a Muslim in a secular world.

In a 2005 posting, Farouk1986 mentioned that "loneliness leads me to other problems."

Join us for this story and much more starting at 10 p.m. ET on CNN. See you then.


Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. Joe Worral

    Occam's razer states that the simplest explanation tends to be the correct one. That said, if the CIA knew that this person was a substantial terrorist threat and did not act- it is plausible that it's not because the CIA failed to act but rather chose not to. This is not a revolutionary idea- remember Pear Harbor? What better way for the CIA to remain relevant than to escalate their perceived need.

    December 30, 2009 at 8:01 am |
  2. John J

    All this talk about high tech body scans and everything, why not just keep it simple and use dogs to detect explosives before passengers board the planes?

    December 30, 2009 at 7:25 am |
  3. Marcelo

    people saying that the airport scanning is a "personal privacy issue" is a good reason why NOT to have the scanners there, because you can practically see everyone naked, but i personally would choose safety over a personal privacy privacy issue, because i would rather be safe and secure rather then have that slight chance of a U.S. plane bombing. The fact of the matter is that some people like them and some people don't, maybe the american people should be able to choose between the scanners or a body search, or possibly have two different planes going to the same destination. (one full of passengers who were scanned and the other with passengers who refused to be scanned)

    December 30, 2009 at 2:04 am |
  4. Gary

    How is the United States going to give finacial aid to Yemen when your finances are so out of control?? If China ever decides to call in any of their loans Yemen will be bigger than the United States. How many trillions of dollars does it take for this government to stop the madness. Have you ever thought that not every country in the world wants the same way of life that you portray?? Your own citizens can't get along with each other, clean up your own backyard first!!!

    December 30, 2009 at 1:38 am |
  5. keith

    There's way too much crosstalk & pondering regarding this issue.
    Keep it simple:

    The system worked, to a point, then mysteriously stopped, WITHIN the CIA.

    -The suspect's father reported to the US embassy that his son has became radicalized & obviously poses a possible security threat

    -The CIA station agent did his/her job & transmitted the information to the CIA.

    Who cares whether or not 10 other agencies were notified!

    It's obvious that "some individual" within the CIA neglected (or purposefully failed) to report this to the necessary chain of command.

    We don't need to "connect any dots!" The suspect's father did that by going to the US embassy! ONE DOT

    It's clear: Father reports radical son> CIA noitified > then what?

    December 30, 2009 at 1:28 am |
  6. Gary

    Why would you expect the CIA to share any information with other law enforcement agencies, they are a covert operation. The CIA or the FBI don't even share information between their own agencies or local law enforcement. To the CIA and FBI It's all about who catches the suspect, first!! Meanwhile the American public remains at risk. Don't forget the FBI and the CIA are run by government officials, most of whom could not get a job in the real world.

    December 30, 2009 at 1:23 am |
  7. Nancy Keithley

    While Capt. Sullenberger saved a planeload of passengers, he was trained for this as his profession. I feel that Jasper Schuringa deserves an even higher "hero" designation for saving a planeload of passengers with his clear, quick thinking and brave actions with no regard for his personal safety.

    December 30, 2009 at 1:09 am |
  8. nea

    People need to stop trying to make this a political issue Republicans you cant just blame this on the Current Administration when it comes to our security we all have to take responsibility just like the guy did that help take the guy down. If the truth be told no one can gurantee 100% safety every time only GOD can keep us safe, so we need to stop with the bickering in trying to score political points. Because Do you really believe an Terroists cares if you are a Republican or Democrat.

    December 29, 2009 at 11:31 pm |
  9. Jen

    This incident should come as no surprise. Having been a resident of NYC on 9-11, I wtinessed Dubya promising the world that he would get Osama bin Laden and curb US immigration loopholes that allowed those terrorists to be successful.......8 years later he did neither and didn't even come close or try. Our current prez and administration has their hands full, but I do trust Obama yet again to clean up and make sense of this mess left as well.

    December 29, 2009 at 11:26 pm |
  10. Chops

    Rather Sad state of affairs that firstly, Amsterdam failed to carry out a proper search prior his boarding for reasons of 'privacy matter' then all this drama about missing 'Intel' which is not passed on. What's the use of having so many agencies like FBI, CIA when there is no system of exchanging 'Intel' with each other.... And this is not the first lapse..

    December 29, 2009 at 11:23 pm |
  11. Nate

    This incident just makes me think that Obama is too much like Bush. Sending more troops to Afghanistan has increased recruiting for terrorists. I'm beginning to wonder if Obama learned anything from the Hawk bush's mistakes.
    Nate
    from mass

    December 29, 2009 at 11:18 pm |
  12. Bonnie

    Yet it seems that our agencies still arenot sharing information with each other. After 911 this was supposed to have stopped.

    December 29, 2009 at 11:15 pm |
  13. Kim

    If the US is now talking about air strikes on Yemen, how do I know that the strikes will not be near my cousin that is doing mission work in Yemen?

    December 29, 2009 at 11:14 pm |
  14. Omar Haleem

    Why when his dad spoke to the CIA was'nt he tagged?.. It may have been prevented..can't believe he had explosives in his underwear:(..

    December 29, 2009 at 10:43 pm |
  15. bill

    1. do not close Gitmo
    2. do not treat terrorists as common criminals
    3. waterboard this new agent of terror against the US for more info
    4. quit staring at our national navel and address the real terror issue
    5. dump janet n., she has no clue

    December 29, 2009 at 10:36 pm |
  16. jordan

    with today's technology, why can't us on the ground see what's going on in the sky. like some sort of "air security"

    December 29, 2009 at 10:28 pm |
  17. Ed

    I agree with Kelly. On larry King live the one passenger said , Schipol let them thru with water and that their measures are less than ours... What are they hiding.? Fran Townsend was part of the apparatus during the Bush Years. It seems that the terrorists try to strike during the first year of an administration. I have to hand it to Bush, even though Im a democrat, he did go after them, its just a shame he didnt finished them off tho

    December 29, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  18. Donald

    It seems that it was partially Amsterdam's fault.

    December 29, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  19. Cecil

    Until we Americans admit that the terriorist are dedicated in their desire to murder us all, we will not win this war. Americans must demand that our government take all means to protect us. Terriorist do not deserve the consideration that we give criminals in our courts.

    December 29, 2009 at 9:45 pm |
  20. Dan, Denver, CO

    This is not a political issue (as I hear many politicians trying to blame the govt or each other!).

    This is a cultural issue – a Washington, government culture issue.

    One of the #1 job requirements when anyone is hired, be it in the State Dept, or Homeland Security, or CIA should be information dissemination, communication and information analysis.

    No computer can do that – people in government need to take responsibility. Knowledge is a virtue, but in politics, as is in the industry, information is power!

    December 29, 2009 at 9:44 pm |
  21. Kelly

    Can anyone shed some light on why the airport in Amsterdam has not made a statement on this? After all, it was their security who let the man thru. Perhaps becuase it was a US airline, the fault lies with them, but I would think Schiphol Intl.would at least make some sort of statement about all this. Strange that they haven't, unless they have something to hide.

    December 29, 2009 at 9:33 pm |
  22. Shaffer

    It is nothing but pure hypocrisy to claim that airport scanning is a "personal privacy" issue – when partial and total nudity is accepted and available for anytime viewing on TV, film, and the Internet by adults and unfortunately, our children – and no one is objecting to that. Instead, the public's right to safety is being violated.

    The U.S. should do 100% scanning of luggage, passengers,and crews using public transportation. As it stands, passengers must disrobe before getting to board a plane, then deal with on-board safety situations. And it's our tax money paying for the air marshals and TSA.

    December 29, 2009 at 8:50 pm |
  23. Tim Gibson

    Loneliness is not a road to terrorism on the norm. This person is beyond the norm and as with the actions against the US by those who wish to bring us harm and death, our congress and leadership fails as they have failed with our economy and recovery from their own gross errors.

    How many people have to die before our leadership steps up to the plate and stops playing like school children on the playground. This is real, it is a danger and as long as our leadership fails to address the problem head on, we are all in danger.

    December 29, 2009 at 8:50 pm |