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December 30th, 2009
03:42 PM ET

Napolitano: U.S. will 'find and fix' system's vulnerabilities

Janet Napolitano
Secretary of Homeland Security

Friday's attempted terrorist attack against Northwest Flight 253 near Detroit is a powerful illustration that terrorists will go to great lengths to try to defeat the security measures that have been put in place since September 11, 2001.

While we took swift action immediately following last week's incident at airports around the country and throughout the world, our defenses should never have allowed this individual to board a plane bound for the United States. The administration is determined to find and fix the vulnerabilities in our systems that allowed this breach to happen.

President Obama has ordered, and the Department of Homeland Security and our partners throughout the federal government have begun, immediate reviews of our watch list and screening procedures that have been in place for a number of years to determine why this individual was cleared to board the flight in Amsterdam, and why overseas screening did not discover the explosives hidden on his body.

We have also instituted enhanced security procedures for both domestic and international flights, including enhanced inspections at security checkpoints and increased pat-downs, bag searches, explosive detection canine teams, air marshals, behavioral detection officers and other measures, both seen and unseen.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Airline Safety • Terrorism
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. debinaz

    first of all janet n is in no way qualified for this position/ but she need not come back to arizona for any position as we dont want her here/ her spending tactics has put a big debt on the state of arizona/ but then she fits perfectly with things in washington/ my question is why the president of the united states takes more than 72 hours to address this nation? maybe is speach writer was on vacation.. well i no who doesnt answer the phone at 3 am. this is the weakest president that i have ever seen.. gives a great speech, if you enjoy listening to the lies coming out of his mouth. he hasnt accomplished anythng in the first year of office....just strikes me funny that the main stream media makes no light of this

    December 31, 2009 at 12:27 am |
  2. K Hillman

    Clearly, there's alot of pigs at the trough in Homeland Security making alot of money they do not deserve but are more than happy to collect. The optics on this are horrendous and the used car sales people ( like Napolitano) in Washington will have a hard time explaining the BS away

    December 30, 2009 at 11:27 pm |
  3. Mike Borrelli, Florida

    There's an old saying that fits here, Janet Napolitano "talk is cheap".
    Action speaks louder than words. I would bet that nothing will be done and the next time we will hear the same thing, we will find the problem and fix it, just like after 9/11. We obviously cannot count on our goverment to protect us, this is plain to see. Just keep taking our taxes and give it to the banks and auto makers and give the federal employees raises, hell we dont need it , we dont mind losing our homes or eating less or walking to work because we cant afford the gas, after all we have to get to work so the goverment can take their cut before we even get ours. Oh, and I am sure all the people on social security dont mind not getting the cost of living raise for the next two years, after all it was more important to give the federal employees their raise as they are underpaid I'm sure!

    December 30, 2009 at 11:15 pm |
  4. felix

    There is no reason to blame the dhs for the events of dec 25th. The holland authorities are responsible for this. Americans need to reachout to all nations and limit their domineering belief. The cia failed in reporting the clues they got.

    December 30, 2009 at 10:42 pm |
  5. nea

    Here we go with the crticism i sure hope thats not all some do in a days time is spur negativity. All i can say THANK GOD FOR President Obama And his Administration with all the critcism thats going on against him and his Administration now i know we have the right person as President.

    December 30, 2009 at 10:00 pm |
  6. alfie

    Is it just me who noticed? The Northwestern flight terrorist tried to detonate his explosive at 12:25 ON 12/25. Need we fear every date that is significant to Americans? 01-01-10 for instance?

    December 30, 2009 at 9:03 pm |
  7. steve- virginia beach, va

    I thought these "immediate reviews" are supposed to have started the moment Obama and Napolitano took office. Then 24/7 thereafter. What's going on sounds like the mentality that failed to prevent the Pearl Harbor. Is this the change we can believe in?

    December 30, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  8. Lisa in CA

    I understand that our intelligence once again failed (remember, these are the same policies that Bush instituted - Obama kept them) but why isn't anyone saying anything about the Danish failure to properly screen passengers? Are we really to expect that our government can control what other governments choose to implement? Talk about Imperialism ...

    December 30, 2009 at 5:55 pm |
  9. Curtis

    It is amazing to me that ordinary Americans foiled the plot to blow up that plane not the government. It is obvious that the American people really still run this country always correcting the mistakes that the government makes. When will they learn that they really do not fool us. The government was founded to protect this country and if they can't do that how can they fix health care. It's time they stop telling us what they think we want to hear.

    December 30, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  10. Sunday A.

    The bomber suspect posted some messages on the internet which shows that his parent were not there for him when he needed them most.
    The guy is 23yr old. the messages were posted in 1996 the guy was a young boy. i think his parent should be accuse of BAD PARENTING.
    Money is not all a child need, children need parents' attention. he was sent to private schools all alone. i think parents should learn something from this

    December 30, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  11. Tim Gibson

    The fact that a review of our security is called for in the wake of 9/11 is an outrage to say the least and now we are to depend upon the hollow words of Obama who as to date has not taken a firm stand on any single issue, including those his platform for election were based upon.

    December 30, 2009 at 3:58 pm |

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