December 28th, 2009
09:54 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 12/28/09

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/02/liveblogfinal.copy.jpg]

The Christmas Day averted terror incident on the Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Detroit. We're digging deeper into the suspect and his story, examining what went wrong with airport security, and checking in with how President Obama has handled the situation.

Want to know what else we're covering? Read EVENING BUZZ

Scroll down to join the live chat during the program. It's your chance to share your thoughts on tonight's headlines. Keep in mind, you have a better chance of having your comment get past our moderators if you follow our rules.

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Filed under: Live Blog • T1
soundoff (177 Responses)
  1. Casey Jones - Palm Springs, CA

    In Amsterdam (airport security in June 2007) there were very long lines waiting for passport checks but individual security checks at the gate were a breeze. I don't recall having to remove my shoes either and thought that was rather odd and rnow emember thinking how liberal the security people were. I never gave it much thought until now. I do recall my first impression as our coach pulled-up to the terminal–I had never seen so many military-looking people standing curbside with visible weapons. It was like a fortress. Hmm (thinking).

    December 28, 2009 at 10:32 pm |

    I am very surpries cos i am a Nigeria, Nigerians are not terrorist we are a loving and paceful nation even if we have bad leaders we are a people of good heart, I for one and millions of Nigeria are very disappoint with our brother , friend and fellow citizen for putting our nation into dis dirty mess and for wanting to take the lives of innocent people.

    December 28, 2009 at 10:32 pm |
  3. Isabel Siaba (Brazil)

    @ David, Indiana

    I have a friend who has a hip prosthesis, (a piece of titanium) he told me that not all airports in the world that the scanner complains it.

    December 28, 2009 at 10:31 pm |
  4. James

    Hi Erica. I watch your shows often. Congratulations. Has anyone considered putting two people at the end of each passenger and baggage screening line. These two people stand on either side of each passenger just before they pick up their personal effects and carry on baggage. They then pat each person down as they pass through. This is a low cost way to improve security and can be immediately put into effect.

    December 28, 2009 at 10:31 pm |
  5. Ely Alejandro Pineda, CA

    just a though, airplanes seats should have the ability to blue tooth any messages to air marshall of any suspesious person. The comfort of flying and reporting unnominous. airplane social network

    December 28, 2009 at 10:31 pm |
  6. Brian

    It's called terrorism because it spreads fear. President Obama has handled this quite well...he's said little.

    December 28, 2009 at 10:30 pm |
  7. Frank

    @Juliette... At what point does it stop???? You would rather increase the chance that a killer can gain access to our airliners to a full body x-ray? Really?

    You want to take my x-ray image.... let me know when to smile!

    December 28, 2009 at 10:30 pm |
  8. d. smith

    There has been alot a talk on the news about body scanners, the only way this man whould have been place in a body scanner is, if the airline he was flying on had flagged his ticket, or if he got picked at randoom. The airline missed the signs, the ticket should have been flagged. We can only do our job if everyone else does theirs. This was not TSA's fault.

    December 28, 2009 at 10:30 pm |
  9. Emily

    It's the Holiday season....this is one place (airports) where I would think that they would NOT allow their top staff to take their holidays like most as there are so many traveling, etc!

    They NEED their TOP security, pilots, etc working!

    December 28, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  10. ms georgia

    Lanre, why shouldn't the Nigerian government be held responsible. He went thru security oversees not in the USA.

    December 28, 2009 at 10:28 pm |
  11. Lori

    Hi Erica, Randi, 360, and everyone!

    I know someone who traveled with a pot of chili in her purse on a plane from Washington state to California for Thanksgiving.

    December 28, 2009 at 10:28 pm |
  12. Meghan- Detroit, Mi

    thank goodness everyone is okay.

    December 28, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  13. William

    If I was the FBI I would be on a flight to Amsterdam right away and escalating the investigation.

    December 28, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  14. Jane - Vt

    Unbelievable that they let him on without a passport.

    December 28, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  15. A. Smith, Oregon

    Thank you Erica for bringing on Kurt Haskell describing what sounds like a Pakistani ISI agent that was acting as the bombers handler.

    December 28, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  16. charlie

    That story about not having a passport is just ridiculous. It would be the height of incompetence for a terrorist to travel without a valid passport.

    December 28, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  17. starr, formerly known as vincent

    @Cynthia, NC – i agree. Even before the bombing of the Cole, Yemen was a well known country for radicals.

    I suspect that our Gov. has been paying attention to Yemen, but not broadcasting it.

    December 28, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  18. Helen

    As soon as tho new machines detect bomb in the undewear. The terrosist will come up with something new. They might develop underwear made completely of bomb materials. Intelligence is the key. We cannot invade every country.

    December 28, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  19. Megan Dresslar - Shoreline, WA

    Actually, There is no list named terrorist yet, I think White House will have change their policy list names on the plane. And thanks.

    December 28, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  20. David, Indiana

    @Isabel, I agree the rigorousness of the screening affect the safety of us all.

    Not to be rude, but I would imagine the crotch area is where an explosive device would be hidden, so it doesn't make any sense to blur that area out. Don't they have an adjustment on the scanner that allows them to look at every inch of each passengers body?

    December 28, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  21. Kristin

    Why must the government insist that we need to know EVERYTHING surrounding this attempted terrorist attack or other attacks on our nation for that matter? Yes, we most definitely need to be made aware of what's going on in our country, so that we can be as safe as possible (without having to live in fear). But why do we need to know how the bombs were made and where they were hidden? All of this extra info should not be disclosed to the public. That is, unless they are giving other would-be terrorists instructions on how to attack our country. For our nation to be the most powerful, I must say that we are, by far, the dumbest.

    December 28, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  22. Fletcher Holt

    Should all international transiting passengers be required to go through security screening again?

    Should we have TSA representatives present at foreign airports to supervise all security procedures for flights to the U.S.?

    Corruption. It's a fact that it is widespread in Nigeria at all levels. Could this have played a role in allowing him to board in Lagos or Amsterdam?

    December 28, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  23. Emily


    "The flightpath of NW253 was over Canada for a long time before the approach into Detroit. Had the bomber succeeded the aircraft might have been destroyed over Canada. Little mention has been made of this aspect of the incident."

    This is true...sounds like he could have done a lot of damage! and that is what he was looking for, as he did not want to do this over the water; he wanted the plane to be found.

    If he was "working" with others, I sure hope that it's found out who!

    December 28, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  24. Chris Ugwualor

    While we NIgerians are ashamed at this latest effort by "our national" to tarnish our already battered image, we take solace in the knowledge that his family did all in their power to alert relevant authorities early enough. And that his "radicalization" happened elsewhere and not in Nigeria (given that he lived most of his life outside the shores of Nigeria). In fact he is a Nigerian-In-Name-Only (NINO).

    December 28, 2009 at 10:23 pm |
  25. Juliette

    Re: these body scanners – these are invading our rights to the ultimate extent. At what point does it stop?

    December 28, 2009 at 10:23 pm |
  26. pattyanna from mass.

    erica, you always do a good job!! love anderson also....

    December 28, 2009 at 10:23 pm |
  27. Kat Hummel - Orlando, FL

    This guy was on a terrorist watch list?! Well, I'd be trying to find someone responsible for allowing me to board a plane with a potential terrorist if I was a passenger on that plane.

    Why are we not aware of this so-called list? We can track sex offenders and avoid certain neighborhoods through websites, but we can't be aware of TERRORISTS? There are more than 500,000 on that list and we never have a right to know if we are putting lives at risk, possibly?

    If you were told that a person on the terrorist watch list was boarding the same plane as you, would you board? Probably not. So, why is this list not public? To protect the airline/travel/tourist industry? To shelter us in order to make us feel safe while we just continue to live freely among potential terrorists?

    December 28, 2009 at 10:23 pm |
  28. Lanre

    The Nigerian Authorities should not be blamed for the lapses in US security operations.The suspect did not board an American Airline in Lagos.The suspect Boarded the Airline in Amsterdam,where in all likelyhood he picked up the bomb.Unless there is cooperation between nations,Rich and Poor.The terrorists will continue to be atreat to all of us.

    December 28, 2009 at 10:23 pm |
  29. yebi

    how did he get visa to usa?
    thats crazy..... did he get any help in the embassy and airport???

    December 28, 2009 at 10:22 pm |
  30. albert ang(singapore)

    v never learnt do v?- v hv the shoe bomber n now "underwear", what next? – perhaps "cavity"
    the US just hv to be vigilant at all times

    December 28, 2009 at 10:22 pm |
  31. Dulcie - Denver

    I know that the one time I ended up buying a one-way ticket, it was in San Francisco and I was subjected to separate screenings every step of the way. That said, if I'd had a bomb in my underwear, they wouldn't have found it.

    December 28, 2009 at 10:22 pm |
  32. Shawn

    I believe that only domestic airlines should be able to carry passengers into the US. They could have heightened security measures in their foreign offices, perhaps with gov't help, and thoroughly screen passengers bound for the US. That way, everyone involved has a vested interest in US safety.

    December 28, 2009 at 10:22 pm |
  33. Megan Dresslar - Shoreline, WA

    Gady Mayen – Hamilton, Canada
    Yes, Absolutely right, it is attempted to fail and now failed blow up.

    December 28, 2009 at 10:21 pm |
  34. Isabel Siaba (Brazil)

    @ David, Indiana

    Unfortunately the Christmas period was not the more peaceful in the world. Conflicts and fears that worry us!

    December 28, 2009 at 10:21 pm |
  35. ms georgia

    Why isn't anyone focusing on the Nigerian security who let him on the plane in the first place?

    December 28, 2009 at 10:21 pm |
  36. Cynthia, NC

    Yemen has been a concern and continues to be one.

    December 28, 2009 at 10:21 pm |
  37. Marcia Greenfield

    How and who gave the bomber the seat assignment of 19C?
    Do we have subversive workers within our airlines who
    are directly involved in this? We need to explore this situation

    December 28, 2009 at 10:21 pm |
  38. Casey Jones - Palm Springs, CA

    "Rather than proving they (travelers entering the U.S. from abroad) are a threat, they need to prove they aren't."

    Absolutely right, Mike.

    December 28, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  39. A. Smith, Oregon

    Backscatter Xray machines wouldn't be medically ethical to cattle car scan thousands of children and young women routinely as airport passengers. And yet unless you can image the person's organs, some Muslim surgeon could implant explosives inside a Muslim bomber which would otherwise be undetectable.

    December 28, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  40. pattyanna

    why is the security so laxed in amsterdam? security should be international and more secure

    December 28, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  41. Casey Jones - Palm Springs, CA

    Given all the "hints," cash purchase of a one-way ticket and no personal information, I'm totally surprised this guy didin't have a red flag on his record for close scrutiny at the first AND second airports!! COME ON!!!!

    I don't need to have my "privates" blocked from screening–WE NEED COMPLETE BODY SCANNING, period.

    December 28, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  42. Jerry Bold

    If it were not for the heros on the plane it would have blown up with loss of life. None of the security measures worked regardless of what Napalitano and the Presidnt say. We all should be thankful that the passengers took action. It is obvious we must use racial profiling.

    December 28, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  43. marcia berens

    About a month ago we heard that the TSA safety manual was compromised and was on the web for all to see. Is this not pertinent to any of the recent incidents. I have heard no mention of it on any news coverage.

    December 28, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  44. Ada

    Coming from AlQaeda anything is possible ! I do belive there will be more! When are we really waking up!

    December 28, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  45. Nick Easton

    One thing we and our goverment must realize is that these extreme terrorist will stop at nothing to kill Americans. It is just a matter of time before they use the cavitiesof their own bodies to ignite a bomb on an aircraft. They are not afraid of death. What can we do to stop such insanity.

    December 28, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  46. Cherie

    I'll be interested to see the segment on what could have happened if the attack had succeeded since I live in the Detroit area. What I haven't heard ANYONE talk about is what could have happened if that bomb had gone off while the plane was over the metro Detroit area. Never before in all my life have I paid so much attention to airplanes making their final approach to DTW.

    December 28, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  47. jack bauer

    Anyone else think we need to interrogate the suspect? Do what is necessary to save American lives.

    December 28, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  48. Emily


    Hope that you had a great holiday.... I think that it was great that his father took that initiative to do so....I wonder what if any changes will be made to the lists.

    December 28, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  49. Mike formerly from Syracuse

    Entering the US should be an exception, not the rule for people from high risk areas. Rather than proving they are a threat, they need to prove they aren't.

    December 28, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  50. Ely Alejandro Pineda, south bay area

    What is the Yemen Government goin to do, now that Al Qaeda is operating in there country.

    December 28, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
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