The State Department says counterterrorism agencies were warned that the Nigerian man who allegedly tried to blow up an airliner Christmas Day may be under extremists’ influence.
State Department spokesman Ian Kelly says it was up to the National Counterterrorism Center to coordinate the interagency effort that would have blocked 23-year-old Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab from entering the U.S. He says U.S. counterterror agencies received the information on Nov. 20, a day after it was provided by the father, but it was not enough to revoke the visa.
Kelly says officials get thousands of negative messages about people that are not always accurate.
He says Abdulmutallab got the two-year tourist visa in 2008 because he had money, was attending a reputable school and had visited the U.S. before.
After a sleepless, overnight flight to Oslo to accept the Nobel Peace Prize earlier this month, President Barack Obama made a not altogether surprising admission. He was tired.
Who could blame him? The president was on his ninth foreign trip to his 21st country; he added a 10th trip the following week. The year had been bookended by the two most intense periods of his young presidency — the early decisions to bail out the nation’s banks and automobile industry, steps the president deemed unpopular but necessary, and his December orders to deploy 30,000 additional U.S. troops to fight the war in Afghanistan.
President Barack Obama has ordered a review of how U.S. intelligence organizations keep the skies safe — or don’t, as demonstrated by a failed Christmas Day attack on a Detroit-bound flight from Amsterdam.
Obama has not yet tapped someone to head the multi-agency probe, but White House officials acknowledge the recent incident involving a 23-year-old Nigerian with alleged ties to terrorists has made clear there are plenty of failed areas to examine. The suspect, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, was on one advisory list, but never caught the attention of U.S. counter terrorist screeners despite his father’s warnings to U.S. Embassy officials in Nigeria last month.
An alleged attempt to blow up a transatlantic flight from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas would be all-consuming for the administrator of the Transportation Security Administration — if there were one.
While most of the federal government was shut down by a snowstorm last week, there was one person in particular whom Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton called in through the cold: Japanese Ambassador Ichiro Fujisaki.
The Census Bureau gave political junkies a gift last week with the release of its latest population estimates, data that give very good indications of which states are set to gain congressional seats and which will lose them in the 2011 redistricting process.
CHICAGO — Soon after Arne Duncan left his job as schools chief here to become one of the most powerful U.S. education secretaries ever, his former students sat for federal achievement tests. This month, the mathematics report card was delivered: Chicago trailed several cities in performance and …