name='verify-v1'/>"> MediaTrial: Obama concedes ‘systemic failure’ in anti-terror protection

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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Obama concedes ‘systemic failure’ in anti-terror protection

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US President Barack Obama on Wednesday said that a “systemic failure” occurred in the intelligence network ahead of the thwarted attack on a US-bound flight from Amsterdam on Christmas Day.
“This is unacceptable,” he said and asked the authorities to submit to him a preliminary report on the failed attempt by a Nigerian national to blow up a North West Airlines plane on December 25.
“When our government has information on a known extremist and that information is not shared and acted upon as it should have been, so that this extremist boards a plane with dangerous explosives that could cost nearly 300 lives, a systemic failure has occurred,” Mr. Obama said.
“I consider that totally unacceptable,” said the US President in his remarks to the press at Hawaii, where he and his family are on year-end vacation.
Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab from Nigeria has been charged by the federal authorities with attempt to blow up the plane. Al-Qaeda has claimed responsibility for the attempted attack.

“The reviews I’ve ordered will surely tell us more. But what already is apparent is that there was a mix of human and systemic failures that contributed to this potential catastrophic breach of security.
We need to learn from this episode and act quickly to fix the flaws in our system, because our security is at stake and lives are at stake,” Mr. Obama said in his second statement on this issue in two consecutive days.
On Monday, Mr. Obama had issued instructions to review the terrorist watch list system and air travel screening.
On Tuesday, he issued guidelines for those reviews and directed that preliminary findings be provided to the White House by this Thursday.
“It’s essential that we diagnose the problems quickly and deal with them immediately,” Mr. Obama said.

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