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Updated: January 7, 2010 09:53 IST

Christmas Day bombing review report to be released tomorrow

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White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs during a daily briefing in Washington. Initial report on the review of intelligence lapse, security screening and terror-watch list would be released on Friday. File Photo: AP
AP White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs during a daily briefing in Washington. Initial report on the review of intelligence lapse, security screening and terror-watch list would be released on Friday. File Photo: AP

U.S. President Barack Obama is expected to announce some more steps on strengthening of security measures in view of the failed December 25 bombing by an Al Qaeda operative Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a Nigerian national

Initial report on the review of intelligence lapse, security screening and terror-watch list ordered by US President Barack Obama after the botched Al Qaeda attempt to blow up a US plane on Christmas Day would be released tomorrow, the White House said on Thursday.

“It would be the unclassified version of the report, which would be submitted to Mr. Obama by John Brennan, Deputy National Security Advisor,” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters.

Mr. Obama, in a statement, thereafter is expected to announce some more steps on strengthening of security measures in view of the failed December 25 bombing by an Al Qaeda operative Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a Nigerian national.

Indicted

Abdulmutallab on Wednesday was indicted before a federal grand jury on six count of attempt to blow up a US plane.

“The review will simply identify and make recommendations as to what was lacking and what needs to be strengthened. The review process will be a dynamic one where the President and John will continue to ensure that agencies are implementing their plans for correcting what was identified in each of those reviews,” Mr. Gibbs said.

Referring to the Situation Room meeting convened by Mr. Obama Tuesday, he said: “In yesterday’s meeting, each agency and department took responsibility for their aspect of that systemic failure, and each outlined what they had identified as initial shortcomings and ideas for changing those.

“The President would be anxious to watch that, and John will watch that and follow up with each of those agencies as this transpires.”

Soon after, Mr. Obama in his brief address to the press at the White House had publicly pulled up the intelligence agencies for the December 25 incident.

He said that the intelligence agencies had the information about the Al Qaeda effort, but failed to connect the dots.

This would not be tolerated, henceforth, the President said.

“President has been very candid about the fact that what we were in possession of in different places and what ultimately was not analyzed up through the chains in order to make the necessary connections to prevent and disrupt this from happening,” he said.

Message

“The sort of top-line message the President had was we understand this was a systemic failure; we understand that information we had in our possession, information that likely could have prevented or disrupted the incident on the 25th of December from happening,” he said.

“The President is anxious and did so yesterday for almost two hours with his national security and intelligence teams -- go through some questions about how we got to this point and, more importantly, the steps that we’re going to take going forward to prevent something like this, based on what we had, from happening again,” Mr. Gibbs said.

“President was very clear in his, say, 10-minute opening statement, that, to use his words, we screwed up; that something could -- this incident could have been a disaster; that that disaster was not averted, that that disaster was averted by the brave citizens on that plane, not because the system worked as it should have,” he said.

Mr. Obama did not find that acceptable, Mr. Gibbs said.

“He will not find finger-pointing among agencies to be something that he’ll tolerate. I think he was very clear about the expectations in our accepting responsibility for what has happened and fixing it going forward,” the spokesman said.

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