American agencies probing the bombing attempt onboard a US plane have found “some linkage” between al Qaeda and the Nigerian suspect even as officials conceded they had bits and pieces of information in advance of the incident.
“Some of the new information that we have developed overnight does suggest that there was some linkage there,” a senior Administration official said when asked about al Qaeda claiming responsibility for the failed December 25 attack.
Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama, who earlier said that a “systemic failure” had occurred in the intelligence network, which was “unacceptable” held a secure conference call with National Security Advisor General James Jones and other top security officials on Wednesday.
Mr. Obama, who is on a vacation in Hawaii, was briefed about the fresh information gathered by the US intelligence.
“It is now clear to us that there are bits and pieces of information that were in the possession of the US government in advance of the attempted Christmas Day attack that had they been assessed and correlated could have led to a much broader picture,” the senior Administration official said.
He said better correlation would have “allowed us to disrupt the attack or certainly to know much more about the alleged attacker in such a way as to ensure that he was on, as the President suggested in his statement, a no-fly list,” the official said.