Obama seeks preliminary report on terror attempt by Dec 31

Last Updated: Wednesday, December 30, 2009 - 13:08

Washington: Acting tough, President Barack
Obama on Wednesday sought by December 31 a preliminary report on the
probe related to the botched al Qaeda attempt to blow up a US
plane and a review of all prior information potentially
relevant to it.

Hours after he expressed his disappointment over the
"systemic failure" in the intelligence network and termed it
"unacceptable," Obama signed two memorandums setting December
31 as the deadline for a preliminary investigation report into
the failed December 25 attack.

The notifications issued to the Secretary of State,
Defense Secretary, Attorney General, Energy Secretary and
Director of National Intelligence deal with "screening" of
passengers at the airports and the terror watch-list.

"All aspects of aviation screening technology and
procedures regarding domestic and international air travel
should be considered as part of this review," Obama said in
his notifications, according to the White House.

Obama also sought a review of the inventory of watch-list
files and an account of procedures and criteria followed for
listing or not listing individuals on the terror watch-list.

In his notification, he also sought review of inventory
of all intelligence or other information in US government
files that existed prior to and up through December 25,
relevant or potentially relevant to the alleged attempt and to
the accused Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.

Also to be included in the review is any prior
information indicating a plot to detonate an explosive device
onboard Northwest flight 253, and the date on which the
intelligence or other information was available.

In addition, Obama has also sought a written account of
how any such intelligence or other information was handled,
shared, and acted upon within individual departments and
agencies and what intelligence or other information was shared
with others.

The notification said the review should include a written
account of standards and processes for nominating, reviewing,
and approving or denying individuals for placement on the
Terrorist Watchlist, including a summary of how those
standards and processes have developed, or have been revised,
since 2001.

"This review shall be conducted in a manner that does not
interfere with the ongoing criminal investigation and
prosecution of any individuals involved in the attempt to
detonate an explosive device onboard Northwest flight 253 on
December 25, 2009," Obama said in his notification on Aviation
Screening Technology and Procedures Review.

The notification for this review has been issued to the
Secretary of State, Defense Secretary, Attorney General,
Homeland Security Secretary, Director of National
Intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency, Federal Bureau of
Investigation, National Counterterrorism Center and the
National Security Agency.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, December 30, 2009 - 13:08

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