Obama seeks preliminary report on terror attempt by Dec 31
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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.


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

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