Washington: As investigators said that the
explosive used by a Nigerian national on a US plane was big
enough to blow a hole in the airliner, a top official conceded
that the "system did not work" in detecting the threat,
backtracking on previous statements.
Going back on her words after severe criticism, US
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said today: "No
secretary of Homeland Security would sit here and say that a
system worked prior to this incident, which allowed this
individual to get on this plane."
She was being heavily criticised for her remarks on
various television talk shows on Sunday when she said that the
system had worked.
"One thing I would like to point out is that the system
worked. Everybody played an important role here," Napolitano said in a interview on TV news channel on Sunday.
"The passengers and crew of the flight took appropriate
action... Within, literally an hour to 90 minutes of the
incident occurring, all 128 flights in the air had been
notified to take some special measures in light of what had
occurred on the Northwest Airlines flight," she had said.
However, today she said her statement on Sunday was blown
out of proportion.
"Well, the comment was taken totally out of context," she
told the MSNBC in an interview.
"That`s a phrase taken out of context," she said to a news channel.