US top security official backtracks, says system did not work
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Last Updated: Tuesday, December 29, 2009, 13:47
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.


First Published: Tuesday, December 29, 2009, 13:47

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