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“It went to a drip, basically,” the official said of Amsterdam flight protection. One reason coverage on the Amsterdam-Detroit flights were reduced was because of the high cost of tickets.

A call to the Federal Air Marshal Service was not returned.

“The Department of Homeland Security immediately put additional screening measures into place - for all domestic and international flights - to ensure the continued safety of the traveling public,” said department Secretary Janet Napolitano.

“We are also working closely with federal, state and local law enforcement on additional security measures, as well as our international partners on enhanced security at airports and on flights,” Ms. Napolitano said.

Capitol Hill lawmakers briefed on the incident plan to hold hearings next month to examine why the suspect was listed in terrorist-watch databases, but was not on the “no-fly” list.

“The reported act of terrorism - whether directly related to al Qaeda or not - and the response to it will be the focus of an oversight hearing next month. The committee will get to the bottom of what did and did not happen with Mr. Abdulmutallab and what security precautions need to take place in the future,” said Rep. Bennie Thompson, Mississippi Democrat and chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee.

Rep. Ed Royce, California Republican and member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said the incident”highlights the global nature of Islamist extremism.”

“The Nigerian in custody claims to have been taking orders from al Qaeda in Yemen, a hotbed of terror activity, and British authorities are now searching a London apartment in connection with the terror plot. From West Africa, to Yemen, to London - no part of the world seems to be immune,” Mr. Royce said.