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“With our abundance of technological tools and intelligence gathering capabilities, it is inexcusable Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab boarded that aircraft,” Ms. Snowe said. “The colossal breakdown in communication and lack of information sharing and analysis among the bureaucracies of our nation’s intelligence community led to this latest attempt, as well as the shooting at Fort Hood on November 5. It must not be permitted to happen again.”

Democrats said this is no time for pointing fingers and defended Mr. Obama’s response to the attack.

“President Obama has acted promptly to investigate and identify gaps in our information-sharing systems,” said Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont. “I appreciate the president’s willingness to review these systems and make necessary improvements.”

In a briefing with reporters after Mr. Obama’s remarks, Deputy National Security Adviser John Brennan said the incident was not a result of a lack of intelligence or information sharing.

“It was a failure to connect and integrate and understand the intelligence we had,” he said. “We saw the plot was developing. But at the time, we did not know, in fact, that they were talking about sending Mr. Abdulmutallab to the United States.”

The report said Mr. Abdulmutallab had a U.S. visa that went undetected by State Department analysts who misspelled his name in a database search. Mr. Obama earlier this week ordered embassies and consulates to include visa information when flagging a suspect for the no-fly list.

Mr. Obama said he asked Mr. Brennan to report back to him in 30 days on the implementation of Thursday’s directive.