- The Washington Times - Monday, January 4, 2010

The CIA is expected to report Monday afternoon to President Obama about its part in the security breach that led to an alleged terrorist attempting to blow up an international flight to Detroit on Christmas Day, the White House said.

Deputy press secretary Bill Burton said Mr. Obama also is expected to meet late Monday with John Brennan, the top White House adviser on counterterrorism, but minimized expectations about an anticipated Tuesday public announcement in which the president would give a full report on reviews by U.S. security agencies or order sweeping changes.

“If you look what’s happened so far over the course of this review, the president hasn’t just waited for all the different pieces to come in before acting,” Mr. Burton told reporters aboard Air Force One, which returned the first family from holiday vacation in Hawaii. “You see the [Transportation Security Administration] has already taken increased security measures. There’s already been a rescrubbing of all the different lists. So safety and security measures are moving forward even as the review goes on.”

The president ordered the reviews following the alleged attempt by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to blow up Northwest Airlines flight 253 from Amsterdam. The 23-year-old Nigerian suspect, with links to al Qaeda in Yemen, allegedly smuggled explosives in his underpants past airline security but failed to create an explosion.

U.S. security agencies had information on Mr. Abdulmutallab, in part because his father went to the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria with concerns that his son had become radicalized.

Mr. Burton said “thousands upon thousands upon thousands of names” on terrorist watch lists were reviewed and dozens were moved to different lists.

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