- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Obama administration has repeatedly said the failure to connect intelligence reports that might have prevented the Christmas Day bombing attempt was not because spy agencies failed to share information.

Instead, John Brennan, assistant to the president for counterterrorism and homeland security, said top intel officials simply didn’t understand all the intelligence pointing to a possible terrorist attack, which came true when a Nigerian national tried to blow up a U.S. airliner with a bomb in his underwear.

AP INTERACTIVE: Key events leading up to the attempted attack on a Detroit-bound flight

“As the president has said, this was not a failure to collect or share intelligence. It was a failure to connect and integrate and understand the intelligence we had. We didn’t follow up and prioritize the stream of intelligence indicating that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula sought to strike our homeland because no one intelligence entity or team or task force was assigned responsibility for doing that follow-up investigation,” Mr. Brennan said.

Intelligence intercepts captured a steady stream of chatter before the bombing attempt, including one that said a Nigerian with connections to al Qaeda was planning an attack. Other major red flags — Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab bought his ticket to Detroit with cash and was traveling with no luggage — were also missed.

“The intelligence fell through the cracks. This happened in more than one organization,” Mr. Brennan said.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times is switching its third-party commenting system from Disqus to Spot.IM. You will need to either create an account with Spot.im or if you wish to use your Disqus account look under the Conversation for the link "Have a Disqus Account?". Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide