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Obama to release first findings from Detroit plot review

January 7, 2010

US President Barack Obama’s administration Thursday will release an initial review into intelligence failures that led up to the failed Christmas Day attempt to blow up an airliner over Detroit.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said the administration would publish a report by John Brennan, Obama’s top homeland security and counterterrorism adviser, which examines intelligence cooperation and the country’s system of terrorism watch lists.

Those watch lists have been at the centre of a debate over the failings that allowed a young Nigerian man to board a plane from Amsterdam Dec 25 and allegedly attempt to ignite explosives as the flight was nearing landing in Detroit.

Obama has slammed his own intelligence community for failing to place the 23-year-old suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab on a no-fly list, despite “red flags” that should have indicated his involvement in a terrorist attack being plotted by Al Qaeda’s arm in Yemen.

Gibbs said Obama may also release some initial information into how airport screening procedures might change as a result of the failed plot.

“The review will simply identify and make recommendations as to what was lacking and what needs to be strengthened,” Gibbs said, calling it an ongoing “dynamic” process.

Obama met with top cabinet members and top security officials Tuesday. Voicing frustration about the security breach, Obama said it was clear that the US intelligence community could have stopped the plot from being carried out.

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