U.S. security officials say they identified the suspect in the attempted Christmas Day, December 25 airline attack for extra screening and were going to question him when he landed in Detroit.
The officials say Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s potential ties to extremists came up in a routine check of passengers while he was en-route from Amsterdam to Detroit.
The 23-year-old Nigerian allegedly tried to detonate explosives on the plane as it approached Detroit.
The White House will release a declassified account Thursday of the probe. President Barack Obama is to address the nation.
National Security Advisor James Jones tells USA Today that Americans will feel “a certain shock” when they find out what went wrong. But he also says the president is committed to fixing the problems.
Mr. Obama has criticized U.S. intelligence agencies for failing to prevent the suspect from getting on the flight. He said intelligence agencies had enough evidence to stop Abdulmutallab but failed to analyze it properly.
A grand jury charged Abdulmutallab Wednesday in the U.S. state of Michigan on six criminal counts, including attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and attempted murder.
He is accused of trying to blow up the Northwest Airlines plane and its nearly 300 passengers and crew by detonating explosives concealed in his underwear.
Attorney General Eric Holder issued a statement describing the investigation as fast-paced and global, and said it has already yielded valuable intelligence.
President Obama has ordered two reviews to determine how intelligence officials failed to adequately act on crucial information, including a warning from the suspect’s father to U.S. officials about his son’s radical views.
Abdulmutallab’s name was included in a broad database of individuals who are suspected of having some link to terrorism. But he was not included on higher-profile watch lists that might have caught the attention of security screeners. This has raised questions about communication among government agencies and among countries.
Mr. Obama also has promised changes to airport security and screening protocols, and has said the nation’s no-fly and terrorist watchlists are being updated.
‘Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.’