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Tuesday, April 23, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Obama Orders Review of Airline Watchlisting

(CN) - President Obama ordered Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to review the procedures and technology used to screen passengers at airports and to keep track of persons of interest who may pose a terrorist threat to air travel.

Obama's actions follow his admission that despite a direct warning from the father of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, and the presence of many warning flags that should have brought Abdulmutallab to the attention of security authorities, current technology and procedures failed to prevent Abdulmutallab from boarding a Detroit bound plane in Amsterdam on Christmas Day with a detonator and enough explosives to blow up the plane.

Specifically, the president wants the State Department to compile an inventory of all information in U.S. government files related to Abdulmutallab and a written timeline and narrative of how any such intelligence or other information was handled, shared, and acted upon within individual departments and agencies.

The President ordered the Department of Homeland Security to work with the nation's law enforcement, intelligence gathering agencies and scientific laboratories to review screening technology and procedures used in airports and present a report to the White House by Dec. 31, detailing what measures are available to heighten screening sensitivity and effectiveness and where current procedures and technology failed.

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