Internet Anthropologist Think Tank: Planes still not safe.

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    Wednesday, January 20, 2010

    Planes still not safe.

    Statement for the Record - 20 January 2010
    Michael E. Leiter
    Director of the National Counterterrorism Center

    As I have noted, despite our successes in identifying the overall themes that
    described the plot we failed to make the final connections—the “last tactical
    mile”—linking Abdulmutallab’s identity to the plot. We had the information that
    came from his father that he was concerned about his son going to Yemen, coming
    under the influence of unknown religious extremists, and that he was not going to
    return home. We also had other streams of information coming from intelligence
    channels that provided pieces of the story. We had a partial name, an indication of
    a Nigerian, but there was nothing that brought it all together—nor did we do so in
    our analysis.
    As a result, although Mr. Abdulmutallab was identified as a known or
    suspected terrorist and entered into the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment
    (TIDE)—and this information was in turn widely available throughout the
    Intelligence Community—the derogatory information associated with him did not
    meet the existing policy standards—those first adopted in the summer of 2008 and
    ultimately promulgated in February 2009—for him to be “watchlisted,” let alone
    placed on the No Fly List or Selectee lists.


    TSA still does not have access to the TIDE data base names for additional
    hand searching of these suspects.

    The risk has not been diminished.





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