Here's more from Newsweek over the weekend on the details of the breakdown in U.S. security to prevent the attempted attack on Northwest Flight 253 on Christmas Day:
Former U.S law-enforcement and intelligence officials are scathing about the U.S. government’s handling of pre-Christmas intelligence about Abdulmutallab and the prospect of a possible attack from Yemen. “The system should have been lighting up like a Christmas tree,” said Ali Soufan, a former senior FBI counterterrorism agent who spent years tracking Qaeda suspects in Yemen (and often battled with the CIA over information sharing).
When Abdulmutallab’s father visited the U.S. Embassy in Abuja, Nigeria, in November to report his concerns that his son might have been involved with Islamic extremists in Yemen, the FBI had no representative at the meeting; the FBI maintains an attaché only in Lagos on the southern coast, not in Abuja, the capital. But the CIA, which did have an officer present who wrote up a report on the meeting, never told the FBI about Abdulmutallab.
I think our anti-terrorism systems focuses too much on technology and too little on the terrorists themselves. <!--break--> But the latter would require us to get over these problems in aggregating information from disparate sources. So we are left with expensive, intrusive, and only weakly effective technological interventions.
Read the whole thing.