US spy agencies are seeking ways to improve their operations after the alleged attempt to blow up an American airliner on Christmas Day.
The intelligence community has been told to smarten up its act after security lapses allowed the Nigerian suspect on board. The order has come straight from the White House.
“When a suspected terrorist is able to board a plane with explosives on Christmas Day, the system has failed in a potentially disastrous way,” US President Barack Obama said after meeting with senior security officials. “And it is my responsibility to find out why and to correct that failure so that we can prevent such attacks in the future.”
America’s Director of National Intelligence, Dennis Blair, said of the president’s message: “We got it and we are moving forward to meet the new challenges.”
Obama promised changes, in particular to the government’s terrorist “watch-list” system.
Airport security worldwide has been under scrutiny since the mid-air drama over Detroit. The wider use of controversial whole-body scanners is one immediate result.