U.S. President Barack Obama is preparing to announce reforms to the
nation's counterterrorism policies, following the attempted Christmas
Day (December 25) bombing of a U.S. jetliner.
Mr. Obama will unveil the new measures later Tuesday, after meeting
with senior members of his national security team. He summoned the
officials to the White House to discuss ongoing reviews after a
Nigerian man allegedly attempted to detonate explosives on a Northwest
Airlines flight approaching Detroit.
A White House spokesman says the president will give a "candid update"
of the review, and outline specific steps that have been taken and
detail more changes that may be coming.
FBI Director Robert Mueller is to brief the president on the
investigation, while Attorney General Eric Holder will discuss the
prosecution of the 23-year-old suspect. Homeland Security Secretary
Janet Napolitano will provide a review of terrorist detection
Other attendees expected at the closed White House meeting include
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and
CIA Director Leon Panetta.
Mr. Obama ordered an interagency review to determine how Umar Farouk
Abdulmutallab allegedly brought explosives onto the
Amsterdam-to-Detroit flight -- even after the suspect's father had
warned U.S. officials about his son's radical views.
In other news Tuesday, Dutch prosecutors said they did not find any
evidence that Abdulmutallab had accomplices at Amsterdam's Schiphol
Airport. The prosecutors said that after studying more than 200 hours
of security camera footage, it appears the suspect already had the
explosives with him when he arrived at the airport from Nigeria.
The suspect's father had alerted U.S. authorities in Nigeria that his
son, who was studying in Yemen, should be watched closely. He was
placed on a U.S. terror watch list but not on the no-fly list, which
would have prevented him from flying into the United States.
The U.S. government has increased security screening for people
traveling "from or through nations that are state sponsors of
terrorism," listed by the State Department as Cuba, Iran, Sudan and
Syria -- as well as "other countries of interest" -- Afghanistan,
Algeria, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia