U.S. President Barack Obama says America will use "every element" of
its national power to "disrupt, dismantle and defeat" terrorists
anywhere in the world who might want to attack the United States.
Mr. Obama spoke from (the U.S. Pacific state of) Hawaii Monday, shortly an al-Qaida group in Yemen (al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula) said it was behind Friday's attempted bombing of a Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Detroit.
An Internet statement attributed to al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula said the attack was in response to U.S. efforts against the militant group in Yemen. U.S. media (the New York Times and Washington Post) quote government officials who say the United States has been supplying Yemen with military trainers and equipment to fight al-Qaida.
Mr. Obama said the United States is doing everything to protect its citizens and has stepped up security. He said the government is also reviewing security measures including its terrorist watch-list system in an effort to prevent future attacks.
A Nigerian man, 23-year-old Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, is charged with attempting to destroy the Northwest aircraft by igniting explosives as the plane was landing. The bomb failed to explode.
The suspect is listed in a U.S. government intelligence database, but he was not on the "no-fly list." President Obama said the government is reviewing the watch list system and how Abdulmutallab boarded a U.S.-bound plane with explosives.
As a young man, Abdulmutallab studied in London and Dubai, and recently traveled to Yemen, where he says he was trained by al-Qaida operatives.
Abdulmutallab's family says they lost contact with him while he was studying abroad. His father, Alhaji Umar Mutallab, a prominent banker and former Nigerian government minister, had warned the U.S. embassy in Nigeria about his son's views.
On Sunday, authorities moved Abdulmutallab to a federal prison in Michigan from a hospital where he was treated for burns.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano previously told (U.S. news network) CNN there is "no indication" that the attempted attack was part of a larger terrorist plot. On Monday, she told NBC that the U.S. security system "did not work in this instance" and an "extensive review is under way."
Republican Congressman Peter King, of the House Homeland Security Committee, said Sunday the system failed and the suspect may have been seconds away from killing hundreds. Nearly 300 people were on the flight.