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Obama urges improvement of intelligence data integration

RIA Novosti


WASHINGTON, January 8 (RIA Novosti) - U.S. President Barack Obama has urged intelligence services to improve the processing and integration of analytical information on possible terror attacks.

Nigerian national Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 23, tried to blow up an A330 jet bound from Amsterdam to Detroit and carrying some 300 people on December 25. Subdued by passengers and the crew, he was detained upon arrival in Detroit. Abdulmutallab had reportedly undergone training at an al-Qaeda camp in Yemen.

"The U.S. government had the information - scattered throughout the system - to potentially uncover this plot and disrupt the attack. Rather than a failure to collect or share intelligence, this was a failure to connect and understand the intelligence that we already had," Obama said in a statement on aviation security on Thursday.

"I'm directing that intelligence reports, especially those involving potential threats to the United States, be distributed more rapidly and more widely. We can't sit on information that could protect the American people," he said.

"I'm directing that our intelligence community immediately begin assigning specific responsibility for investigating all leads on high-priority threats so that these leads are pursued and acted upon aggressively," Obama said.

He said "the analytical process" has to be "strengthened."

"I'm ordering an immediate effort to strengthen the criteria used to add individuals to our terrorist watchlists, especially the "no fly" list. We must do better in keeping dangerous people off airplanes, while still facilitating air travel," the U.S. president also said.

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