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Homeland Security

Obama pledges aggressive response to terror attacks

RIA Novosti


WASHINGTON, December 29 (RIA Novosti) - U.S. President Barack Obama pledged on Monday a harsh response to terrorist attacks following a failed attempt by a Nigerian national to blow up a plane carrying close to 300 passengers on Christmas.

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 23, boarded Northwest Airlines Flight 253 bound from Amsterdam to Detroit. During the flight, he set off an explosive device but thankfully, due to a technical fault, it did not detonate the way it was supposed to. Passengers and flight crew subdued him and he was arrested upon landing.

"Those who would slaughter innocent men, women and children must know the United States will do more than simply strengthen our defenses," Obama said as quoted by CNN.

He also said the U.S. was doing everything in its power to keep citizens and their families "safe and secure during this busy holiday season."

CNN also said a regional branch of Al Qaeda claimed responsibility for the attempted terrorist attack. While hailing the "brother" who carried out the attack in a statement posted on radical Islamist websites, the terrorist organization said it was retaliation for alleged U.S. strikes on Yemeni soil earlier in December.

Abdulmutallab also allegedly claimed after his arrest that he acted on instructions from Al Qaeda. U.S. security officials have confirmed that his name was on the U.S. list of terrorist suspects.

Obama, who is now on vacation in Hawaii, on Sunday ordered a complete review of the air transportation security control system.

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