Erick Stakelbeck

CBN News Terrorism Analyst

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How Much Did the Obama Administration Know About the Flight 253 Bomber?


An unnamed State Department official tells the American Spectator that the administration may have known more than they are letting on:

When Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was placed on the British government's watch list in May 2009 and banned from entering the country, the U.S. embassy in London (and by extension the U.S. State Department), as well as U.S. intelligence agencies, were notified of this move as part of information-sharing agreements entered into by a number of Western governments after the September 11, 2001 attacks, says a U.S. State Department employee on the condition of anonymity because of concern that by speaking about the situation, their job could be endangered.

"We have agreements with a number of different countries that work with us cooperatively on intelligence matters," says the State Department employee. "A number of the treaties work through our justice departments or foreign offices or intelligence and interior or homeland security agencies. Several departments here in Washington got the information from London and it didn't trigger anything within our own system.

According to this State Dept. official, the Obama administration has a less, shall we say, aggressive approach to the war against radical Islam then did its predecessor:

This employee says that despite statements from the Obama Administration, such information was flagged and given higher priority during the Bush Administration, but that since the changeover "we are encouraged to not create the appearance that we are profiling or targeting Muslims. I think career employees were uncomfortable with the Bush procedures and policies and were relieved to not have to live under them any longer..."

"I'm not saying that this kind of screw up might not have happened in the Bush Administration," the State source says, referring to the Christmas Day snafu. "I'm just saying that a number of us were encouraged to have a different mindset about such intel and such individuals, and today, we are encouraged not to have that same mindset."

From closing Guantanamo Bay prison, to deciding to hold trials for battlefield jihadis like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in New York City, to pursuing prosecution against brave CIA agents, to isolating Israel, and capped by repeated, embarrasing attempts to engage Iran and other anti-American dictatorships in dialogue, the Obama administration had a disastrous 2009 in the national security realm.

Print     Email to a Friend    posted on Tuesday, December 29, 2009 5:34 PM



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