Obama Wants Review of Air Security Procedures

Obama Wants Review of Air Security Procedures

Published December 29, 2009

President Obama has ordered a review of air security after a Nigerian man was charged with trying to blow up a transatlantic jet on Christmas Day, BBC News reports.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Obama wanted to know how a man carrying explosives had managed to board a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit.

The FBI later said the passenger had locked himself in a toilet, but the incident had not been serious.

Gibbs told ABC News that the system of watch-lists used by U.S. government agencies would be examined, after it emerged that the Christmas Day suspect was listed and known to officials.

A U.S. record for 23-year-old Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was created last month.

The U.S. government uses three watch-lists, which become shorter as risk increases.

They include one with some 550,000 names on it, a "selectee" list with 18,000 people within the higher-risk category, and a "no-fly" list with 4,000 names of people who are not allowed to board planes.  Abdulmutallab was placed on the lowest-risk list by U.S. authorities in November 2009, after his father alerted authorities about the behavior of his son.

Gibbs said the number of people on the watch-list was "a huge number."

"The president has asked that a review be undertaken to ensure that any information gets to where it needs to go, to the people making the decisions,” Gibbs said. “The president wants to review some of these procedures and see if they need to be updated."

On  Dec. 24, Abdulmutallab traveled from Nigeria to Amsterdam and then on to Detroit with an explosive device reportedly sewn into his underwear, according to new reports.

Shortly before the flight was due to land in the United States, he allegedly attempted to detonate the device beneath a blanket but he was overpowered by passengers and crew.

Abdulmutallab, the son of a prominent Nigerian banker, has been charged with trying to blow up the Northwest Airlines flight as it was coming in to land.


Written by BET.com Staff


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