Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor
Why Did US Let Abdulmutallab Get on a Plane to Detroit?
The father of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab says he told US officials months ago that his son might be a terrorist threat. Some lawmakers say the Obama administration missed the warning signs - just as it did before the Fort Hood attack.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano insisted Sunday that
there was no "specific and credible" information to put the
alleged attempted bomber of Northwest Flight 253, Umar Farouk
Abdulmutallab, on the federal "no fly" list.
Yet for the second time in a month, the Obama administration finds
itself defending its lack of action against a suspect whose
tendencies toward radical Islam had been reported to authorities.
The cases are, of course, different.
Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, who is the only suspect in the attack that
killed 13 people at Fort Hood on Nov. 5, was an American being
tracked for corresponding with a known Al Qaeda sympathizer.
Colleagues had also raised questions about his increasingly militant
Mr. Abdulmutallab, by contrast, came to the attention of authorities
only when his father went to the US Embassy in Nigeria and warned
officials about his son's growing radicalization. On Friday,
Abdulmutallab allegedly attempted - and failed - to set off a
homemade explosive as Flight 253 neared the Detroit airport.
What US knew about AbdulmutallabA single warning from a father is
not enough to put someone on the federal no-fly list, Secretary
Napolitano said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday. "He
[Abdulmutallab] was on a general list, which [includes] over half a
million people.... But there was not the kind of credible
information, in the sense derogatory information, that would move him
up the list. …