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January 08, 2010

Former CIA Head to Investigate US Security Breaches

A former director of the CIA has been chosen to uncover how the U.S. failed to prevent the Christmas Day bombing attempt on a passenger plane, and the Fort Hood Army base shooting.

National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair said in a statement Friday John McLaughlin is "especially well-qualified" for the task, and will provide "candid, constructive guidance" on how to avoid similar security breaches in the future.

McLaughlin was the deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency for four years, including during the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.  He was also briefly the acting director of the CIA in 2004.

He will head a team of national security experts to investigate the series of events that led up to two incidents and make suggestions to "remedy potential weaknesses" for the future.

Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab is accused of trying to blow up a U.S. passenger jet on December 25 as it approached the U.S. city of Detroit.

And U.S. Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan is accused of killing 13 people and wounding 30 others during a shooting rampage at the Fort Hood, Texas military base in early November.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.