News / USA

Obama Summons Top Officials on Security

U.S. President Barack Obama has summoned top U.S. intelligence and security officials to discuss security needs after last month's attempted bombing of a U.S. jetliner.

President Obama had meetings scheduled Monday at the White House with the Central Intelligence Agency, as well as with his top counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan.  Mr. Obama holds similar discussions with security officials Tuesday.

The president ordered an inter-agency review to determine how a young man with alleged ties to al-Qaida was able to sneak explosives onto the Northwest Airlines flight.  The explosives did not detonate, and passengers subdued the Nigerian suspect, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.

Nigeria is protesting new security measures its citizens and those of 13 other countries now face on U.S.-bound flights, saying the policies amount to discrimination.  Nigerian Information Minister Dora Akunyili said Monday, "It is unfair to discriminate against more than 150 million people becaue of the behavior of one person."

On Sunday, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration issued new rules requiring people traveling from or through high-risk countries to go through tighter screening on flights headed for the U.S.  The countries include Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Syria, which are listed by the State Department as state sponsors of terrorism.

Also subject to more stringent screening are travelers from Afghanistan, Algeria, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Yemen.

Nigerian officials say Abdulmutallab, the son of a prominent Nigerian banker, appears to have received his terrorist training abroad.  The would-be bomber told U.S. investigators that he received training from al-Qaida operatives in Yemen.

The U.S. also has revised its terror watch lists following the foiled attack on the U.S.-bound jet.

 


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

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