Obama Links Christmas Day Terrorist Attempt to al-Qaida

    U.S. President Barack Obama has, for the first time, publicly blamed an affiliate of the al-Qaida terror network for an unsuccessful plot to blow up a U.S.-bound airliner.  Officials are investigating how American intelligence agencies failed to prevent the botched attack.

    In his weekly radio and Internet address Saturday, President Obama says an al-Qaida-linked group in Yemen gave the suspect the training, equipment and directions to bomb the plane. "It appears that he joined an affiliate of al-Qaida, and that this group-al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula-trained him, equipped him with those explosives and directed him to attack that plane headed for America," he said.

    In his most direct public language yet, the president describes the sequence of events leading up to 23-year-old Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab allegedly trying to destroy the Northwest Airlines plane flying from Amsterdam to Detroit on December 25.

    The group admitted responsibility in an Internet statement last week.

    Mr. Obama says the al-Qaida affiliate has attacked U.S. targets before, including killing an American at the U.S. Embassy in Yemen in 2008.  As a result, he says his administration is working more closely with the government in Yemen. "So, as president, I have made it a priority to strengthen our partnership with the Yemeni government, training and equipping their security forces, sharing intelligence and working with them to strike al-Qaida terrorists," he said.

    The U.S. government gave Yemen $67 million in training and support to fight terrorists in 2009.  Mr. Obama says the efforts have been paying off, and will continue to do so. "Training camps have been struck, leaders eliminated, plots disrupted.  And all those involved in the attempted act of terrorism on Christmas must know-you too will be held to account," he said.

    Even so, opposition Republicans have been criticizing the president for not getting tough enough on militants and terrorists.  Mr. Obama is defending his administration's efforts to end the war in Iraq and send more troops to Afghanistan. "Our nation is at war against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred, and we will do whatever it takes to defeat them and defend our country, even as we uphold the values that have always distinguished America among nations," he said.

    The president has been on vacation in his home state of Hawaii for the Christmas and New Year's holidays, but he has received preliminary results of reviews he ordered into terrorist screening procedures. 

    After he returns to the White House, Mr. Obama will meet with his top intelligence and homeland security advisers on Tuesday.  Administration officials have said security agencies will be held accountable after the Christmas Day incident.

    Also, the U.S. Congress will hold hearings into miscommunication among anti-terror agencies and possible changes in procedures.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora