Washington — President Obama said Tuesday that U.S. intelligence has had considerable success, but that the botched Christmas Day attack shows “the system has failed” in a major way.
“When a suspected terrorist is able to board a plane with explosives on Christmas Day, the system has failed in a potentially disastrous way,” Obama said at the White House in a statement to reporters.
U.S. intelligence had uncovered numerous “red flags” before the attack, Obama said at the White House, but failed to put the information together.
“The U.S. government had sufficient information to have uncovered this plot and potentially disrupt the Christmas Day attack, but our intelligence community failed to connect those dots, which would have placed the suspect on the no-fly list,” Obama said.
“In other words, this was not a failure to collect intelligence; it was a failure to integrate and understand the intelligence that we already had,” the president said. “The information was there, agencies and analysts who needed it had access to it, and our professionals were trained to look for it and to bring it all together.”