Top US anti-terror boss vows focus after airliner attack

WASHINGTON- The recent failed bid to blow up a US airliner is a reminder of "insidious terrorist threats" faced by the United States according to a top US counterterrorism official, who vowed Saturday to redouble efforts to prevent further attacks.
Michael Leiter, the director of the US National Counterterrorism Center, warned the recent attempt by a young Nigerian man to blow up a trans-Atlantic jet on December 25 would be followed by more attacks.

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab
Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab
"The failed attempt to destroy Northwest Flight 253 is the starkest of reminders of the insidious terrorist threats we face.
"While this attempt ended in failure we know with absolute certainty that Al-Qaeda and those who support its ideology continue to refine their methods to test our defenses and pursue an attack on the Homeland."
Leiter vowed renewed focus as the US intelligence services, including the National Counterterrorism Center, face stern criticism for failing to prevent the December 25 attack, despite warning signs.
"Our most sacred responsibility is to be focused on our mission -- detecting and preventing terrorist attacks from happening on our soil and against US interests," Leiter said.
"The American people expect and deserve nothing less."
The National Counterterrorism Center was created in 2004 to coordinate efforts between US intelligence agencies, whose failure to share information was lambasted by the commission into the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Sunday, January 3rd 2010

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