Obama security adviser says bomb report a shocker

POSTED: Thursday, January 7, 2010 - 1:51pm
UPDATED: Friday, April 13, 2012 - 8:53am

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Americans will feel "a certain shock" from a White House report to be released on Thursday on security lapses in the attempted December 25 bombing of a Detroit-bound airliner, U.S. national security adviser James Jones said in a USA Today interview.

President Barack Obama "is legitimately and correctly alarmed that things that were available, bits of information that were available, patterns of behavior that were available, were not acted on," Jones said in the interview published on Thursday.

Jones, Obama's top aide on security and foreign policy issues, predicted that Americans will feel "a certain shock" when they learn of the account the White House is to release later in the day.

"That's two strikes," he said, referring to the failed airplane bombing and a November shooting rampage by U.S. Army psychiatrist Major Nidal Hasan at Fort Hood, Texas, in which officials also failed to act on warning signs.

But Jones also suggested the report would show that the Obama administration is now on top of events.

"We know what happened, we know what didn't happen, and we know how to fix it," he told the newspaper. "That should be an encouraging aspect. We don't have to reinvent anything to make sure it doesn't happen again."

The president is scheduled to make a public statement when the White House released the report. The review is expected to make recommendations on plugging holes in security, including changes in passenger screening and terrorism watch lists.

Obama has already acknowledged a security "screw up" that officials say allowed a Nigerian man to board a Detroit-bound airliner in Amsterdam on Christmas Day with explosives sewn into his underwear that later failed to ignite.

Suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was indicted by a federal grand jury on Wednesday for the attempted murder of 289 passengers and crew aboard the Northwest Airlines Flight 253 and for attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction.