Obama Holds Al Qaeda Directly Responsible

January 2, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
President Obama plans to meet with Homeland Security Officials at the White House next week to discuss the Christmas Day terror scare.

When he returns from vacation, he'll be briefed on how various government agencies can do a better job in preventing potential terror attacks like the one last week.

President Obama is holding al-Qaeda directly responsible for the botched bombing aboard a Detroit bound flight on Christmas day, saying the terrorist organization guided 23-year-old Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.

"It appears that he joined an affiliate of al Qaeda, and that this group-al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula-trained him, equipped him with those explosives and directed him to attack that plane headed for America," said President Obama.

The Obama Administration has faced increasing scrutiny over the past week as more information about the suspect has come out, including why the agencies in charge of preventing terrorist attacks appeared to be caught by surprise .

As a result the president received a preliminary report calling for agencies to share information more readily.

And after he returns from his vacation in Hawaii he plans to meet with Intelligence and Homeland Security Officials to try to resolve the current problems.

Obama said, "I will do everything in my power to make sure our hard-working men and women in our intelligence, law enforcement and Homeland Security communities have the tools and resources they need to keep America safe."

Some terrorism experts believe the intelligence community needs to do a better job connecting the dots.

"One piece of information usually doesn't tell you very much. but if you put it together with five or six other pieces, then a picture emerges, and they couldn't do that because CIA hadn't passed the information on in a timely manner," said Richard Clarke, ABC News.

Some members of congress have called for hearings to determine which agencies dropped the ball.