Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was already known as “The Nigerian” and already suspected of meeting with “terrorist elements” in Yemen at the time of his failed bombing attempt of NW Flight 253. By August 2009, the CIA knew about “The Nigerian.” The CIA did not know “The Nigerian’s” name was Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. And they did not put the two together when the father went to the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria and met with a CIA agent in November 2009. Who was responsible for connecting the dots? From documents found online, it appears the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) is responsible for gathering and disseminating information to the No-Fly List.
…the Director of NCTC is responsible for providing strategic CT plans
and for effectively integrating CT intelligence and operations across
agency boundaries, both inside and outside the US.
The primary source for all information relating to international
terrorist identities in the TSDB is the Office of the Director of
National Intelligence’s National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) …The
NCTC, “serve[s] as the primary organization in the United States
Government for analyzing and integrating all intelligence possessed or
acquired by the United States Government pertaining to terrorism and
As we learned during the 9-11 Commission hearings, Jamie Gorlick’s
“Wall of Separation,” specifically built to keep the intelligence
community from sharing information, enabled the 9-11 bombers. How high
and at what depth is today’s Wall of Separation? The Wall still stands.
Here is a statement from the Vice-Chairman of the 9/11 Commission, Lee
Hamilton, about the Christmas Day bombing:
“We must get better at collecting these bits of information, putting
them together at a central point, analyzing them and then acting,” said
Lee Hamilton, the vice-chair of the 9/11 Commission.
“We’re sharing information better than we did prior to 9/11, but this
incident surely illustrates we’ve got a long ways to go,” Hamilton
CIA spokesman Paul Gimigliano said after the meeting with the father in November, they worked with the U.S. Embassy to get Abdulmutallab’s name into the “government’s terrorist database:”
We also forwarded key biographical information about him to the
National Counterterrorism Center. This agency, like others in our
government, is reviewing all data to which it had access – not just
what we ourselves may have collected – to determine if more could have
been done to stop Abdulmutallab.”
Yet, Abdulmutallab’s name didn’t make it to the No-Fly List. Clearly, someone was not paying attention. Michael E. Leiter’s National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) did…what?…nothing? Leiter is the Director of NCTC and the following are a few comments from his testimony to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee in September 2009:
Despite our counterterrorism (CT) progress, al-Qa‘ida and its affiliates and allies remain resilient and adaptive enemies intent on attacking US and Western interests—with al-Qa‘ida’s core in Pakistan representing the most dangerous component of the larger al-Qa‘ida network. We assess that this core is actively engaged in operational plotting and continues recruiting, training, and transporting operatives, to include individuals from Western Europe and North America. …
The NCTC evolved from legislation creating “a civilian-led unified joint command” for counterterrorism. Is it nothing more than another entity which decided to do nothing?
For the first time, an organization outside the Executive Office of the President was given the responsibility for government-wide coordination of planning and integration of department and agency actions involving “all elements of national power,” including “diplomatic, financial, military, intelligence, Homeland security, and law enforcement activities within and among agencies.”
Pursuant to this authority, the Director of NCTC is responsible for providing strategic CT plans and for effectively integrating CT intelligence and operations across agency boundaries, both inside and outside the US.
Our CIA and FBI works under a President, a State Department and a Homeland Security Secretary that believes there is no war on terror, believes there are no foreign enemy combatants and believes there is no terrorism. Who places a name on the “No-Fly” list, or the “selectee” list, which alerts airline officials of the need for further, and deeper, examination of the person? Is it the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA), the CIA, the State Department, Homeland Security, or all of the above? Since “the government” administers the list, is the civilian NCTC involved at all? Apparently so, and apparently the NCTC is directly responsible for the list. The following is from a declassified Homeland Security document dated July 2009, page 9:
The primary source for all information relating to international terrorist identities in the TSDB is the Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) …The NCTC, “serve[s] as the primary organization in the United States Government for analyzing and integrating all intelligence possessed or acquired by the United States Government pertaining to terrorism and counterterrorism, excepting intelligence pertaining exclusively to domestic terrorists and domestic counterterrorism.”…
This information is provided to the NCTC through nominations of individuals made by federal agencies, often with the explicit intent for the record to then be exported to the TSDB [Terrorism Screening Datebase] for watch-listing.
So how many martini lunches and conferences to exotic locations were expensed by the NCTC?
President Obama referred to the attack on NW Flight 253 as an “alleged” attack. He wasn’t specifically talking about the would-be-bomber – he was talking about the attack itself. It is possible to misidentify the bomber and refer to him as allegedly “Abdulmutallab,” but, please, not the attack itself. He
characterized the “alleged” attack as the work of an isolated extremist, after
al-Qaeda in the Saudia Arabian peninsula had already taken credit for
Abdulmutallab’s actions – and yet he was already known as “The
Nigerian,” not “a Nigerian,” but specifically “The Nigerian.” His Director of National Counterterrorism knew Abdulmutallab’s name, and so knew that he was connected to Yemen – yet refererred to him as an “isolated extremist.” Knowing
all this, at no time did he mention “jihad,” “Islam,” “Muslims,” or
In Obama’ second statement about the attack, the President said there were failures with our intelligence community in piecing the known information together, and then distributing that information. He said it was an unacceptable “systemic failure.” Abdulmutallab allegedly paid cash for his ticket and had no luggage; the CIA and the NCTC knew about him. At the simplest level, an airline accepted his cash, and checked no luggage, yet he was not tagged for a full pat down. Still yet, the President has not said the words “jihad,” “radical Islam,” or “Muslim.”
If you are interested in additional information on Michael Leiter and the NCTC, the following are snippets from their “implementation plan:”
1) protect and defend against terrorists;
2) attack their capacity to operate;
3) work diligently to undermine the spread of violent extremism and retard radicalization around the world; and
4) prevent terrorists from utilizing WMD. …
On the domestic front, NCTC enables, informs and supports federal, state and local government efforts to engage with communities across our country. Central to this effort is NCTC’s leadership of an interagency group to coordinate engagement projects and activities conducted by the FBI, DHS, State, Justice, Treasury and others. In particular, NCTC has worked diligently through this group with its partner agencies to enhance the level of engagement between the US.
According to The NCTC, they are partners with the CIA, the FBI, the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, the Department of State, The Department of the Treasury, the departments of Energy, Health and Human Services, and Agriculture, as well as the U.S. Capitol Police, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency – and “foreign partners.”
The Center provides a unique environment to optimize the USG’s
collective knowledge and formidable capabilities to identify and
counter the terrorist threat to the nation.
What happened to the “formidable capabilities” of the NCTC in the Christmas Day attack?
Read NCTC Transcript View Michael Leiter Video P.S. just listening to Catherine Herridge on FOXNews and the NCTC is spinning at warp speed.
Related and background:
Noteworthy News on Abdulmutallab: Eric Holder’s Federal not Military Court
Other Airline Terrorists:
Shoe Bomber Richard Reid Wins: Terrorism and Jihad wins