The US President Barack Obama has come down heavily on the country’s intelligence agencies for their failure to disrupt an attempt to blow up a North-west Airliner on Christmas Eve.
Addressing a news conference, Obama said that agents had sufficient information to prevent the attempted attack but ‘failed to connect the dots’.
“This was not a failure to collect intelligence,” he said. “It was a failure to integrate and understand the intelligence that we already had.”
According to a quoted by the White House, the president used stricter language while addressing his senior colleagues and national security aides on Tuesday.
“This was a screw-up that could have been disastrous,” the president said during the meeting in the White House situation room, according to the White House media office.
“We dodged a bullet but just barely. It was averted by brave individuals, not because the system worked, and that is not acceptable,” he told them.
After the meeting, Obama said in a televised statement that it was becoming increasing clear that intelligence was not fully analysed or fully leveraged.
“That’s not acceptable and I will not tolerate it.”
Obama’s remarks came after Robert Gibbs, the White House spokesman, told reporters that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian arrested over the failed bombing, had given intelligence to US officials just hours after his arrest on December 25.