December 30th, 2009
10:08 AM ET
11 months ago

Obama team more closely linking al Qaeda to terror attempt

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Senior Obama administration officials now say they are starting to see an Al Qaeda connection to the attempted terror attack on a U.S.-bound airliner.
Senior Obama administration officials now say they are starting to see an Al Qaeda connection to the attempted terror attack on a U.S.-bound airliner.

Honolulu, Hawaii (CNN) - In a marked shift from previous positions, senior Obama administration officials now say they are starting to see an al Qaeda connection to the attempted terror attack on a U.S.-bound airliner.

In the days after the failed attempt on Christmas Day, administration officials steadfastly shied away from linking the incident to the terror group and, in some cases, said there was no evidence of such a connection.

But one senior administration officials said late Tuesday that "some of the new information that we developed overnight does suggest that there was some linkage there" with al Qaeda.

The senior administration official was referring to intelligence that White House officials obtained late Monday night and then briefed President Obama about on Tuesday in a secure conference call.

The secure call, which included National Security Adviser Gen. Jim Jones and top homeland security adviser John Brennan, took place shortly before the president delivered public remarks suggesting there were "systemic and human failures" that prevented the government from stopping the attempted terror attack.

Full story


Filed under: Al Qaeda • Obama administration • President Obama
soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. patNY

    Bush Administration hailed the civilian conviction of the Shoe Bomber, but for some reason, its wrong to do the same with regard to the Christmad Day bomber?

    December 30, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  2. phoenix86

    And still Obama insists on closing Gitmo and bringing the Al Queda leadership to New York.

    Astonishingly naive.

    December 30, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  3. joe kiloz

    Talk about Obama efficiency and cool style, he and his staff make me feel they really got a handle on this. INCOMPETENT IDIOTS.

    December 30, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  4. CNN afraid of a liberal post

    I just have to say, if cheney and bush had done THEIR job as he is so quick to accuse Obama of not doing, then we wouldn't be worried with this type of thing now would we.

    Cheney rants and spew about what Obama should and should not do, I think some one should tell him, he was the president while bush was in office and he ran the country, now that Obama is in charge - stop trying to tell HIM what to do.

    I think the Obama administration is doing a good job. JUst think he quietly had been monitoring and had operatives in Yemen trying to assest the situation even before this happened. Did anybody know that heck no. So republicans should just start taking their little blue pills again and not relying on something blowing up to get their jollies.

    December 30, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  5. Scott, Tucson

    DUH! Don't you really feel safe knowing that little barry and Janet Napalitano are in charge. But will Janet still be the DHS after Friday?

    December 30, 2009 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  6. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Until we can get people we know can pass us intel on what these crazy groups are going to do and how they communicate, we will be following them. We will be at least a step behind. The country's intelligence's community needs to talk to each other more often and clearly. Without that, we will be lagging behind these crazy people.

    December 30, 2009 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  7. Willy Brown

    Obummer still won't man up to taking responsibility for this current administration.

    December 30, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  8. sifto77

    Oh, No, has it taken him a whole week to get enough evidence to blame Bush or the CIA? Up until now –it was not a "terrorist act" now it is?

    December 30, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  9. Justen

    Well, since Al Queda already claimed responsibility for the Christmas attack, I think this is a reasonable step.

    Maybe by next Christmas, they will actually come out and say Al Queda is responsible.

    dur...

    December 30, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  10. Robin

    Sorry, Mr. Obama. You're 5 days late and a trillion dollars short.

    Call it what it is. Attempted Jihad on American Soil.

    After all he was able to pay for a very expensive ticket in cash, get past two checkpoints, with explosives, no luggage and without a passport. All while being on a terror watch list.

    al Qaeda would call that a success. The only reason we don't have hundreds of dead Americans is because the coward could not detonate the bomb.

    But by all means, lawyer him up. That way he can tell the world how he has been oppressed by the USA.

    Mr. Obama sure does turn a blind eye to people who want to murder those he is sworn to protect.

    December 30, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  11. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    I frankly don't care of an Al-Queda connection. Terrorists are terrorists. What's troubling is the lack of communication of vital information between our intelligence agencies. Wasn't that the purpose of forming a Department of Homeland Security to avoid lapse in communications like this?

    December 30, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  12. Fair is Fair

    "In a marked shift from previous positions, senior Obama administration officials now say they are starting to see an al Qaeda connection to the attempted terror attack on a U.S.-bound airliner."

    Gee... what gave it up? The fact that he said he was al Qaeda or that al Qaeda took responsibility?

    The incompetence is simply amazing.

    December 30, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  13. All the news that is fit to omit

    Jesus, 6 days later and after 95 percent of people with working cerebrums ALREADY came to that conclusion, ding, ding, Obambi and company FINALLY wake up to the same conclusion.........

    Maybe check out the red flag Barry where they already admitted it or maybe the "alleged terrorist" admitting it or .........

    Nah, stick to your first story where the "system worked" as you are continually making a bigger fool of yourselves and this once great country.

    I am disgusted with this administration filled with LITTLE LEAGUERS and people will die because of it, the next "man made disaster" won't be so inept.

    One and done, experiment brutally failed.

    December 30, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  14. Inofritzn

    DUHHHHHHHHH way to go brains!

    December 30, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  15. Rickster

    This president and this administration are the absolute worst. They have no idea what's going on, what to say or what to do.

    2012 can't get here fast enough.

    December 30, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  16. I am the flacid and powerless wizard of Rush

    So Dick Cheney crawled out from under his rock to politicize terror.
    Uh, about that shoe-bomber guy that was tried and pled guilty in the federal court, with lawyers and Miranda rights, which the Bush-Cheney administration crowed about.
    Uh, yeah and about Bush-Cheney releasing two of the Yemeni masterminds from Gitmo in 2007 to engage in "art classes".
    Uh, yeah and about bushie not saying anything after shoe-bomber Reid's attempt for SIX days.
    Uh, yeah and about the democrats not politicizing the shoe bomber case for the good of the country.

    Republicans: Party Over Country

    December 30, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  17. RJS3

    Well, I dunno...I guess a "Yes, we are responsible for this action" statement by an al Queda branch wasn't enough.

    Although, on the flip side, you don't want to be giving credit to someone who is just saying they did it just to get recognition.

    December 30, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  18. John K

    Would someone remind me why I should care what this war criminal says or thinks?

    December 30, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  19. Peachy Keen

    What Dick Cheney has failed to mention in his lambasting of Obama is that two of the men who helped organize this latest attempt at terrorism on an airliner were released from Gitmo by Cheney himself in 2007. We had them in custody and he let them go. Off to Yemen they went to continue THEIR war on our country.

    December 30, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  20. strong

    And? And?

    Is that all Barack had to say?

    December 30, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  21. U.S. Common Sense

    The bomber said he was al Qaeda. Al Qaeda claimed to be behind the attack. You would think the administration would be smart enough to draw the line between the two ... especially 5 days later.

    December 30, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  22. Lee in TN

    Contrary to what that Dick Cheney says, the Obama administration is at least trying to approach terrorism logically. The recent failure was from the carryover of homeland security measures the Bush administration instituted. Anyone who flew on international flights during the Bush years, knows the TSA was a joke. They had little training and detained thousands of people because they had no idea of how to read their instruments or what they were doing. This program was another piece of the facade the public bought into. The Bush/Cheney plan was to keep the public in fear, so they could control them and win elections for people who were puppets and rubber stamps for their extremist agenda. Sadly, they were successful for 8 years and still have a large following who spend there entire day listening to venom spewed on extremist programs on conservative radio and the so called "Fox News" channel.

    December 30, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  23. Fitz in Texas

    "Obama administration officials now say they are starting to see an al Qaeda connection to the attempted terror attack on a U.S.-bound airliner."

    Just now seeing it......is this administration slow or what.

    December 30, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  24. Bedtime for Obonzo

    Well, hello! I'm with Dick Cheney on this one - wishing away terrorists, not to mention the war on terror, doesn't work.

    December 30, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  25. CNN in the censoring buisness..shameful! He LIVES so ALL man can know peace and love!

    Look, we all have high hopes for peace in this world...but truth be told ..sometimes that peace is only obtained when the evil is omitted.
    I don't begrudged the President for hoping for a better day...but again truth be told..until the good Lord returns and his message is honestly recieved..we will have conflicts. So, my point is....come clean President Obama....see it for what it is...and address it as such. Read the story on Joshua..maybe that will give you some insight.

    December 30, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
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