Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama said Monday he will nominate FBI Deputy Director John Pistole to become the new head of the Transportation Security Administration.
The position has been vacant since Obama became president in January 2009, with an acting head in place. Two previous Obama nominees have withdrawn from consideration due to Republican opposition and controversial issues.
Pistole has been FBI deputy director since October 2004, and previously helped lead the investigation of the Egypt Air Flight 990 crash off Rhode Island in 1999.
"The talent and knowledge John has acquired in more than two decades of service with the FBI will make him a valuable asset to our administration's efforts to strengthen the security and screening measures at our airports," Obama said in a written statement. "I am grateful that he has agreed to take on this important role, and I look forward to working with him in the weeks and months ahead."
"It looks like he was working on behalf of the Pakistani Taliban," Obama counterterterrorism advsier John Brennan said Sunday on CNN. (Photo Credit: CNN)
Washington (CNN) - The suspect in the failed Times Square bombing was likely working with the Taliban movement in Pakistan, President Barack Obama's top terrorism adviser said Sunday.
John Brennan, the assistant to the president for counterterrorism and homeland security, told CNN's "State of the Union" that the ongoing investigation pointed to Faisal Shahzad having links to Tehrik-e-Taliban, known
"It looks like he was working on behalf of the Pakistani Taliban," Brennan said.
Watch: Brennan weighs in on Shahzad
The group, also known as the TTP, is "closely allied with al Qaeda" and has pledged to carry out attacks on other parts of the world, including the United States, Brennan said.
Updated: 4:55 p.m.
Washington (CNN) - If the new requirement that no-fly lists be checked by airlines every two hours had been in place, Times Square bombing suspect Faisal Shahzad would have been stopped before boarding a plane, Attorney General Eric Holder said Thursday.
Pressed by lawmakers at a Senate hearing, Holder said the requirement for airlines to check no-fly lists every two hours instead of 24 hours likely could have prompted authorities at the airport to apprehend Shahzad sooner.
Shahzad was arrested late Monday at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport after boarding a flight bound for Dubai, United Arab Emirates. His final destination was Pakistan.
The Emirates plane had pulled away from the gate but was ordered back by customs officials. Shahzad was taken into custody.
Holder reiterated his statement to reporters Tuesday that he personally was "never worried" Shahzad would manage to escape, but acknowledged not everything went right.
Life quickly returned to normal in New York City's Times Square after Saturday's incident. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama said Tuesday that "justice will be done" in the case of the attempted bombing at Times Square, and U.S. officials "will do everything in our power to protect the American people."
The failed bombing is "another sobering reminder of the times in which we live," the president told an audience of business leaders. But the United States "will be vigilant" and "will not cower in fear."
Washington (CNN) - Leaving a vehicle full of explosive material in New York City's Times Square is a terrorist act, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Monday.
Asked if the Saturday incident was a terrorist incident, Gibbs said the act of putting a vehicle with such dangerous materials in Times Square "was intended to terrorize."
"Whoever did that would be categorized as a terrorist, yes," Gibbs said.
Gibbs added that the identity of the person or people responsible remained unknown.
Venice, Louisiana (CNN) - President Barack Obama promised "to see that justice is done" Sunday after a failed attempt to set off a car bomb in New York's Times Square.
In an interview on CNN's "State of the Union," Napolitano said it was too early to know who was responsible for leaving a vehicle laden with explosives in the symbolic heart of the nation's most populous city.
"We're taking this very seriously," Napolitano said, noting that the New York police, FBI and federal Joint Terrorism Task Force were involved in the investigation. "We're treating it as if it could be a potential terrorist
"The purpose of the Committee's investigation . . . is to answer questions that are critical to our government's ability to counter homegrown terrorism," Sens. Lieberman and Collins wrote in a letter accompanying the subpoenas. . (Photo Credit: Getty Images/File)
Washington (CNN) – Two top senators on the Homeland Security Committee served the government with subpoenas Monday for witnesses and documents involving the 2009 shooting attack at Fort Hood, Texas, that killed 13 people.
Committee chairman Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Connecticut, and ranking Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine said the Defense Department and Justice Department had so far failed to provide information about the shootings sought by the panel.
Maj. Nidal Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, has been charged with 13 counts of murder in the November shootings.
"The purpose of the Committee's investigation of the Fort Hood attack is to answer questions that are critical to our government's ability to counter homegrown terrorism," Lieberman and Collins wrote in a letter accompanying the subpoenas.
Washington (CNN) – President Obama's top homeland security official said Monday that the government has an obligation to tolerate expressions of political anger, while being ever vigilant for behavior that crosses the line into violence.
In an interview set to air Monday on CNN's The Situation Room, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano was asked whether Obama's status as the first African-American president is playing any role in motivating anti-government groups.
"It is mentioned by some, but lots of things are now being mentioned," she said. "So it's really hard to extrapolate from what a few are saying to what all are saying or what all believe.
"There's obviously a great deal of political anger out there and angry rhetoric out there. But, as I said earlier, that's something that we've had constantly in our country's history. We may not like it – don't appreciate it – but it is protected under our Constitution, under our sense of values. Where it's not protected is where you start moving into preparation for and carrying out violent acts."
Napolitano added that all levels of law enforcement have to be "leaning forward" and sharing threat information in order to minimize the chance of another event such as the Oklahoma City bombing or the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Napolitano was in Oklahoma Monday to attend a ceremony remembering victims of the bombing.
The Homeland Security secretary told CNN's Suzanne Malveaux that the Secret Service is "constantly monitoring" the safety of the president, the vice president, and their families. "That is something that there's no quarter left unspent to make that happen," she said.