Key findings and recommendations from the White House summary of its account of security lapses that led to the foiled Christmas Day airliner attack:
—The U.S. government had enough information before the attempted Dec. 25 attack to have potentially disrupted the plot by al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula but failed to connect the dots.
—The intelligence community’s leadership didn’t put enough resources into analyzing the threat from al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.
—The system of terrorist watch lists is not broken but needs to be strengthened and improved, as shown by the government’s failure to add Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the suspect in the attack, to the “no-fly” list. Doing so would have kept him from boarding Northwest Airlines Flight 253 altogether.
—A reorganization of the intelligence or the broader counterterrorism community is not necessary to address problems highlighted by the review, “a fact made clear by countless other successful efforts to thwart ongoing plots.”
— Strengthen criteria used to add individuals to the nation’s terrorist watch lists, especially the no-fly list. Balance need to keep dangerous people off airplanes, while not disrupting air travel.
— Increase the use of explosive detection technology, including imaging technology, at airports. Strengthen international partnerships to improve screening and security at airports around the world. Task Energy Department and national labs to develop next generation of screening technologies.
—Direct intelligence community to assign specific responsibility for investigating all leads on high-priority threats. Agencies must pursue leads until plots are disrupted.
—Distribute intelligence reports more rapidly and widely. Strengthen how analysts process and integrate intelligence reports.