CBS: State blew two chances to flag Abdulmutallab’s visa

posted at 2:20 pm on December 28, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

The video report from Armen Keteyian doesn’t mention it, but the accompanying news story does. State had two opportunities to match Umar Abdulmutallab’s visa with the derogatory information that should have kept him out of the US. Both times, within 24 hours of each other, State failed to make the connection:


Watch CBS News Videos Online

According to a law enforcement source, the first failure came on Nov. 19, 2009, the very same day Abdulmutallab father’s, Dr. Umaru Mutallab, a prominent banking official in Nigeria, expressed deep concern to officials at the U.S. Embassy in Abjua, Nigeria, that his 23-year-old son had fallen under the influence of “religious extremists” in Yemen.

The second failure to flag an active visa belonging to Abdulmuttalab occurred the very next day in Washington, after Mutallab’s concerns were forwarded to officials there. It was only after the Christmas Day terror attack in Detroit that U.S. officials learned that Abdulmuttalab had been issued a visa by the U.S. Embassy in London valid from June 16, 2008, through June 12, 2010.

This has nothing to do with watch list rules put in place in 2006. This came from a failure of State Department personnel to double-check the derogatory information against visas issued by our embassies. No one bothered to check whether a man whose father accused him of being dangerous to the US had valid paperwork to enter the country — and we’re lucky that no one lost their lives from that failure.

This is not a political failure as much as it is a bureaucratic failure. I doubt seriously that the Obama administration discouraged people from checking visas against derogatory information. But the administration has to fix the problem, and that won’t happen as long as Janet Napolitano and the White House keeps talking about rules from 2006 and how the system “worked” to save lives.


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Comment pages: 1 2

Hmmmm…It’ll be interesting if Hillary is asked to resign over this.

mamagetsamini on December 28, 2009 at 3:36 PM

… brought to you by the same gaggle of idiots that are soon to control YOUR health care.

RedNewEnglander on December 28, 2009 at 3:36 PM

It’s time to ask Israel to send over a few hundred instructors to teach our people how to properly process folks as they go through security.

Bishop on December 28, 2009 at 2:46 PM

Terrorists don’t want to board an El-Al flight anyway, because all Isreali citizens receive military training. Their passengers ARE the security team. You think they won’t tackle someone setting their pants on fire?

hawksruleva on December 28, 2009 at 3:37 PM

… brought to you by the same gaggle of idiots that are soon to control YOUR health care.

RedNewEnglander on December 28, 2009 at 3:36 PM

You said it!

redfoxbluestate on December 28, 2009 at 3:40 PM

“Obama: We will not rest until we find all who were involved and hold them accountable”.

Fortunately, Umar has already been read his rights. I think he’s also going to get the right to some skin grafts, unless he’s stuck with government health insurance.

Yo, Mr. President. We know who was involved. It was Yemen. Are you going to hold them accountable by sending them a bunch of Gitmo detainees? The #2 terrorist guy in Yemen is a former Gitmo resident. I guess he’s getting some additional manpower.

hawksruleva on December 28, 2009 at 3:40 PM

Funny how the media is mostly calling this guy a Nigerian. Is Nigeria at war with us? I wonder if the guy belonged to any other groups that ARE at war with us.

Oh, that’s right, there is no war.

hawksruleva on December 28, 2009 at 3:42 PM

CNN’s Rick Sanchez says this terror attack is proof that we’re going in the right direction militarily. It’s a good thing.

Ronnie on December 28, 2009 at 3:17 PM

Did ya also catch little Ricky mention that the explosive material could have put a hole in the plane causing it to crash???? Duh!

Ricky’s also down on McCain for raising the issue that Obama has done little about Iran.

That distant smell is Rome burning, or Sanchez’s shorts twisting in the wind.

Rovin on December 28, 2009 at 3:43 PM

… brought to you by the same gaggle of idiots that are soon to control YOUR health care.

RedNewEnglander on December 28, 2009 at 3:36 PM

Imagine MSNBC’s sanctimonious uproar when some enterprising Senator makes this same point. I’m thinking De Mint will be the one. Best ad concept evah!

The Race Card on December 28, 2009 at 3:44 PM

heads in the sand…
*sigh*

cmsinaz on December 28, 2009 at 3:49 PM

US President Barack Obama on Monday vowed an all-out pursuit of plotters of a failed Christmas Day bombing of a US-bound airliner, vowing “we will not rest” until they are captured and tried.

By Executive Order, he then created the “Presidential Commission to Investigate the Underpants Bomber”, and appointed Orenthal James Simpson as Chairman.

“Chairman Simpson has many years of experience of not resting until justice is served” said POTUS just before watching Simpson tee-off on Kaneohe Links, where Simpson is continuing the search for the person who killed his ex-wife years ago. “I have many golf courses yet to search…I’ll find’em….you watch”.

It was reported that Obama had pardoned Simpson earlier today after being “falsely tried and convicted” on trumped-charges” last year.

BobMbx on December 28, 2009 at 3:55 PM

Innocent mistake. SecState Clinton directed them to “reset” him, but it came out “overcharge” in translation, and since he as flying commercial they figured he was already being overcharged.

malclave on December 28, 2009 at 3:56 PM

It was reported that Obama had pardoned Simpson earlier today after being “falsely tried and convicted” on trumped-charges” last year.

BobMbx on December 28, 2009 at 3:55 PM

Snark Factor @ Defcon10

Love it!

Key West Reader on December 28, 2009 at 3:59 PM

The Zero today “we will not rest until we get all of them; however, this was just a lone wolf”.

I’m really assured now.

Schadenfreude on December 28, 2009 at 4:12 PM

US President Barack Obama on Monday vowed an all-out pursuit of plotters of a failed Christmas Day bombing of a US-bound airliner, vowing “we will not rest” until they are captured and tried.

“…starting now of course. I mean, obviously this doesn’t include all the resting I was doing since the attack.”

Chuck Schick on December 28, 2009 at 4:15 PM

US President Barack Obama on Monday vowed an all-out pursuit of plotters of a failed Christmas Day bombing of a US-bound airliner, vowing “we will not rest” until they are captured and tried.

Then, he shouted “Fore!”

capitalist piglet on December 28, 2009 at 4:28 PM

But I thought the State Department was “good” at paperwork?

Khun Joe on December 28, 2009 at 5:01 PM

Has anyone else noticed Obama focusing on strange stuff lately?

Like this situation, for instance. Obama isn’t briefed for 3 hours & he doesn’t bother to make a statement for 3 days…

But

His friend’s kid has to get a few stitches down the street while on vacation? Obama takes immediate action. He gathers the reporters, staff & security to escort him back to the house to deal with this incredible problem.

Epic Inability to Differentiate.

Dorvillian on December 28, 2009 at 6:14 PM

yes it was HRC hiding the stamp that said NO

she did it personally Ed Im sure

meanwhile the conspirators were RELEASED IN 2007 from Gitmo

but it is all HRC and her stamp hiding fault

ginaswo on December 28, 2009 at 6:16 PM

Obama in trouble? rev up the Hillaryhate Clinton blame machine! conservative blogs ready to help spread the BS? check!

ginaswo on December 28, 2009 at 6:16 PM

ginaswo on December 28, 2009 at 6:16 PM

“The Buck Stops Here.” Harry Truman.

Where’s a Truman when you need him. While there is plenty of blame to go around the bottom line is that Hilary is in Charge of State and they could have done something but didn’t. So where does the Buck stop?

I heard plenty of feces about Bush’s Responsibility for 9/11 because he didn’t focus on information he had received prior to 9/11. What’s good for the gander (Bush) is good for the goose (HRC). She had nearly a year on the Job she owns it.

chemman on December 28, 2009 at 7:15 PM

Oh Hillary!!!!What exactly happened on the three A.M. phone call?

Nozzle on December 28, 2009 at 7:26 PM

Obama vowed that he would not rest while these perpetrators are free…Of course, he will get right on it but that would have to be after the gymn, tennis, golf, surfing, suntanning, pretty sure he doesn’t need any help there, a couple of more trips to Copenhagen, a few more fundraisers, a few more vacations…Oh, and then it will be campaign time…

Nozzle on December 28, 2009 at 7:30 PM

You know what I find most interesting about this kerfuffle? People are OUTRAGED (and rightly so) at the beaurocratic failures that took place that allowed this attack to happen (thankfully it failed), and yet… all the lefties in this country STILL believe that we should believe Gov’t health care will work like a charm.

It’s quite the logical disconnect.

ExSubNuke on December 29, 2009 at 9:46 AM

It might be interesting to see what list he appears on now!

damonst on December 29, 2009 at 3:36 PM

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