Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Kit Bond (R-Mo.), Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, announced today that the committee will conduct hearings on the attempted Christmas Day terrorist attack on Northwest Flight 253.
As part of the investigation, the committee will collect all intelligence related to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab held by various intelligence agencies in order to determine who had what, and how the information was handled. In addition, the committee will review national security policies on sharing information and terrorist watchlisting.
Senator Feinstein decided to conduct these hearings after consultation with Vice Chairman Bond. The hearings are scheduled to begin on January 21, but the committee’s investigation will start before that time.
“The Christmas Day incident revealed some serious failures in our nation’s system of security,” said Senator Feinstein. “As the New Year dawns, it is my hope that we can pause to remember how this nation – both Republicans and Democrats – put aside political differences and worked together after the 9/11 attacks. Christmas Day was a stark reminder, and we must heed it by working together with the President to take whatever steps are necessary to close the gaps in our system of defense. The Intelligence Committee’s investigation will be an important step in that process.”
"Somebody screwed up big time, that plane would have gone down if the suicide bomber was more competent or the passengers and crew were less heroic," said Senator Bond. "In our investigation we will be following the intelligence down the rabbit hole to see where the breakdown occurred and how to prevent this failure in the future."
The Committee has received its first briefing on this matter and will hold additional briefings and hearings until the facts are known and the Committee can consider recommendations to further improve our counterterrorism capabilities.