US Had ‘Early Signals’ of Lap Bomber Plot

Obama Condemns 'Systemic Failure' of Security

Despite the Christmas Day lap bombing in Detroit having come seemingly out of left field, President Barack Obama was told today that there were several “missed signals” which suggest the US indeed should have had some advanced warning.

In particular, officials say Yemeni al-Qaeda was frequently talking about a “Nigerian” being groomed for attack. President Obama declared the entire incident a “systemic failure” of the nation’s security system.

Officials have been of two minds about whether or not the plot should have been uncovered, with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano declaring Sunday that the “system worked” before angrily declaring Monday that the quote was “out of context” and conceding that the system didn’t really work at all.

But mostly the plot has been an excuse for officials to rail at one another, with Democrats blaming the Republicans’ ban of the full body scanner while Republican Congressmen pointed to President Obama’s ostensible plan to close Guantanamo Bay and insisting that he didn’t take terrorism seriously enough as a matter of principle.

At any rate, officials say they are now reasonably confident that the attacker was indeed in league with al-Qaeda, and despite the miserable failure the plot was a serious threat.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of