January 5, 2010
Posted: 08:53 PM ET
Washington (CNN) - The FBI attained "actionable intelligence" from bombing suspect Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab in the first hours after his arrest on Christmas Day, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Tuesday.
"AbdulMutallab spent a number of hours with FBI investigators in which we gleaned useable, actionable intelligence," Gibbs told reporters.
According to authorities, Nigerian-born AbdulMutallab tried to detonate explosives hidden in his underwear as a flight from Amsterdam, Netherlands, made its final approach to Detroit, Michigan, December 25. The device failed to fully detonate, instead setting off a fire at the man's seat.
Gibbs declined to elaborate on the nature of the intelligence. AbdulMutallab, 23, has been tied to the Yemen-based group al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
In a statement to reporters after meeting with his national security team, President Obama said U.S. officials had enough information in their possession before the failed bombing attack to have prevented the suspect from getting on the plane, but had been unable to "connect the dots."
Obama said he ordered his security team to complete preliminary reviews of the situation this week so that suggested reforms can be implemented immediately.
"Time and again we've learned that quickly piecing together information and taking swift action is critical to staying one step ahead of a nimble adversary," Obama said. "So we have to do better, and we will do better, and we have to do it quickly. American lives are on the line."
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