WH: Report Reveals 'Shocking' Intel Failures

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WASHINGTON -- President Obama took full responsibility, Thursday, for the security downfalls that almost led to a disastrous airliner attack on Christmas.

Obama criticized intelligence officials and ordered them to do better, but hinted that no one would be fired over the ordeal.

A report was released Thursday revealing detailed intelligence failures regarding the would-be Christmas Day terror plot on a Detroit-bound Northwest airliner.

Click here to watch President Obama's comments, Thursday, on the security report.

CBN News Terrorism Analyst Erick Stakelbeck appeared on Thursday's The 700 Club to give more insight on the history of the Islamic faith and the increasing threat of homegrown terrorism.

Click play to watch the interview.

"It was not the falling down of one agency, one department, or one person," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said. "This, as the president has described, was a systemic failure."

National Security Advisor James Jones told USA Today that Obama, "is legitimately and correctly alarmed that things that were available, bits of information that were available, patterns of behavior that were available, were not acted on."

According to the Los Angeles Times, U.S. border agents discovered alleged extremist ties to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab in a database while the Northwest Airlines terror suspect was airborne and planned to question him when he landed in Detroit.

However, an earlier discovery could have prevented the so-called underwear bomber from boarding the plane in the first place. It's just one example of the intelligence failures expected to be pointed out in Thursday's report.

The report will also include steps to prevent future failures including a "race against time" to meet the president's call for a "surge" of new federal air marshals to be in place by February 1.

Under the plan 3,200 existing marshals will be sent overseas to monitor flights flown by U.S. airlines. Flights seen as high risk here at home will be overseen by agents from other law enforcement agencies.

"I want those reforms implemented immediately so that this doesn't happen again and so we can prevent future attacks," Obama said.

While the White House wants to make it clear the president is monitoring security improvements, officials are anxious to move public attention back to the president's health care expansion - especially as Congress gets back to work next week.

But lawmakers, especially Republicans, are likely to keep the security issue front and center.

Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., said, "To show he's serious someone will have to go."

No firings over the December security breach are expected - at least for now. In the meantime, Senate committees are expected to hold hearings on the matter later this month.

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CBN News
Jennifer Wishon

Jennifer Wishon

CBN News White House Correspondent

Jennifer Wishon is the White House correspondent for CBN News based in the network’s Washington, D.C. Bureau.  Before taking over the White House beat, Jennifer covered Capitol Hill and other national news, from the economy to the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Follow Jennifer on Twitter @JenniferWishon and "like" her at Facebook.com/JennWishon.