Obama Orders Security Review after Failed Plot

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WASHINGTON - Airport security will be extremely tight this week as U.S. officials beef up operations after last Friday's terror plot to blow up Northwest Airlines flight 253.

The suspect in the terror plot, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, is talking and he's pointing the finger at al Qaeda operating out of the Middle East country of Yemen, which is located near Saudi Arabia.

Are U.S. flight security measures good enough? Click play for more insight from CBN News Terror Analyst Erick Stakelbeck, following this report. Also, Is Yemen the Next Hotbed for Al Qaeda?

On Monday, President Obama said he has ordered a review of the nation's watchlist system and its air safety regulations.

The president gave a brief statement during his holiday vacation in Honolulu.

He sought to ensure the American public that U.S. authorities will not rest until they find everyone involved in the attack and hold them accountable. Watch President Obama's statement here.

The White House said the Friday's incident exposed many failures in the system.

According to ABC News, the 23-year-old Nigerian spent months training for his Christmas Day suicide mission.

Apparently he has direct ties to an American born radical cleric now living in Yemen. That cleric, Anwar Awlaki, is also linked to alleged Fort Hood shooter U.S. Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, who went on a rampage last month.

"All the roads point back to Yemen, they point back to Awlaki, I think it is a pretty deadly combination," Rep. Peter Hoekstra, R-Mich., said.

The terror suspect comes from a wealthy Nigerian family, lived in an upscale London neighborhood and attended elite private schools.

At some point along the way, he became a radical and his father actually brought concerns about his own son to authorities.

"His father, having become concerned about his disappearance and stoppage of communication while schooling abroad, reported the matter to Nigerian security agencies about two months ago and to some foreign security agencies about a month and a half ago," the Mutallab family said in a statement.

"The disappearance and cessation of communication which got his mother and father concerned ... are completely out of character and a very recent development," the family statement read.

Abdulmutallab was even on a U.S. terror watch list, but he was not on the "no fly" list. There will now be congressional hearings even though administration officials are defending the process.

"The system has worked really very, very smoothly over the course of the past several days," Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said.

However, some beg to differ.

Former FBI counterterrorism agent Jack Cloonan said, "This is - in my view - is probably one of the worst situations I've ever heard of. And to cast this as the system working is not really what the American public needs to hear."

Meanwhile, hearings are expected to take place on Capitol Hill in an effort to uncover why Abdulmutallab was able to get past U.S. intelligence and why all the red flags were missed.

Rep. Peter King of New York told CBS' "Face the Nation," "Paying for the ticket with no cash, no luggage. All of these are red flags, warning signals. Bells should have gone off."

"This was a failure and a breakdown from beginning to end," King said.

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CBN News
David Brody

David Brody

CBN News Chief Political Correspondent

David Brody is an Emmy Award-winning veteran news journalist who has interviewed many prominent national figures during his career of nearly 25 years. Currently, David covers the White House and interviews national newsmakers across the country.  Follow David on Twitter @TheBrodyFile and "like" him at Facebook.com/TheBrodyFile.