Drawing from the findings of a review into intelligence agency reports/failures on how Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab was able to get on the plane from Nigeria, through Amsterdam to the U.S, despite warnings about his radical ties and views from his father, U.S President Barack Obama is expanding his views on the failed attack and role of the Al Qaeda network.
“We know that he traveled to Yemen, a country grappling with crushing poverty and deadly insurgencies. It appears that he joined an affiliate of al Qaeda, and that this group – al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula – trained him, equipped him with those explosives and directed him to attack that plane headed for America”, he said on Saturday in his weekly radio and internet address.
It is the highest level confirmation that the 23-year-old Nigerian man who tried to bomb apassenger jet on Christmas Day enroute Detroit was an operations person for the al Qaeda.
The young man’s father Alhaji Mutallab, from some indications since 2007 remained concerned about his son’s radical Islam associates, including potentially violent views.
The senior Mutallab, visited the U.S embassy in Abuja (Nigeria) in 2008 to alert its security of the son’s growing liason and engagement with al-Qaeda type characters, especially in the radicalized country of Yemen.
USAfricaonline.com research shows the network of radical Islam fighting under the recent, general banner of alQaeda have executed attacks, successfully across parts of Africa in 1998, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2007, 2008 and 2009.
Obama also noted that the Yemen-area group has been more problem for the U.S.: “This is not the first time this group has targeted us (the United States). In recent years, they have bombed Yemeni government facilities and Western hotels, restaurants and embassies, including our embassy in 2008, killing one American…. I’ve made it a priority to strengthen our partnership with the Yemeni government – training and equipping their security forces, sharing intelligence and working with them to strike al Qaeda terrorists.’
He pointed to the funds and operational support given by the United States to Yemen under the American Pentagon’s counterterrorism program in 2009, totaling almost $68 million. On the value of the expenses, Obama highlighted that terror-related “training camps have been struck, leaders eliminated, plots disrupted. And all those involved in the attempted act of terrorism on Christmas must know – you too will be held to account.”
Obama spoke from his holidays in Hawaii.
USAfricaonline.com news index show increased Republican and some non-partisan criticisms of President Obama, insisting that he was slow in responding/speaking to the Mutallab terrorism related events. His predecessor’s vice President and eager critic Dick Cheney has attacked Obama for allegedly pretending the U.S is not “at war” with terrorists. Also, Rep. Pete Hoekstra, Republican from Michigan, and ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, told FoxNews 3 days after the failed Dec 25 attack, “On many other instances and occasions the president is out front. He’s out front leading very early on a lot of different issues. When it comes to terrorism, to the threat to the homeland, the president has decided to stay silent for 72 hours. He needs to explain that.”