News >> Browse Articles >> Law Enforcement News


Obama Orders More Air Marshalls

Obama Orders More Air Marshalls

This picture provided by J.P. Karas shows Northwest Airlines Flight 253 on the runway after arriving at Detroit Metropolitan Airport from Amsterdam on Friday, Dec. 25, 2009. (AP Photo)

The AP via YellowBrix

January 08, 2010

WASHINGTON (AP) – Hundreds of law enforcement officers are being trained as federal air marshals to ramp up security as the Obama administration tries to prevent a repeat of the near-catastrophic attempt to blow up an airliner bound for Detroit on Christmas Day.

President Barack Obama ordered the U.S. intelligence agencies to do a better job of recognizing serious terror threats and sharing information with those who can disrupt a plot as quickly as possible.

The White House on Thursday released a declassified summary of a two-week review that began when a 23-year-old Nigerian man allegedly tried to blow up a Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Detroit with an explosive hidden in his underwear.

Officials received fragments of information as early as October about an alleged terror recruit they later learned was Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.

Although intelligence officials knew that an al-Qaida operative in Yemen posed a threat to U.S. security, they did not increase their focus on that threat and did not pull together fragments of data needed to foil the scheme, the review found.

Obama announced about a dozen changes designed to fix that, including new terror watch list guidelines, wider and quicker distribution of intelligence reports, stronger analysis of those reports, international partnerships and an interagency effort to develop next-generation airport screening technologies.

Extra air marshals _ one of the additional layers of security ordered for air travel _ will add to the more than 4,000 already in the system, officials familiar with the classified strategy said. Obama has also called for enhanced screening technology to detect explosives and other dangerous materials terrorists could try to sneak onto an airplane.

While Obama promised improved security, however, his solutions were laced with bureaucratic reshuffling.

Americans might be surprised that the government was not already taking some of the steps Obama ordered. For instance, he directed the intelligence community to begin assigning direct responsibility for following up leads on high-priority threats.

Obama himself hinted at the difficulties of improving intelligence and security against a terrorist network that devises new methods as fast or faster than the U.S. can come up with defenses.

“There is, of course, no foolproof solution,” he said. “We have to stay one step ahead of a nimble adversary.”

Underscoring Obama’s assertion that no one individual was responsible for failing to thwart the attack, the administration’s report noted that Abdulmutallab’s name was misspelled in one instance, leading the State Department to conclude he did not have a valid U.S. visa when he did. In another instance, the suspect’s name was in a massive government database of suspected terrorists, but it was never moved to a list that would have ensured additional screening before he boarded the airplane in Amsterdam.

The White House is anxious to resolve and move beyond the issue, which threatens to damage the president politically and distract further from his agenda.

“When the system fails, it is my responsibility,” Obama said.

  • Forethought_normal_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Nice headline. Too bad they spelled Marshal wrong!

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago

    More air marshalls is a darn good thing, but...if it got to the point where an air marshall got involved while in flight, isn't it too late? The beefed up security also needs to be pre-flight!

  • Anonymous-killer-whale-232189_1__max50


    over 4 years ago


    First time I've heard the prez admit responsibility for ANYTHING !!! Glad I was sitting down when I read that !!

  • Ba_old_glory_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Wow, a change of heart!

  • 10_max50


    over 4 years ago


    alfonsoedjr hit it right on the head. There are many officers that have taken the classes, or would be willing to take the classes and "help" out but opur government seems to want to diminish this help.
    And it is only going to get worse.

  • Untitledma28839986-0002_max50


    over 4 years ago


    How about better training, tougher rules, sharing intel to start. More air marshals good idea. Here's the other side of the coin. Do you really beleive these people care if an air marshal is on that plane. These terrorist want to die, they dont care who is armed on a plane. You have to stop it at the gate. Stopping hiring these flunkies, do better background checks, pay a better wage. Get the lastest and up to date security. And the most important, tell the agenices to share intel, anything and everything. People are afraid of these scanners that show parts of the body. Well people wake up, don't get on a plane, you can always drive. Our wake up call was 9-11-01. Not much has cahnged. This is not rocket sicence here people. President Obama should have been on Air Force 1 returning to Washington, instead he leaves a golf course to run to the hospital when a friend who was traveling with him child was hurt.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago

    It is unfortunate that we will never have a foolproof method to completely stop incidences of terrorism. I was given the training and certification, by the US Marshal's Service, for the purpose of being allowed to fly armed. But, the airlines only recognize it when you are on duty.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago


    Right on the money brother...
    Allow all LEO to carry on a flight... It could prove a BIG change...
    Kind of extending HR-218 to the air...

    Off course: It will require further training... As you all probably know, firing a weapon inside a plane it not as firing it inside a house...
    Those that qualify with their service weapon in this Special Training should be certified to carry on board.

  • Joefriday_max50


    over 4 years ago


    They should have a big basket of .38 cal pistols that you get one when you get on the plane that every US citizen that can legally have a firearm and show proficency on can have on the flight. Turn them in when you get off the plane and it would solve the issue.

  • P5120020_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Good idea CaptainDan, but I think it could not be bad to have some special training LEOs in the air. Shooting in a plan can be fatal - not only for the perp. Also: There are so many lay offs in PDs, maybe a brother who lost his job can hire there.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago

    The Air Marshalls do an awesome job, but, there are so many of us in law enforcement that could supplement this effort by allowing us to fly armed!

  • Cot_max50


    over 4 years ago


    hiring more Air Marshalls is a good start, but an idiot on a plane with a bomb is too late. they need to step it up before these people enter the terminals and gates to get to the planes.

  • 419440_3539141719943_1314397147_3380924_1541365024_n_max50


    over 4 years ago


    I wonder if the waiting list is still in the thousands for that job?

PoliceLink School Finder

Save time in your search for a criminal justice degree program. Use PoliceLink's School Finder to locate schools online and in your area.

Get Info

* In the event that we cannot find a program from one of our partner schools that matches your specific area of interest, we may show schools with similar or unrelated programs.

Recent Activity

liveonline55 submitted the article: "PGA TOUR Live: The Barclays 2014 Streaming Free", 4 minutes ago.
liveonline55 submitted the article: "The Barclays 2014 live online Streaming Golf", 9 minutes ago.
liveonline55 submitted the article: "The Barclays 2014 live online Streaming Golf", 10 minutes ago.
melvingraves posted: "Lose Your unnecessary Weight", 30 minutes ago.
melvingraves posted in: "Lose Your unnecessary Weight", 30 minutes ago.