Senate Homeland Security panel to hold hearing on failed attack

{mosads}”We were very lucky this time, but we may not be so lucky next time, which is why our defenses must be strengthened,” said committee Chairman Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) in a statement. “I view Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab as a terrorist who evaded our homeland security defenses and who would have killed hundreds of people if the explosives he tried to detonate had worked.”

Lieberman’s panel is the third committee to announce it will probe the thwarted bombing attempt. The House Homeland Security Committee and the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee are the other two panels that will hold hearings.

Abdulmutallab on Christmas Day attempted to detonate a PETN explosive aboard the plane, which was traveling from Amsterdam to Detroit, but passengers and crew were able to stop the attempt after the detonator failed.

Specificallly, the committee will focus on why Abdulmutallab was not on the no-fly list; the use of full-body scanners at airports; and U.S. intelligence’s handling of Abdulmutallab, who may have contacted al Qaeda before the attack.

“In this specific case, if our security officials had intelligence on the radicalization of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, questions arise about why his visa was not canceled,” said ranking member Susan Collins (R-Maine). “We must carefully investigate why that apparently did not happen in this case.”

The attempted attack has spurred some dispute between Republicans and the White House. GOPers have accused the Obama administration of stonewalling inquiries into the attempt and criticized Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano for saying Sunday that security measures worked on Christmas Day.

Napolitano on Monday conceded that the system had not worked.

Over the weekend, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs stressed that the issue should be “nonpartisan.”

Tags Susan Collins

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