The Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee told reporters Thursday that there were a number of intelligence oversights exposed by the attempted bombing of Northwest Airlines flight 253 on Christmas Day. "We were just lucky the bomber was incompetent," said Ranking Member Sen Kit Bond (R-MO).
Committee members received testimony from DNI Dennis Blair, NCTC Director Michael Leiter, Deputy Director of the CIA Steve Kappes, along with representatives from the NSA and the State Dept.
While the investigation is ongoing the members hinted that there may be statutory changes to US visa policy and the no fly list. They also said that a lack of proper information technology pervented analysts from connecting all the dots that should have alerted officials to the intentions of attempted bomber Farouk Abdulmutallab.
Chairman Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) stressed that remaining flexible would be key to preventing future attacks. "The terrorists watch, they perceive a weak point, and move into that field."
While they continue to investigate who is responsible for the oversight that allowed Abdulmutallab onto a flight bound for the United States, neither Senator was ready to place blame on any particular agency or individual.
Members additionally refused judgement on who was responsible for Mirandizing Abdulmutallab, but admitted that there was no process to consult before Mirandizing an individual.