Top of the Ticket

Political commentary from the LA Times

« Previous Post | Top of the Ticket Home | Next Post »

Boy, now he's in real trouble; Obama administration revokes U.S. visa of accused Nigerian bomber [Update]

January 6, 2010 |  4:00 am

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab

Under the category of looks-like-about-12-days-too-late, the State Department has announced it is revoking the U.S. visa for suspected Nigerian underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.

That will show him and who knows how many others that the Obama administration really means business.

The 23-year-old al-Qaeda-trained terrorist was on a terrorist watch list because he had traveled to Yemen for training. His father also warned U.S. officials he was dangerous. President Obama admitted Tuesday that U.S. intelligence experts knew much about the man but "failed to connect the dots" causing a "potentially disastrous" situation.

"Intelligence was not fully utilized and not fully leveraged," the Democratic president said sternly. "We have to do better, and we have to do it quickly." Obama said he found the lapses "unacceptable." And he ordered even more reviews.

The president also announced that after consulting with Atty. Gen. Eric Holder, he had decided not to send any more Guantanamo Bay prisoners to Yemen due to the unsettled situation there. But this would not affect his determination to close the prison someday.

The would-be bomber from Nigeria is in jail accused of the blessedly botched bombing of a Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas Day that could have killed almost 300 people. The fuse fizzled in his explosive-laden underpants.

Passengers had to hit the young male there many times to put out the fire.

The suspect is no longer talking on the advice of his court-appointed attorney.

On Tuesday State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley announced that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab has subsequently been stripped of the government visa that allowed him to fly to America with a ticket purchased with cash.

FOR THE RECORD: A previous version of this item incorrectly stated the accused bought a one-way ticket to Detroit. He bought a roundtrip ticket but will be only using it one-way.

Crowley said others have also lost the right to visit the United States now that officials have been checking existing lists for potential terrorists, but he would not name or count them. "It's more than one," Crowley said. "But I don't think it's fruitful to get into a scoreboard."

-- Andrew Malcolm

Twitter alerts of new Ticket items available by clicking here. Or follow us @latimestot. Or join us over here on The Ticket's new Facebook FAN page.

Photo: Associated Press

Comments 

Advertisement










Video