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White House: Public to feel 'a certain shock' over missed red flags in Christmas Day airline bomb plot

Later today, President Obama plans to release the details of a security probe into what went wrong in the Christmas Day attempt to bomb a jet bound for Detroit.

In the meantime, National Security Adviser James L. Jones told USA Today that Americans probably will feel "a certain shock" at how many red flags were missed despite the massive influx of federal dollars and manpower invested in the effort to thwart terrorism since 9/11.

Calling the November shooting at Ft. Hood in Texas the first strike and the near-bombing of Northwest Airlines Flight 253 a second strike, the former Marine general said Obama "certainly doesn't want that third strike, and neither does anybody else."

The news about missed red flags in the Christmas Day plot comes as the Pentagon released another report citing rising recidivism among prisoners released from Guantanamo Bay prison.

 said Pentagon officials are working to declassify the report, which shows that 1 in 5 prisoners released from Gitmo are either confirmed or suspected to have engaged in terrorism again.That’s almost double the 11% recidivism rate reported in December 2008 -- and likely to stoke a continuing debate over whether to close the prison.

Obama repeated this week that he has not abandoned plans to close Guantanamo Bay, calling it a recruiting tool for Al Qaeda. But with renewed focus on Yemen as a haven for the Christmas Day bomber and other terrorists, the White House has stopped releases to Yemen.

-- Johanna Neuman

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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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