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Op-Ed: Blunders Demand Answers

Op-Ed

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One thing is clear about the attempted terror attack on Christmas Day -- we need answers.

There is obviously going to be a full-scale congressional investigation into how Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was allowed to board Flight 253 and head to the United States with plans to incinerate 300 innocent people.

Mere hours after it happened, I was told that this man was known to our government, and that there was a classified file on him that said he definitely was involved in terrorist activity. The exact words the authorities used when they told me were "terrorist nexus."

They were able to make this connection quickly, yet Abdulmutallab wasn't on a no-fly list. I'm told that's because his terrorist activities hadn't been aviation-related.

To me, a terrorist is a terrorist. We should re-evaluate how we put people on these lists.

We also hear that the suspect's father may have reported him to US authorities six months ago. If that's the case, there's no doubt that he should have never been allowed on a plane to this country.

We also need to investigate how he got a visa, especially considering the information the government had about his connections to terrorists.

I also believe there should be more use of our federal air marshals. My understanding is that there were none aboard the flight from Amsterdam.

Sept. 11 is not ancient history. We have an enemy who is always looking for new ways to kill us. The threat is still very real and will be for the foreseeable future. We must be vigilant.

We have to be lucky all the time -- but they only need to get lucky once.


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