AG Holder: 'underwear bomber' guilty plea proves U.S. courts work
(Pool Photo)
October 12th, 2011
01:50 PM ET

AG Holder: 'underwear bomber' guilty plea proves U.S. courts work

Attorney General Holder released an interesting statement on today's guilty plea from alleged terrorist Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab – the so-called 'underwear bomber' or 'Christmas Day bomber.' Abdulmutallab pleaded guilty today on all eight counts of his indictment, and Holder had this to say in response:

"Contrary to what some have claimed, today’s plea removes any doubt that our courts are one of the most effective tools we have to fight terrorism and keep the American people safe.  Our priority in this case was to ensure that we arrested a man who tried to do us harm, that we collected actionable intelligence from him and that we prosecuted him in a way that was consistent with the rule of law.  We will continue to be aggressive in our fight against terrorism and those who target us, and we will let results, not rhetoric, guide our actions.

"Northwest Airlines flight 253 carried 279 passengers and 11 crewmembers, all of whom could have been killed or injured had this plot been successful.  Today, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab is being held accountable for the attempted murder of 289 innocent people and he will face a potential sentence of life in prison at sentencing on Jan. 12, 2012.

"I want to thank all those who worked on this important investigation, particularly prosecutors from U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan, the Counterterrorism Section of the Justice Department’s National Security Division, as well as the many investigators and analysts from the Detroit Joint Terrorism Task Force, which is led by the FBI and includes U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Federal Air Marshal Service, and other law enforcement agencies."

Topics: Terror • The News
Vice President Biden talks terror on network morning shows
Vice President Biden walks through the US Capitol's Statuary Hall on his way to the House Chamber for President Obama's speech on job creation last night. (Brian Yaklyvich/ CNN)
September 9th, 2011
09:57 AM ET

Vice President Biden talks terror on network morning shows

Vice President Biden made a tour of the network morning shows this morning and addressed reports of a “credible” terrorist threat to New York City and Washington D.C. on the 10th anniversary of 9/11. While he reiterated that he could not “confirm” the reports, Biden said that the threat was “real” and that this was “the first credible piece of information we’ve gotten” since Osama bin Laden was killed four months ago.

On what the administration is most concerned about this weekend, Biden told NBC:

The thing we're all most worried about is what they call the lone ranger, a lone actor, not some extremely complicated plan like it took to take down the World Trade Towers or the plane in Shanksville or the Pentagon. It doesn't mean they couldn't happen but it's much less likely. The lone actor is the more worrisome thing because there are fewer trails to follow, there are fewer leads to move on. But this is information from a credible source that indicated this was an intent. We have not been able to confirm, nor does that source confirm or do they know who the individuals may be who are trying to find access to the United States. But we're taking it seriously.

On reports that the threat includes a possible car bomb, Biden told ABC:

We have been told that was an intention to get people into the United States to do that, from a credible source, but we do not have confirmation of that.

On what this means for average Americans, Biden told NBC: FULL POST

Threats follow White House to Hawaii
December 29th, 2010
04:47 PM ET

Threats follow White House to Hawaii

HONOLULU, Hawaii (CNN) - Every day before 8 a.m. Hawaiian time, President Obama gets an extensive briefing about all of the national security threats that have been bubbling around the world overnight while he's been vacationing.

An intelligence official heads over to Obama's vacation rental to deliver the Presidential Daily Brief, the very same classified briefing he receives every day back at the White House, and then a series of White House staffers provide him with extra information throughout the day via secure telephone, video and email lines.

"There's the PDB plus anything else the president needs to know about," Ben Rhodes, a senior National Security Council staffer who is traveling with Obama here in Hawaii, said in an interview.  It didn't quite go that smoothly last Christmas here in Hawaii.

White House aides confirmed a New York Times report that Obama was peeved in late 2009 when he had a hard time connecting securely with his top counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan, after a Nigerian national tried to launch a Christmas Day terror attack on a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit.

As a result, Brennan made sure that for this trip to Hawaii Obama got an upgrade to his communications equipment at the beach house his family rents in Kailua, a tiny town on the eastern side of Oahu about a 30-minute drive from Waikiki Beach.


Topics: John Brennan • President Obama • Terror • The News
October 29th, 2010
06:40 PM ET

Brennan thanks Saudis for Yemen tip

Statement from John Brennan, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counter-Terrorism

"The United States is grateful to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for their assistance in developing information that helped underscore the imminence of the threat emanating from Yemen. Their assistance, along with the hard work of the U.S. counter-terrorism community, the United Kingdom, the UAE, and other friends and partners helped make it possible to increase our vigilance and identify the suspicious packages in Dubai and East Midlands Airport."

Topics: John Brennan • Terror
October 29th, 2010
02:51 PM ET

President to comment on terror threats

From the White House

Today at 4:15 PM, President Obama will make a statement in the Brady Press Briefing room.

Following the statement, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs and Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism John Brennan will hold a press briefing.

Topics: President Obama • Robert Gibbs • Terror • The News • Uncategorized
October 29th, 2010
01:12 PM ET

URGENT: Statement from White House on terror threats

From White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs

Last night, intelligence and law enforcement agencies discovered potential suspicious packages on two planes in transit to the United States. Based on close cooperation among U.S. government agencies and with our foreign allies and partners, authorities were able to identify and examine two suspicious packages, one in East Midlands, United Kingdom and one in Dubai. Both of these packages originated from Yemen. As a result of security precautions triggered by this threat, the additional measures were taken regarding the flights at Newark Liberty and Philadelphia International Airports.

The President was notified of a potential terrorist threat on Thursday night at 10:35, by John Brennan, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counter-terrorism. The President directed U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies, and the Department of Homeland Security, to take steps to ensure the safety and security of the American people, and to determine whether these threats are a part of any additional terrorist plotting. The President has received regular updates from his national security team since he was alerted to the threat.

Topics: Robert Gibbs • Terror • The News