The State Department says counterterrorism agencies were warned that the Nigerian man who allegedly tried to blow up an airliner Christmas Day may be under extremists’ influence.
State Department spokesman Ian Kelly says it was up to the National Counterterrorism Center to coordinate the interagency effort that would have blocked 23-year-old Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab from entering the U.S. He says U.S. counterterror agencies received the information on Nov. 20, a day after it was provided by the father, but it was not enough to revoke the visa.
Kelly says officials get thousands of negative messages about people that are not always accurate.
He says Abdulmutallab got the two-year tourist visa in 2008 because he had money, was attending a reputable school and had visited the U.S. before.