U.S. Charges Nigerian Man With Trying to Destroy Detroit-Bound Plane

"The White House is calling this an attempted terrorist attack," Collins added. "It raises some serious questions, such as how was this person able to bring an explosive substance aboard a commercial airliner? And what is the Transportation Security Administration doing to address this type of threat?"

Congressional Hearing Next Month

Lawmakers in Congress pledged hearings on the security implications of the plot.

"The reported act of terrorism -- whether directly related to al Qaeda or not -- and the response to it will be the focus of an oversight hearing next month," said Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee.

"The committee will get to the bottom of what did and did not happen with Mr. Abdul Mutallab and what security precautions need to take place in the future," he said in a prepared statement.

ABC News' Jake Tapper, Mark Schone, Kirit Radia, Scott Mayerowitz, Jason Ryan, Matt Hosford, Dragana Jovanovic and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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