Number two, I think the important thing to recognize here is that once this incident occurred, everything happened that should have. The passengers reacted correctly, the crew reacted correctly, within an hour to 90 minutes, all 128 flights in the air had been notified. And those flights already had taken mitigation measures on the off-chance that there was somebody else also flying with some sort of destructive intent.
So the system has worked really very, very smoothly over the course of the past several days.
TAPPER: Well, let me ask you a question about intelligence-sharing. When the suspect's father went to the U.S. embassy in Nigeria and said, I'm worried because my son is displaying extremist religious views, how was that information shared with other parts of the U.S. government, or did it just stay at that U.S. embassy?
NAPOLITANO: Well, again, we are going to go back and really do a minute-by-minute, day-by-day scrub of that sort of thing. But when he presented himself to fly, he was on a tide (ph) list. What a tide list simply says is, his name had come up somewhere somehow.
But the no-fly and selectee list require that there be specific, what we call, derogatory information. And that was not available throughout the law enforcement community. He went through screening in Amsterdam as he prepared to board a flight to the United States.
The authorities in Amsterdam are working with us to make sure that screening was properly done. We have no suggestion that it wasn't, but we're actually going through -- going backwards, tracing his route.
But I think important for the traveling public recognize that A, everybody reacted as they should. We trained for this. We planned for this. We exercised for this sort of event should it occur.
And B, we have instituted additional screening in what we call mitigation measures that will be continuing for a while. And so we ask people perhaps to show up a little bit earlier at the airport during this heavy holiday season, and to recognize we're going to be doing different things at different airports.
So don't think somebody at TSA is not on the job if they're not doing exactly at one airport what you saw at another. There will be different things done in different places.
TAPPER: But, Secretary Napolitano, you keep saying everybody acted the way they were supposed to. Clearly the passengers and the crew of that Northwest Airlines flight did. But I think there are questions about whether everybody in the U.S. government did.
And here's a question for you, how many of -- so many of us are subject to random security searches all the time, how come somebody who is not on a terrorist database isn't subject to more stringent security when they check in to a flight to the U.S.? Why does that automatically just happen?
NAPOLITANO: Well, if he had had specific information that would have put him on the selectee list or indeed on the no-fly list, he would not have actually gotten on a plane.
But those numbers pyramid down. And they need to, because again, there is lots of information that flies about this world on a lot of different people. And what we have to do in law enforcement is not only collect and share, but do it in the proper way.