The Obama administration has issued new security directives to combat threats of terrorist attack. Starting today, passengers coming to the United States from Afghanistan, Algeria, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, or Yemen, or designated as a state sponsor of terrorism, Cuba, Iran, Sudan, and Syria, will be subject to enhanced screening.
"TSA is mandating that every individual flying into the U.S. from anywhere in the world traveling from or through nations that are state sponsors of terrorism or other countries of interest will be required to go through enhanced screening," a statement from the agency read. "The directive also increases the use of enhanced screening technologies and mandates threat-based and random screening for passengers on U.S. bound international flights."
Obama's top counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan, took to the airwaves Sunday to acknowledge the system failed in connecting the dots in the case of Abdulmutallab, but he also insisted that no obvious plot was missed.
"There was no single piece of intelligence, a smoking gun, if you will, that said that Mr. Abdulmutallab was going to carry out his attack against that aircraft. What we had, looking back at it now, were a number of streams of information," Brennan said on "This Week" Sunday.
"We may have had a partial name, we might have had an indication of a Nigerian, but there was nothing that brought it all together."
Today, Clinton also acknowledged the failure of connecting the dots in the case of Abdulmutallab, but also defended the State Department's actions. The U.S. embassy in Nigeria sent a memo to various agencies after the terror suspect's father approached Americans with concerns that his son may be getting increasingly radicalized.
"We are not satisfied. We are conducting an internal review," Clinton told reporters. "Based on what we know now, the State Department fully complied with the requirements set forth."
Republicans were less charitable with their criticism.
"There are probably a number of people who screwed up," GOP Sen. Christopher Bond of Missouri said on "Fox News Sunday."
"We may need more I.T., better information systems. But with ... all of the leads dangling out there, somebody screwed up on not reporting it."
Former Vice President Dick Cheney and others have accused the Obama administration of not taking the fight against terrorism seriously enough.
Woodward said the administration, which is coming up on its first full year, has probably done more than its predecessors to address the growing threat of al Qaeda.
"You can't become president a year ago, as he did, and not realize we're at war. It's part of the fabric of life there, of the decisions of the intelligence briefings," Woodward said. "The information that I have about that it's very clear that the new administration has taken a very aggressive stance on these matters and are perhaps -- even more than the Bush administration -- doing more about the al Qaeda sanctuaries in places like Yemen, and again this is the key."
But, Woodward said, U.S. agencies should've at least checked if Abdulmutallab had a U.S. visa after they received intelligence from his father in Nigeria that he was being radicalized, and put him on the "no-fly" list. And security, Woodward said, should be focused on airlines but the threat could be everywhere.