White House Convenes “Inter-Agency” Call on Holiday Threats

By Cullen Dirner

Dec 24, 2010 3:25pm

From Sunlen Miller and Yunji de Nies:

The White House convened an inter-agency conference call this morning to review the steps taken to respond to holiday threats this season. It was one year ago today that Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab tried to explode a powdery substance aboard a Northwest flight from Amsterdam to Detroit.

Today the White House tried to assure that they are being vigilant this holiday.

“During the call, they reviewed the additional steps that are being taken to ensure vigilance throughout the holiday season, including enhanced security measures and close coordination with foreign partners,” the White House said in a statement.  

The president was not on the coordination call this morning, led by Assistant to the President for Counter-Terrorism and Homeland Security John Brennan.  On the call was Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano, Director of National Intelligence Clapper, FBI Director Mueller, NCTC Director Leiter, Deputy Director of the CIA Morrell, National Security Staff travelling with the President in Hawaii, in addition to  other representatives from the counter-terrorism community.

In a briefing at the White House before the president departed for his Hawaiian holiday, the administration said that they do not see a specific and credible threat this holiday season.

“As far as something specific and credible, we don't see that,” Brennan said Wednesday, ”There is a constant stream of reporting throughout the course of the year about Al Qaida's plans.  So sometimes we have that strategic warning.  We're not going to wait for a tactical warning.  We're going to be poised every day to respond.”

Brennan said he is “absolutely confident” that the “deficiencies” that were identified in the system after the after-action review of the Abdulmutallab incident have been addressed.

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