Obama Issues Statement on Detroit Incident From Hawaii

December 28, 2009, 11:19 AM HST · Updated December 28, 11:24 AM
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By Wendy Osher

President Barack Obama made a statement this morning about the Christmas Day terror incident in which a suspect attempted to detonate a bomb aboard a flight bound for Detroit.

President Obama issued the special statement from Hawaii where he and the rest first family are spending their holiday.

“Here’s what we know so far: On Christmas Day, Northwest Airlines Flt. 253 was en route from Amsterdam, Netherlands to Detroit. As the plane made its final approach to Detroit Metropolitan Airport, a passenger allegedly tried to ignite an explosive device on his body, setting off a fire,” the President said.

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“Thanks to the quick and heroic actions of passengers and crew, the suspect was immediately subdued, the fire was put out, and the plane landed safely. The suspect is now in custody, and has been charged with attempting to destroy an aircraft,” said President Obama.

Upon learning of the incident, President Obama ordered a thorough review of the nation’s watch list and screening systems, and directed actions to ensure the safety of the traveling public.

“A full investigation has been launched into this attempted act of terrorism and we will not rest until we find all who were involved, and hold them accountable,” said President Obama.

“Apparently the suspect in the Christmas incident was in the system, but not on a watch list such as the so called no-fly list. So I have ordered a thorough review not only of how information related to the subject was handled, but of the overall watch list system and how it can be strengthened,” said President Obama.

The President assured the public that the U.S. would do more than simply strengthen its defenses.

“We will continue to use every element of our national power to disrupt, to dismantle, and defeat the violent extremists who threaten us,” said President Obama.

The remarks were the first the President has made on the attack. In his statement, he advised the American people to remain vigilant, but to also be confident.

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