President Barack Obama, in a statement to the press, announced that he wants the nomination practices currently used by the FBI to build terrorist watch lists reviewed. This comes after authorities found out that the father of Northwest flight 253 suspected terrorist, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, had told authorities about his son. The president also announced that he wants the technology used by TSA agents to be evaluated. There is currently legislation in the Senate that would legalize whole body image scanners to be used across the United States.
Some citizen groups have argued that the whole-body scanners are an invasion of privacy because the images show a naked body. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, is against the use of the scanners. Senator Joe Lieberman, who is the chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, announced today that talks on the use of scanners would begin in January.
According to a study done a few years ago during the Bush administration, the United States Justice Department performed an audit that found that the FBI nomination practices are very risky. They found numerous cases of terrorist files not being updated properly. The full-body scanners are used at six airports in the United States; they serve as a secondary security measure in a few others.
Secretary of Homeland Security Napolitano said today that Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab was on the list, but was not upgraded to a known terrorist status because he did not meet the criteria. Republican members of Congress are wondering how he fell through the cracks. It is expected that a report will be provided to the president, and he may share it with Congress.
The president issued his statements from Hawaii, where he is vacationing with the first lady, Michelle Obama. At the end of the press conference Obama issued a warning to Iran about stopping government sponsored violence against innocent Iranian citizens. Many world news sources have reported on the violence which resulted in the death of reformist leader Mir Hossein Mousavi's nephew. Mousavi said the killing was a murder plot carried out by government forces.