President Barack Obama asserted on Tuesday that the U.S. government had enough information to foil the attempted bombing on a Christmas Day airline flight but intelligence agencies "failed to connect the dots." Obama called that unacceptable and said, "I will not tolerate it."
"Our intelligence community failed to connect those dots which would have placed the suspect on the no-fly list," he said. "This was not a failure to collect intelligence, it was a failure to integrate and understand the intelligence that we already have."
Obama said that it was clear the government knew that the suspect, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, had traveled to Yemen and joined with extremists there.
"It now turns out that our intelligence community knew of other red flags that al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula sought to strike not only American targets in Yemen, but the United States itself. And we had information that this group was working with an individual ... who we now know was in fact the individual involved in the Christmas attack," he said.
As for the prison for terror suspects in Cuba, he said, "Make no mistake, we will close Guantanamo prison," Obama said. Guantanamo, he said, "was an explicit rationale for the formation of al-Qaida" operating in Yemen.
He kept it short and to the point and didn't take any questions from the media.