Bashir Abdullahi's Blog

A colossal inteligence failure?

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Events of the past weeks have dealt the intelligence community especially the ‘almighty’ CIA a deadly blow that would be difficult to recover from easily.

First, it was an aborted attack on a Detroit bound US airline on Christmas day. We were later told that there was a prior ‘intelligence’ report about a Nigerian being groomed to carry out the attack,  but the ‘so called’ intelligence agencies failed to act on it.

Secondly, a supposedly CIA informant detonated a bomb killing 7 CIA agents in their base in Afghanistan. This too we now know that the person involved have made several postings on jihadist sites campaigning against the western ideologies which CIA stands to protect.

In what could be described as scathing self assessment by a top American security official, The Telegraph newspaper quoted America’s most senior intelligence officer in Afghanistan Maj Gen Michael Flynn describing the US military operation in Afghanistan as “starved” of decent information which could help wage a successful war against insurgents.

He called for radical changes saying that after eight years, it was still unable to answer “fundamental questions about the environment in which we operate and the people we are trying to protect and persuade”.


The two incidents; aborted attack on US airliner and the killing of 7 US secret service agents reveal that the intelligence community may not be as ‘intelligent’ as we were made to believe or so it seems.

There are indications that the perceived holes in the operations of the intelligence services is becoming a major source of worry to many people across the globe as was evident in  the BBC’s World Have Your Say programme debating the issue by asking “Who’s more intelligent, the intelligence services or the terrorists?”

The programm’s synopsis reads “Have American Intelligence services been caught slipping? The Jordanian double agent, the attempted underpants bomber and wannabe reality stars breezing their way past White House security, are these examples signs that the intelligence services just aren’t smart enough or are they doing the best they can?”

Then come the ultimate confession from the ‘world’s number one citizen’ Barak Obama who admitted after meeting his top security officials that “US security agencies had enough intelligence to disrupt a plot to blow up a plane last month, but failed to act.”

The BBC quoted him to have said The intelligence community had failed to “connect the dots”, and that “It’s not acceptable, and I will not tolerate it.”

Can we then conclude that the American and indeed most of the so called world intelligence gathering communities are now a colossal failure?

Written by danmakaranta

January 5, 2010 at 11:42 pm

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