Fed Terror Boss Skied Through Bomb Crisis

Could be downhill from here on for Michael Leiter
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Jan 7, 2010 3:56 AM CST
Updated Jan 7, 2010 6:36 AM CST
President Barack Obama shakes hands with National Counterterrorism Director Michael Leiter last year.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
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(Newser) – The director of the National Counterterrorism Center remained on his ski vacation despite news that a passenger had tried to blow up a Detroit-bound jetliner. Michael Leiter, the top official in charge of analyzing terror threats, didn't return to the Virginia center's "bat cave" near the CIA until several days later, sources tell the New York Daily News. "People have been grumbling that he didn't let a little terrorism interrupt his vacation," said one.

The agency is under scrutiny since the intelligence community failed to "connect the dots" and prevent bomb suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab from boarding the plane, despite warnings that he represented a significant security risk. Leitner, a generally well regarded manager appointed by former President Bush, is one of several in the intelligence community whose job may be at stake as the Obama administration seeks to correct mistakes that let a bomb suspect slip through security cracks.

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