CIA says it passed on information about would-be Christmas bomber

HON0LULU (AP) - The New York Times is reporting that the government had intelligence from Yemen before Christmas that leaders of a branch of al-Qaida there were talking about "a Nigerian" being prepared for a terrorist attack.

But the newspaper reports the information did not include the name of the Nigerian.

A Nigerian man, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab (OO'-mahr fah-ROOK' ahb-DOOL'-moo-TAH'-lahb), is charged with trying to destroy an airliner that was headed to Detroit from Amsterdam on Christmas Day.

The CIA says it learned of the suspect in November, and passed on the information to the National Counterterrorism Center. The CIA says it first heard of him when his father told the U.S. embassy in Nigeria that he feared his son might have become radicalized.

President Barack Obama wants a preliminary report by Thursday on how Abdulmutallab got on the jet with explosives. In his second statement on the incident in two days, Obama said there was "a mix of human and systemic failures" that was "totally unacceptable."

But one U.S. intelligence official says the father's statement alone would not have, on its own, stopped the attack. The official says the father "didn't say his son was a terrorist, let alone planning an attack."

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)