WASHINGTON – Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman, ID-Conn., issued the following statement Saturday night in reaction to the attempted terrorist attack on a trans-Atlantic airlines flight December 25, 2009.


"I want to congratulate the passengers and crew of the Northwest/ Delta flight who tackled, subdued, and restrained the suspect for their courage and professionalism. Our government has a multi-layered system of security in place to deter terrorist attacks, but if someone slips through those layers, as appears to have occurred in this case, we rely on each other to keep vigilant, be aware of our surroundings, and report, or in extreme cases, act on suspicions.


"That said, I am troubled by several aspects of this case, including how the suspect escaped the attention of the State Department and law enforcers when his father apparently reported concerns about his son’s extremist behavior to the U.S. embassy in Lagos, how the suspect managed to retain a U.S. visa after such complaints, and why he was not recognized as someone who reportedly was named in the terrorist database.


"Each thwarted or unsuccessful terrorist attack reminds us that we must continue to be vigilant and never let down our guard against the many people around the world and within the United States still plotting to kill innocent Americans. "