“When Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s father in Nigeria reported concern over his son’s ‘radicalization’ to the U.S. Embassy there last month, intelligence officials in the United States deemed the information insufficient to pursue. The young man’s name was added to the half-million entries in a computer database in McLean and largely forgotten. The lack of attention was not unusual, according to U.S. intelligence officials, who said that thousands of similar bits of information flow into the National Counterterrorism Center each week from around the world. Only those that indicate a specific threat, or add to an existing body of knowledge about an individual, are passed along for further investigation and possible posting on airline and border watch lists. ‘It’s got to be something that causes the information to sort of rise out of the noise level, because there is just so much out there,’ one intelligence official said. The report entered on Abdulmutallab, 23, after his father’s Nov. 19 visit to the embassy was ‘very, very thin, with minimal information,’ said a second U.S. official familiar with its contents.”
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