Ex-CIA official to lead inquiry into plane incident

By Joby Warrick
Washington Post Staff writer
Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Obama administration's top intelligence official has appointed a retired CIA analyst to head an internal investigation of the failures that led to the Dec. 25 attempted bombing of a Detroit-bound airliner.

John E. McLaughlin, a former deputy CIA director, will lead a review of missteps by U.S. intelligence agencies and assess proposals for correcting weaknesses in a system that did not respond to warnings about terrorism suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, said Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair.

Blair said the review will also examine the events leading to the Nov. 5 shootings at Fort Hood, Tex. The assessments will produce "candid, constructive guidance to improve our future performance," he said.

McLaughlin, 67, was named deputy CIA director under George J. Tenet in 2000. McLaughlin briefly served as acting director of the spy agency after Tenet stepped down in 2004. McLaughlin retired later that year.

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