State Capitol News
9:25 am
Tue December 29, 2009

AZ Senators criticize terrorist response

Phoenix, AZ – The state's two U-S senators took swipes today at how the
Department of Homeland Security handled the effort by a Nigerian
terrorist to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner.

John McCain said the fact the terrorist was subdued by passengers
does not mean the agency, headed by former Arizona Governor Janet
Napolitano, was doing its job. He said they need to do more than
just check passengers at the airport.

"That's the end of the line. The begining of the line is when
this person goes to Yemen and gets training. And that person's
father notifies U.S. authorities that his son is an extremist.
That when that person pays cash for a ticket, when that person is
on a watch list, I mean, all of those things. Those are the
things you need to address so you're not getting it at the end of
the line at the airport which is the most vulnerable point."

And Jon Kyl, asked if he feels safe with Napolitano heading the
agency, said it's a matter of degree.

"I don't feel totally safe when we continue to have the
breakdowns such as occurred here. There's a lot more that has to
be done. And I'd feel more comfortable if the people who were
responsible acknowledged in the very beginning that this is
terrorism, that it may well be connected to other terrorists
around the globe, and there are reasons to fix the system rather
than trying to assure us that everything worked as it was
supposed to."

Napolitano, after initially saying the system worked, later
backed down.