US Intelligence knew someone named "Umar Farouk" had volunteered for upcoming terror mission
Among the revelations in the article, headlined “Review of Jet Bomb Plot Shows More Missed Clues,” is the fact that US intelligence authorities say they learned in early November from a communications intercept of Al Qaeda followers in Yemen that a man named “Umar Farouk” had volunteered for a coming operation.
[...]Among the new pieces of information contained in the article are the following:
• “Worried about possible terrorist attacks over the Christmas holiday,” Obama met December 22 with top officials of the CIA, FBI and Department of Homeland Security to review potential threats.
• In a separate White House meeting the same day, Obama’s homeland security adviser, John Brennan, held talks on Yemen, “where a stream of disturbing intelligence had suggested that Qaeda operatives were preparing for some action, perhaps a strike on an American target on Christmas Day.”
• In September, a United Nations expert on Al Qaeda warned Washington that “the type of explosive device used by a Yemeni militant in an assassination attempt in Saudi Arabia could be carried aboard an airliner.”
• In late December, more intercepts of Al Qaeda operatives in Yemen mentioned the date of December 25, and suggested that they were “looking for ways to get somebody out” or “move people to the West.”
The article further states that from the beginning of the Obama administration, US officials had focused on Yemen, and that after the failed attack by a Yemeni on the Saudi counterterrorism chief last August, Washington stepped up its electronic eavesdropping and “other spying” in Yemen.
Moreover, the government ordered a review of any contacts between possible extremists and Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical American-born cleric living in Yemen, after it was discovered that Major Nidal Malik Hasan, who killed 12 soldiers at Ford Hood in Texas in early November, had been in contact with al-Awlaki.
The intercept from November that spoke of “Umar Farouk” said he had “recently been in contact with Mr. Awlaki about volunteering for terrorist operations.”