Obama begins vacation with a terror briefing

by Philip Elliott
Associated Press
December 25, 2009

KANEOHE BAY, Hawaii (AP) – President Barack Obama’s Christmas Day began with a briefing about a botched attack on an airliner in Detriot and ended with a visit to a dining hall for members of the military.
His holiday vacation was designed to be an island respite from the pressures of the White House.

Obama’s military aide told the president about an incident aboard a plane as it was landing in Detroit just after 9 a.m. here. The president phoned his homeland security adviser and the chief of staff to the National Security Council for a briefing. Throughout the government, officials compared notes and reports about a Northwest Airlines passenger from Nigeria who, according to sources, claimed he was acting on orders from al-Qaida.

“We believe this was an attempted act of terrorism,” one White House official said on the condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive situation.

Later in the day, Obama made a surprise visit to military members to thank them for their service to the nation and meet with those in uniform executing his war plans.

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