Public-Private Partnerships in Homeland Security
4: Public-Private Partnerships and Information Sharing
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Public-Private Partnerships and Information Sharing
Alhaji Umaru Mutallab walked into the U.S. Embassy in Abuja, Nigeria on November 19, 2009.1 He was concerned about his son Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s increasingly radical Islamic beliefs. Compounding Alhaji’s worry, Umar had recently traveled to Yemen and abruptly cut off contact with his family, sending his father a text message that read, “I have found the true Islam. Don’t try to contact me anymore.”2 Alhaji planned to go to Yemen to retrieve his son, but the Yemeni government would not grant Alhaji a visa.3 Frustrated and out of options, Alhaji decided to warn the U.S. government about his son Umar and to ask for the U.S. government’s help in tracking Umar down.4 While at the embassy, Alhaji met with the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) chief of station—the top CIA official in Nigeria—and expressed his concerns about his son.5
The next day at the embassy, U.S. State Department and CIA personnel met to discuss the information that Alhaji had provided to the CIA chief of station. These U.S. government employees then wrote a set of reports about Alhaji’s information, which they disseminated within the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC).6 But despite these concrete steps to document Alhaji Umaru Mutallab’s concerns about his son, and despite the possibility of Umar’s links to Islamic extremists, Umar’s name was not placed on any no-fly list or transportation watchlist. ← 137 | 138 →
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