The LA Times
is currently running this breaking news headline: "U.S. learned about alleged extremist links of airline bomber as he was in the air."
Good bet that that's a leak from the report the White House is going to release tomorrow about the preliminary investigation into the incident.
Should be an eventful day. Late Update
: The Times piece
is up now. The gist is that US Border enforcement officials figured out that Abdulmutallab might be a problem once the flight had already taken off. And they were actually planning on questioning him once he landed in Detroit. Here's a key passage:
"the window for identifying a passenger as a potential threat before boarding is limited, according to a senior homeland security official. Although U.S. border enforcement officials have access to passenger data based on reservation lists and use them for preliminary assessments, the in-depth vetting by Customs and Border Protection only begins once the flight manifest has been generated, just a few hours before takeoff, and focuses on potential actions to take at the U.S. border, the official said."