Terror Chief AWOL After Xmas Bomber

The nation's top official in charge of analyzing terrorist threats didn't cut short his ski vacation after receiving word of the attempted Christmas Day bombing of a flight over Detroit. The New York Daily News reports that Michael Leiter, director of the National Counterterrorism Center since 2007, reportedly failed to ditch the slopes and return to the agency's "bat cave" in McLean, Virginia until several days after Christmas. Although the Bush-appointed Leiter is well-regarded, his tardy return to home base has raised eyebrows in Washington, possibly including President Obama, whose recent excoriation of the intelligence community for failing "to connect those dots" although "the information was there" could have been aimed at the terror center, which was set up after 9/11 to analyze terror-threat intelligence. Leiter released his first statement about the bombing on Jan. 2—eight days after the attempt—noting that the plot was typical "of the insidious terrorist threats we face."