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CIA orders changes after failed December 25 bombing

7/01/2010 - 23:10

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - CIA Director Leon Panetta has ordered changes at the U.S. spy agency to improve the tracking of suspected militants and speed up the dissemination of information about their activities, the CIA said on Thursday.

The move followed sharp White House criticism of the U.S. intelligence community for failing to uncover an alleged al Qaeda plot to blow up a U.S. passenger jet on Christmas Day.

In a statement, the CIA said Panetta had instructed the agency to finalise and disseminate information on "suspected extremists and terrorists" within 48 hours to the broader intelligence community, as well as to expand the number of those who come under the agency's scrutiny.

The CIA said it also plans to increase the number of analysts focussed on Yemen and Africa, and to review information on individuals from "countries of concern" to determine whether it should recommend changing their status on U.S. watch lists.

The would-be bomber was a Nigerian who received training from al Qaeda in Yemen, U.S. officials say.

(Editing by Mohammad Zargham)

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