TSA Chief John Pistole said that the disrupted package bomb plot rooted in Yemen underscores a critical need for an enhanced global aviation security system. However, he urged that security measures not "bring business to a standstill."
"We face a determined and creative enemy," John Pistole told delegates to International Air Transport Association meeting in Germany. "We have a delicate balance to strike."
Yemen, meanwhile, announced it would try radical Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki in his absence on charges of promoting violence and killing foreigners. The U.S.-born al-Awlaki, who the government has said is hiding in Yemen, is alleged by the U.S. government to have inspired the failed Christmas Day bombing of an airliner over Detroit.
U.S. prosecutors allege that Al-Awlaki also was in contact with Army psychiatrist Nidal Hasan accused in last year's massacre at Fort Hood, Texas, which left 13 dead and 32 others wounded.
John Brennan, the White House's homeland security and counterterrorism adviser, says the person behind the package bomb plot is al-Qaeda operative Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri.
Brennan says Al-Asiri also devised the bomb used in the failed Christmas Day attack and the explosive used in last year's failed attack on Saudi Arabia's top counterterrorism official.