Chief of US intelligence quits over Senate report

Chief of US intelligence quits over Senate report

Chief of US intelligence quits over Senate report

Dennis C Blair

Dennis Blair, Director of National Intelligence (DNI), the apex intelligence body overseeing as many as 17 different intelligence agencies of the United States, has announced that he is resigning from the post ''with deep regret''.

"It is with deep regret that I informed the President today that I will step down as Director of National Intelligence effective Friday, May 28th. I have had no greater honour or pleasure than to lead the remarkably talented and patriotic men and women of the Intelligence Community," Blair said in message to his intelligence community.

His announcement came days after a Senate report laid a large part of blame for the attempted Christmas Day plane attack on the DNI's National Counterterrorism Center.

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, an al-Qaeda-linked Nigerian youth, had tried to blow up the Amsterdam-Detroit Northwest Flight 253 on Christmas Day.

"Every day, you have worked tirelessly to provide intelligence support for two wars and to prevent an attack on our homeland. You are true heroes, just like the members of the Armed Forces, firefighters, and police whose job it is to keep our nation safe," he said.

Blair was at the helm of the office for a 16-month tenure, which saw the Fort Hood massacre in November last year and the failed Times Square bombing earlier this month.

President Barack Obama, while accepting his resignation, praised Blair for his remarkable record of service.

"Over the course of many decades, Admiral Blair has served with great integrity, intellect, and commitment to our country and the values that we hold dear. During his time as DNI, our intelligence community has performed admirably and effectively at a time of great challenges to our security, and I have valued his sense of purpose and patriotism," he said.

Senator Kit Bond thanked Blair for his long service to the nation.

"It must have been challenging to be forced on the sidelines by the Attorney General but still catch all the blame for failings," he said.

Blair was the third individual to head this agency, which was created after 9/11 attacks.