U.S. Agencies Criticized for Failure to Warn of Problems in Northern Africa

An elderly Tunisian protester demonstrates near the Prime Minister's office in Tunis, Friday, Jan. 28, 2011. Tunisia's Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi has appointed independents to three key posts in the country's new interim Cabinet, removing ministers from the former ruling party in a major concession to demonstrators. (AP Photo/Salah Habibi)
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Intelligence agencies in the United States are drawing criticism that they failed to warn of revolts in Egypt and the downfall of an American ally in Tunisia.

A U.S. official tells The Associated Press that President Barack Obama has told the director of national intelligence that he is disappointed with the intelligence community's failure to foresee the ouster of President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali in Tunis. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss matters of intelligence.

On Capitol Hill, top senators on the Intelligence Committee are asking when Obama was briefed and what he was told before the revolts in Egypt and Tunisia.

The chairwoman of the Intelligence Committee, Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, says those events should not have come upon the U.S. with the surprise that they did.

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