"He certainly thought he was trying to take down the plane. What his capacity to do so was we don't know right now."
Were these firecrackers, as initial reports indicated?
"They were not. Beyond that I don't want to comment."
Was he operating solo or was he part of a larger conspiracy?
"We're taking all necessary precautions. We have no reason to believe as of now this is part of a larger effort."
What steps will we see taken at airports to mitigate the threat, as the Department of Homeland Security indicated? "I don't want to get into that," the official said, adding he didn't want to tip off anyone as to what the added security will be, and since there are going to be different security steps taken at different airports, he didn't want people to think their airport security officials weren't doing what they're supposed to.