The Center for Cooperative Research
U:     P:    
Not registered yet? Register here
 
Search
 
Advanced Search


Main Menu
Home 
History Engine Sub-Menu
Timelines 
Entities 
Forum 
Miscellaneous Sub-Menu
Donate 
Links 
End of Main Menu

Volunteers Needed!
Submit a timeline entry
Donate: If you think this site is important, please help us out financially. We need your help!
Email updates
 


Click here to join: Suggest changes to existing data, add new data to the website, or compile your own timeline. More Info >>

 

Profile: FBI Headquarters

 
  

Positions that FBI Headquarters has held:



 

Quotes

 
  

No quotes or excerpts for this entity.


 

Relations

 
  

Related Entities:


 

FBI Headquarters actively participated in the following events:

 
  

August 15, 2001: Moussaoui Is Arrested; FBI Headquarters Uninterested      Complete 911 Timeline

      
Zacarias Moussaoui.
Based on the concerns of flight school staff, Zacarias Moussaoui is arrested and detained in Minnesota on the excuse of an immigration violation. [Time, 5/27/02] The FBI confiscates his possessions, including a computer laptop, but does not have a search warrant to search through them. When arresting him, they note that he possesses two knives, fighting gloves, and shin guards, and has prepared “through physical training for violent confrontation.” An FBI interview of him adds more concerns. For example, he states that he is in the US working as a “marketing consultant” for a computer company, but is unable to provide any details of his employment. Nor can he convincingly explain his $32,000 bank balance. [9/11 Congressional Inquiry, 10/17/02; MSNBC, 12/11/01] An FBI report states that when asked about his trips to Pakistan, “the questioning caused him to become extremely agitated, and he refused to discuss the matter further.” The report also notes, “Moussaoui was extremely evasive in many of his answers.” [CNN, 9/28/02] His roommate is interviewed on the same day, and tells agents that Moussaoui believes it is “acceptable to kill civilians who harm Muslims,” that Moussaoui approves of Muslims who die as “martyrs, and that Moussaoui might be willing to act on his beliefs.” [Washington Post, 5/24/02] Minnesota FBI agents quickly become frustrated at the lack of interest in the case from higher ups, and grow increasingly concerned. [New York Times, 2/8/02]
People and organizations involved: FBI Minnesota field office, Zacarias Moussaoui, FBI Headquarters
          

August 21, 2001: Local FBI Pleads with Headquarters to Warn Secret Service About Moussaoui      Complete 911 Timeline

       The Minnesota FBI office e-mails FBI headquarters on this day, saying it is “imperative” that the Secret Service be warned of the danger that a plot involving Zacarias Moussaoui might pose to the president's safety. However, no such warning is ever sent. [9/11 Congressional Inquiry, 10/17/02; New York Times, 10/18/02]
People and organizations involved: FBI Minnesota field office, George W. Bush, Zacarias Moussaoui, FBI Headquarters, Secret Service
          

August 22, 2001: France Gives FBI Information on Moussaoui; FBI Headquarters Still Refuses Search Warrant      Complete 911 Timeline

       Responding to the request of the FBI's Minnesota field office, the French provide intelligence information they have compiled over the past several years relating to Zacarias Moussaoui. [9/11 Congressional Inquiry, 10/17/02] The French say Moussaoui has ties with radical Islamic groups and recruits men to fight in Chechnya. They believe he spent time in Afghanistan in 1999. He had been on a French watch list for several years, preventing him from entering France. A French justice official later says that “the government gave the FBI ‘everything we had’ ” on Moussaoui, “enough to make you want to check this guy out every way you can. Anyone paying attention would have seen he was not only operational in the militant Islamist world but had some autonomy and authority as well.” [Time, 5/27/02] A senior French investigator later says, “Even a neophyte working in some remote corner of Florida, would have understood the threat based on what was sent.” [Time, 8/4/02] The French Interior Minister also emphasizes, “We did not hold back any information.” [ABC News, 9/5/02] However, senior officials at FBI headquarters still maintain that the information “was too sketchy to justify a search warrant for his computer.” [Time, 8/4/02]
People and organizations involved: France, FBI Minnesota field office, FBI Headquarters, Zacarias Moussaoui
          

August 23-27, 2001: Minnesota FBI Agents Convinced Moussaoui Plans to Do Something with a Plane, Undermined by FBI Headquarters      Complete 911 Timeline

       In the wake of the French intelligence report (see August 22, 2001) on Zacarias Moussaoui, FBI agents in Minnesota are “in a frenzy” and “absolutely convinced he [is] planning to do something with a plane.” One agent writes notes speculating Moussaoui might “fly something into the World Trade Center.” [Newsweek, 5/20/02] Minnesota FBI agents become “desperate to search the computer lap top” and “conduct a more thorough search of his personal effects,” especially since Moussaoui acted as if he was hiding something important in the laptop when arrested. [Time, 5/27/02; Time, 5/21/02] They decide to apply for a search warrant under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). “FISA allows the FBI to carry out wiretaps and searches that would otherwise be unconstitutional” because “the goal is to gather intelligence, not evidence.” [Washington Post, 11/4/01] Standards to get a warrant through FISA are so low that out of 10,000 requests over more than 20 years, not a single one was turned down. Previously, when the FBI did not have a strong enough case, it allegedly simply lied to FISA. In May 2002, the FISA court complained that the FBI had lied in at least 75 warrant cases during the Clinton administration, once even by the FBI director. [New York Times, 8/27/02] However, as FBI Agent Coleen Rowley later puts it, FBI headquarters “almost inexplicably, throw[s] up roadblocks” and undermines their efforts. Headquarters personnel bring up “almost ridiculous questions in their apparent efforts to undermine the probable cause.” One Minneapolis agent's e-mail says FBI headquarters is “setting this up for failure.” That turns out to be correct. [Time, 5/21/02; Time, 5/27/02]
People and organizations involved: Coleen Rowley, FBI Minnesota field office, FBI Headquarters, World Trade Center, Clinton administration, Zacarias Moussaoui
          

August 24, 2001: Frustrated Minnesota FBI Asks CIA for Help with Moussaoui Case      Complete 911 Timeline

       Frustrated with the lack of response from FBI headquarters about Zacarias Moussaoui, the Minnesota FBI contacts an FBI agent working with the CIA's Counter Terrorism Center, and asks for help. [9/11 Congressional Inquiry, 10/17/02] On this day, the CIA sends messages to stations and bases overseas requesting information about Moussaoui. The message says that the FBI is investigating Moussaoui for possible involvement in the planning of a terrorist attack and mentions his efforts to obtain flight training. It also suggests he might be “involved in a larger plot to target airlines traveling from Europe to the US” [9/11 Congressional Inquiry, 9/18/02] It calls him a “suspect 747 airline attacker” and a “suspect airline suicide hijacker” —showing that the form of the 9/11 attack is not a surprise, at least to the CIA. [9/11 Congressional Inquiry, 10/17/02] FBI headquarters responds by chastising the Minnesota FBI for notifying the CIA without approval. [Time, 5/21/02]
People and organizations involved: Zacarias Moussaoui, Central Intelligence Agency, FBI Minnesota field office, FBI Headquarters
          

August 27, 2001: Minnesota FBI Suffers Further Resistance and Does Not Receive Phoenix Memo      Complete 911 Timeline

       An agent at the FBI headquarters' Radical Fundamentalist Unit (RFU) tells the FBI Minnesota office supervisor that the supervisor is getting people “spun up” over Zacarias Moussaoui. The supervisor replies that he is trying to get people at FBI headquarters “spun up” because he is trying to make sure that Moussaoui does “not take control of a plane and fly it into the World Trade Center.” He later alleges the headquarters agent replies, “[T]hat's not going to happen. We don't know he's a terrorist. You don't have enough to show he is a terrorist. You have a guy interested in this type of aircraft—that is it.” [9/11 Congressional Inquiry, 10/17/02] Three weeks earlier, Dave Frasca, the head of the RFU unit, had received Ken Williams' memo (see July 10, 2001) expressing concern about terrorists training in US flight schools and he also knew all about the Moussaoui case, but he apparently was not “spun up” enough to connect the two cases. [Time, 5/27/02] Neither he nor anyone else at FBI headquarters who saw Williams' memo informed anyone at the FBI Minnesota office about it before 9/11. [Time, 5/21/02]
People and organizations involved: Radical Fundamentalist Unit, David Frasca, Zacarias Moussaoui, FBI Headquarters, World Trade Center, FBI Minnesota field office
          

September 4, 2001: FBI Dispatches Vague Message to US Intelligence Community About Moussaoui Investigation      Complete 911 Timeline

       FBI headquarters dispatches a message to the entire US intelligence community about the Zacarias Moussaoui investigation. According to a later Congressional inquiry, the message notes “that Moussaoui was being held in custody but [it does not] describe any particular threat that the FBI thought he posed, for example, whether he might be connected to a larger plot. [It also does] not recommend that the addressees take any action or look for any additional indicators of a terrorist attack, nor [does] it provide any analysis of a possible hijacking threat or provide any specific warnings.” [9/11 Congressional Inquiry, 9/24/02] The FAA is also given the warning, but the FAA decides not to issue a security alert to the nation's airports. An FAA representative says, “He was in jail and there was no evidence he was connected to other people.” [New York Post, 5/21/02] This is in sharp contrast to an internal CIA warning sent out on August 24 based on even less information, which stated Moussaoui might be “involved in a larger plot to target airlines traveling from Europe to the US” (see August 24, 2001). [9/11 Congressional Inquiry, 9/18/02] It turns out that prior to this time, terrorist Ahmed Ressam had started cooperating with investigators. He had trained with Moussaoui in Afghanistan and willingly shared this information after 9/11. The FBI dispatch, with its notable lack of urgency and details, failed to prompt the agents in Seattle holding Ressam to ask him about Moussaoui. Had the connection between these two been learned before 9/11, presumably the search warrant for Moussaoui would have been approved and the 9/11 plot might have unraveled. [Sunday Times, 2/3/02]
People and organizations involved: FBI Headquarters, Federal Aviation Administration, Central Intelligence Agency, Ahmed Ressam, 9/11 Congressional Inquiry, Zacarias Moussaoui
          

September 11, 2001: FBI Agents Obtain Warrant for Moussaoui Too Late      Complete 911 Timeline

       Zacarias Moussaoui reportedly cheers as he watches the 9/11 attack on television inside a prison, where he is being held on immigration charges. [BBC, 12/12/01] Within an hour of the attacks, the Minnesota FBI uses a memo written to FBI headquarters shortly after Moussaoui's arrest to ask permission from a judge for the search warrant they have been desperately seeking. Even after the attacks, FBI headquarters is still attempting to block the search of Moussaoui's computer, characterizing the similarities between the actual attack and the fears expressed by the local FBI agents before 9/11 as a mere coincidence. [Time, 5/21/02] However, a federal judge approves the warrant that afternoon. [New Yorker, 9/30/02] Minnesota FBI Agent Coleen Rowley notes that this very memo was previously deemed insufficient by FBI headquarters to get a search warrant, and the fact that they are immediately granted one when finally allowed to ask shows “the missing piece of probable cause was only the [FBI headquarters'] failure to appreciate that such an event could occur.” [Time, 5/21/02] The search uncovers information suggesting Moussaoui may have been planning an attack using crop dusters, but it does not reveal any direct connection to the 9/11 hijackers. However, investigators find some German telephone numbers and the name “Ahad Sabet.” The numbers allow them to determine the name is an alias for Ramzi Bin al-Shibh, Mohamed Atta's former roommate, and they find he wired Moussaoui money. They also find a document connecting Moussaoui with the Malaysian Yazid Sufaat, a lead that could have led to hijackers Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar. [MSNBC, 12/11/01; New Yorker, 9/30/02] Rowley later suggests that if they had received the search warrant sooner, “There is at least some chance that ... may have limited the September 11th attacks and resulting loss of life.” [Time, 5/27/02]
People and organizations involved: Zacarias Moussaoui, Mohamed Atta, Ramzi Bin al-Shibh, Yazid Sufaat, Khalid Almihdhar, FBI Minnesota field office, FBI Headquarters, Nawaf Alhazmi, Coleen Rowley
          

'Passive' participant in the following events:

Except where otherwise noted, the textual content of each timeline is licensed under the Creative Commons License below:

Creative Commons License Home |  About this Site |  Development |  Donate |  Contact Us
Privacy Policy  |  Terms of Use