PART THREE-TOPICS-THE ATTACKS OF SEPTEMBER 11, 2001
I. Counterterrorism Resources
Throughout the Joint Inquiry, Intelligence Community witnesses cited a lack of money and
people to explain why agencies failed to produce more intelligence on al-Qa'ida, did not arrest or
disrupt more terrorists, and were otherwise limited in their response to the growing terrorist threat.
In general, between the end of the Cold War and September 11, 2001, Intelligence
Community resources fell or remained even in constant dollars. As a result, overall capabilities
declined. The CIA, for example, reduced the number of its operations officers in the field. In
addition, the necessary support "tail" for counterterrorism, such as communications and training,
eroded. More generally, depth of coverage and expertise declined as personnel moved from crisis
to crisis or focused only on the highest priorities.
Within the overall intelligence budget, however, spending on counterterrorism increased
considerably during the 1990s. The counterterrorism component of the overall National Foreign
Intelligence Program (NFIP) at least doubled at most agencies in the decade before the September
11 attacks, while funding for other intelligence missions declined or stayed even.
In spite of this increase in counterterrorism resources, the overall decline in Intelligence
Community resources made it difficult to expand the counterterrorism effort significantly to meet
the growing threat. In addition, the overall decline in capabilities hindered the robustness of the
counterterrorism effort. Spending on counterterrorism, and spending on al-Qa'ida in particular,
relied heavily on supplemental appropriations, which carried with it additional disadvantages.
Although details are imprecise, the Joint Inquiry's research and Intelligence Community
agency estimates show that the number of people working on terrorism rose steadily, despite
overall decreases in Intelligence Community staffing. Nonetheless, the number of people in
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counterterrorism remained small, particularly when compared with post-September 11 levels.
[Page 263]
A. Joint Inquiry Resource Review Methodology and Limitations
To explore resource allocations, the Joint Inquiry reviewed documents, requested
additional information on specific issues, and interviewed knowledgeable personnel. Documents
included formal NFIP submissions and responses; staffing descriptions for major counterterrorism
offices, such as the Counterterrorist Center (CTC) at CIA and the FBI's Counterterrorism
Division; CIA and FBI submissions requesting additional resources; supplemental appropriations
and justifications; National Security Council (NSC)-mandated reviews of counterterrorism
spending throughout the Intelligence Community; Inspector General reports; internal assessments
of the effort against al-Qa'ida; and many other documents.
Because existing documentary information was insufficient, the Joint Inquiry asked the
Intelligence Community for additional information. This included identifying the number of
personnel who worked directly on al-Qa'ida and terrorism; determining and reviewing budget
methodology; calculating full-time-equivalent staffing levels; and ascertaining resources that other
groups received. Interviews related to resources spanned a range of policy officials, Intelligence
Community leaders, and budget officers from the agencies and former OMB officials. Policy
officials at the NSC and Department of Defense (DoD) were asked about the level of resources
provided for intelligence and for counterterrorism.
Based on this review, it appears that the Intelligence Community has only a limited sense
of what is budgeted for missions such as counterterrorism. Agencies submit budget requests for
field agents or spy satellites, for instance, but do not systematically track the missions for which
these capabilities are used. As a result, methodologies vary for estimating how much is spent on
terrorism. Moreover, because Intelligence Community managers do not use this data for day-today
operations, little information was readily available in response to our data requests. The
Intelligence Community cannot quickly determine how or where money is spent, or which
missions its personnel are carrying out.
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Intelligence Community budgeting procedures thus make it difficult to determine whether
counterterrorism as a mission is properly funded. Community components budget by [page 264]
capabilities, such as the number of intelligence officers or satellites, rather than by missions, such
as counterterrorism. Many of these capabilities, however, serve more than one function or
mission, making it difficult to measure resource allocation. For example, a CIA field officer may
collect on the internal politics of a country, a weapons shipment, and terrorism.
According to the CIA's Associate Deputy Director for Operations (DDO) for Resources,
Plans and Policies, it is difficult to measure how much is spent on counterterrorism and the least
precise area of accounting is human resources. For instance, in the field, personnel might work on
several targets. Requiring them to keep track of the time they spend on particular tasks was
considered, but rejected due to the administrative burden this would impose.
Also, counterterrorism often entails infrastructure costs that cannot be readily allocated to a
particular effort. Before Fiscal Year (FY) 1999, there was little effort to track counterterrorism
spending because counterterrorism was not an office or an expenditure center. Counterterrorism is
not limited to CTC, and other CIA components support the effort. Finally, the CIA's accounting
system focused on capabilities and resources, not on missions.
In FY 1999, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) required that spending on
counterterrorism be tracked. According to the CIA Budget Office's Director and Deputy Director,
counterterrorism spending was calculated by determining the cost of CTC and specific
counterterrorism operations for other offices. Indirect costs for those offices, like infrastructure
and computers, were not included. To make these calculations, budget officers had to examine
each organization and each program. While efforts are underway to restructure budget procedures
to make data more easily retrievable, it remains difficult to determine what the Intelligence
Community is spending on specific issues and missions. Data must be manually retrieved since
budget systems do not "talk" to human resources systems. The effort is time and labor intensive
and not "repeatable" because different measures are used in different years.
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Even the CIA report on the counterterrorism effort that was provided in response to a
specific Joint Inquiry request required a manual reconstruction of hours worked, which is
imprecise at best. Thus, the Agency could provide only limited information on how its officers
[page 265] divided their time in 1998. A senior NSA official in testimony criticized personnel
accounting procedures that focus only on one product line, such as counterterrorism, noting that
cryptographers, target developers, and other personnel contribute to products even if they are not
formally part of the product lines. However, NSA was unable to provide a procedure to account
for the contributions of these personnel.
As a result of these ambiguities, the Community often does not know how much it spends
on particular efforts, making it difficult to compare funding across missions. Moreover, different
components of the Community use different measures to determine how much they spend on
missions, and there is no universally accepted method to measure indirect costs such as
infrastructure.
In light of these difficulties, the estimates of spending on counterterrorism that follow
should be viewed as rough outlines, not detailed pictures of overall expenditures. Since
counterterrorism is not an explicit budget category for the Intelligence Community, it is difficult to
estimate the percentage of Community capabilities (e.g., field officers or spy satellites) dedicated
to counterterrorism. Community budget officers advised that components of the Community use
different measures to estimate total sums spent on counterterrorism and these measures are not
consistently used within agencies. Finally, indirect costs (such as infrastructure or
communications) are often excluded from these figures.
In addition to this data problem, the White House refused to allow the Intelligence
Community to respond to Joint Inquiry requests for information regarding budgets and budgetary
decision making. Many important resource issues revolved around the question of "Who said
no?" to requests for additional funds for counterterrorism. However, the White House invoked
Executive privilege and refused to permit the Intelligence Community to provide "pre-decisional"
data on budget requests that were made by agencies before they were sent to Congress. The Joint
Inquiry received some of this information indirectly, but large gaps remain. The White House also
invoked Executive privilege in response to requests for information on spending for covert action.
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254


Wolfowitz testified that his work with the "Rumsfeld Commission" in 1998 concerning the
ballistic missile threat to the United States made clear to him that "resources for intelligence had
been cut too deeply." DCI Tenet testified that the CIA regularly asked OMB for more money, but
had little success. This led to a shortage of trained agents and other resources.
Former FBI Director Freeh testified that the FBI did not have sufficient resources to
"maintain the critical growth and priority of the FBI's counterterrorism program." From 1996 to
1999, Congress increased appropriations substantially, but from 2000 to 2002, requests for
additional funds were denied. As a result, FBI Headquarters units that dealt with Islamic
extremism had insufficient resources. According to Mr. Freeh:
For FY 2000, 2001, and 2002 FBI counterterrorism budgets, I asked for a total of
1,895 Special Agents, analysts, linguists, and others. The final, enacted allocation I
received was 76 people over those three years. . . . Thus, at the most critical time,
the available resources for counterterrorism did not address the known critical
needs.
The House and Senate Intelligence Committees typically authorized more for the
Intelligence Community in the years before September 11 than the Congressional appropriators
eventually approved. As Chart 1.1 indicates, only in one fiscal year (FY1996) did the
appropriation exceed the authorization.
[Page 268]
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a. Personnel Concerns At CIA
At the request of the Joint Inquiry, the CIA reviewed its counterterrorism effort from 1998
to 2002. This included analysts and operators outside CTC, many of whom made important
contributions but worked only part time on al-Qa'ida. The review resulted in estimates of total
"work-years" (i.e., 2087 labor hours per annum) combining the time expended by analysts
focusing exclusively on al-Qa'ida and those working on related issues, such as terrorist financing.
The results are summarized in Table 2.0.
Table 2.0. Full-Time Equivalent Personnel Dedicated To Counterterrorism At CIA (Excludes
CIA Contractors And Detailees From Other Agencies)
Full-Time Equivalent (Work-years)
for Staff Employees
September 1998 August 2001 July 2002
Total Headquarters and Staff Workyears
Devoted to al-Qa'ida
[ ] [ ] [ ]
Total Headquarters and Staff Workyears
Devoted to Terrorism,
Excluding al-Qa'ida
[ ] [ ] [ ]
Total CTC Effort against terrorism
(both al-Qa'ida and other groups)
[ ] [ ] [ ]
As Table 2.0 indicates, the number of CIA personnel working on al-Qa'ida almost
doubled from the August 1998 East Africa U.S. embassy attacks to September 11, 2001. Before
[page 275] September 11, the numbers of CTC personnel involved in the effort against terrorism
grew, though much of the increase occurred in the field.
Despite these increases, the former Chief of the CTC's Sunni Extremist Group testified
that "[w]e always needed more," though he also noted that every other part of the CIA's
Directorate of Operations (DO) also believed they needed more resources. DCI Tenet testified
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that "we never had enough" personnel working on al-Qa'ida." Many CTC personnel asserted in
interviews that the number of employees was well below the levels that were necessary, given the
volume of information and the growing nature of the threat. One officer claimed she was told
when appeals for more resources were rejected: "People [will] have to die for them to get
resources."
The lack of adequate resources meant that CTC personnel responsible for al-Qa'ida were
required to work extremely long hours without relief. This created morale problems, made
retention difficult, and fostered the perception that the DO did not truly support the
counterterrorism mission. As the former Chief of the CTC unit focused on Bin Ladin testified:
We never had enough officers from the [DO]. The officers we had were greatly
overworked. And there was always more senior-level concern for [
] than for providing more officers to protect
the health and welfare of the unit's officers.
[Despite recognition of the menace al-Qai'da posed and the relatively limited
understanding of its network, the CIA had relatively few analysts working on the problem. At
CTC, the total work-years for terrorism analysis relating to al-Qa'ida inside its analytic group was
only nine in September 1998. According to CIA, nine CTC analysts and eight analysts in the
Directorate of Intelligence were assigned to UBL and al-Qa'ida in 1999. This was only a fraction
of the analytic effort that was to be devoted to al-Qa'ida in July 2002].
b. Personnel Concerns At NSA
[NSA had only a limited number of Arabic linguists. Before September 11, 2001, few
were dedicated full-time to al-Qa'ida, which was only one of many priority counterterrorism [page
276] targets at NSA for which Arabic linguists were needed. For example, those linguists were
also used to support other important regional topics and to translate intelligence originating in
other parts of the world].
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Source: FBI
Chart 1.6 demonstrates that FBI requests for additional personnel were cut or rejected at
times by the Department of Justice, the Office of Management and Budget, and the Congress.
Sometimes the Bureau received most of its initial request, and its request was exceeded in one
instance. Former OMB officials noted in Joint Inquiry interviews that it was rare for any agency
to receive more than its initial request during a time of budget stringency. They also pointed out
that, while the FBI often did not receive additional personnel for counterterrorism, many other
agencies faced significant cuts.
E. Counterterrorism and the Competition for Scarce Resources
[Page 278]
Because intelligence budgets were shrinking while counterterrorism resources were
steadily growing, senior policy and intelligence officials were reluctant to make the additional cuts
in other programs that would have been necessary to augment counterterrorism programs further.
This would have jeopardized their ability to satisfy other collection priorities within the
Intelligence Community. As Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet testified:
As I "declared war" against al-Qa'ida in 1998 - in the aftermath of the East Africa
embassy bombings - we were in our fifth year of round-the-clock support to
Operation Southern Watch in Iraq. Just three months earlier, we were embroiled in
answering questions on the India and Pakistan nuclear tests and trying to determine
how we could surge more people to understanding and countering weapons of mass
destruction proliferation. In early 1999, we surged more than 800 analysts and
redirected collection assets from across the Intelligence Community to support the
NATO bombing campaign against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
[Similarly, NSA Director Hayden testified that his energy was focused heavily on a range
of regional and global issues. An FBI budget official told the Joint Inquiry that counterterrorism
was not a priority for Attorney General Ashcroft before September 11, 2001 and that the FBI
faced pressure to make cuts in counterterrorism to satisfy the Attorney General's other priorities].
The CIA's Associate Deputy Director for Operations (DDO) for Resources recalled some
attempt to protect counterterrorism in response to the DCI's declaration of war. However, this did
not lead to any change in training, any dramatic increase in the size of CIA's Middle East stations,
264


or significantly greater numbers of personnel assigned to CTC. A particular problem was that
counterterrorism was a worldwide target, and the DO was closing stations in less strategic areas
[ ] even though al-Qa'ida was active there. This hindered acquisition of information on
terrorism in these areas. In interviews, CIA officials explained that they were reluctant to cut
entire areas of collection, particularly in the field, because senior U.S. Government policymakers
had many requirements for intelligence across a wide variety of issue areas.
[Page 279]
By the late 1990s, Intelligence Community coverage of many issues was exceptionally
slim, and staffing was skeletal. The CIA's DO cut by almost one-third the number of personnel
deployed overseas, according to the DDO. The Associate DDO for Resources noted that the DO
often was not able to meet its collection goals, in part because an increased focus on
counterterrorism meant that other issues received less attention. At best, the DO could sustain
what it had, but could not invest in the future. Communications and training suffered
tremendously, DO officials reported.
[The Intelligence Community was unable to reduce requests for collection on other
priorities. As NSA Director Hayden testified, "Our efforts in 2000 to churn money internally were
not accepted by the Community; its reliance on [signals intelligence] had made it reluctant to give
it up." Former CTC Chief Black noted that shifting resources was difficult because the policy
community had other demands for intelligence. He stated in an interview that "[w]e could see it
coming in Afghanistan, but, for example, couldn't get more Agency slots [within the theater]." In
an interview, the CIA official responsible for the Near East noted that, even after September 11,
no major issues were deleted, despite the imperatives of the war on terrorism].
As a result, Intelligence Community officials contend they had too many priorities for the
resource levels that were available. The NSA Director testified that, "[g]iven all the other
intelligence priorities, it would have been difficult at that time within the [Intelligence
Community] or the Department of Defense to accept the kind of resource decisions that would
have been necessary to make our effort against the target more robust."
Requests for additional assistance by counterterrorism officials often fell on unsympathetic
ears because of declining resources. Mr. Black noted in an interview that the DDO told him that
265


the CTC had more than its share of people when compared with other divisions. According to the
Associate DDO for Resources, every office in the DO asked for more people and the demand for
Arabists was particularly high. In general, requests for additional personnel were small because
managers knew that resources were limited.
[Page 280]
When additional resources did become available, intelligence officials sought to build up
overall capabilities, not just those tied to terrorism. According to the Director of the CIA's Office
of the Budget, proposals for putting more DO officers in the field, which was a priority for several
years, were not specifically tied to counterterrorism. Any additional field officers would be tasked
according to current requirements.
F. Policymaker Criticism of Intelligence Community Budget Allocations
Several former OMB and NSC officials asserted in interviews that the FBI and CIA
focused too much on protecting overall funding, and not enough on shifting priorities to increase
spending on terrorism. Budget requests specifically tied to counterterrorism were generally
approved, according to former OMB officials. However, most requests were for overall
capabilities, which met with less support.
For example, former National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure and
Counterterrorism Richard Clarke criticized the Intelligence Community and the FBI for not
putting aside other priorities to ensure that al-Qa'ida received sufficient coverage. Mr. Clarke
explained in a briefing that only a small part of CIA's counterterrorism expenditures was devoted
to al-Qa'ida, even though "[w]e in the NSC and we in the OMB asked CIA repeatedly to find
programs of lesser priority, either in the CIA budget or the Intelligence Community budget, to
increase the size of these activities, and they claimed there was no program anywhere in the
intelligence budget where they could get any funding to reprogram." Former OMB officials
corroborate Clarke's argument that the Intelligence Community was reluctant to reprogram money
to pay for efforts against al-Qa'ida or otherwise re-align overall spending.
The FBI's use of counterterrorism resources received particular criticism. The Bureau
assigned fewer than ten tactical analysts and only one strategic analyst to al-Qa'ida before
266


September 11. Analysts instead focused on critical infrastructure, case support, and domestic
terrorism. FBI officials told the Joint Inquiry that they focused on investigating overseas
terrorism, rather than on strategic analysis or on radical activity in the United States.
[Page 281]
G. Reliance on Supplemental Funding For Counterterrorism
The President submits to the Congress an annual budget for the Intelligence Community
for the coming fiscal year. The budget request includes funding for ongoing and new programs.
Programs that are part of the President's request are considered programs of record (also called
base programs) and have established and well understood oversight and accountability procedures.
Whereas the President's budget request anticipates funding for current priorities, supplemental
appropriations are a reaction to unforeseen events and are granted in addition to base funding.
The Intelligence Community relied heavily on supplemental appropriations to finance the
effort against terrorism. The Community received large supplementals to fight terrorism
following several major al-Qa'ida attacks and as part of the effort during the Millennium
celebrations. In particular, most of the CIA's program against al-Qa'ida in later years was funded
from supplemental appropriations. This hindered efforts to sustain and plan counterterrorism
programs.
Chart 1.7 illustrates the critical importance of supplemental funding in the effort against al-
Qa'ida.
[Page 282]
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o
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o Programs within the DO take years to develop and cannot be "surged" or cut from year to
year.
Despite these problems, the Intelligence Community sought additional supplementals to
sustain its counterterrorism effort, rather than alter program funds in the President's budget
request. DO officials reportedly did not change overall funding patterns because they did not want
to lose expertise or capabilities in other areas; they were confident that supplemental funding
would be appropriated to sustain their effort; and the overall funding was largely for "target
neutral" infrastructure, such as communications, that would also hinder the effort against al-Qa'ida
if cut.
The Director of CIA's Office of the Budget noted that, if a supplemental is expected,
program managers can plan without changing their base. In his judgment, from late 1998 through
2001, managers reasonably expected supplementals (though the amount was never fixed) and thus
could do some planning. If supplemental funding was not appropriated, base funding could have
been adjusted to spend more on al-Qa'ida.
H. How Easily Can Money Be Moved?
[The Intelligence Community has limited flexibility in redistributing resources in response
to crises. Reallocation can occur within budget categories. For example, operational activities
relating to both a foreign country and counterterrorism may fall into "agent operations" or
"analysis" and tradeoffs between them are easier to make. According to a senior Community
Management Staff (CMS) budget official, there is considerable latitude in re-allocating small
sums, though what counts as "small" varies across agencies. To re-allocate larger amounts,
approval must be obtained from the Congressional Intelligence Committees].
According to the CMS budget official, CMS tries to influence the budget and agency
spending, but has limited authority. CMS tries to use a "bully pulpit" and takes matters up with
the DCI when intelligence components do not comply with CMS directives. CMS also has some
leverage in these matters because of its influence over future budget proposals. [Page 284]
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However, CMS exerts only limited control over the expenditure process. Unlike agency
comptrollers, CMS cannot withhold money from agencies that do not comply with its directives.
Agencies may also appeal to the DCI to overturn CMS guidance or inform Congressional staff
about their dissatisfaction. The interests of the Secretary of Defense also matter tremendously in
the appropriations process, as the Secretary controls the vast majority of the Intelligence
Community budget. As a result, CMS is often able to influence only the margins of the process.
Within agencies, resource realignment is also restricted, according to the CIA's Budget
Director. Resources cannot be taken out of programs that OMB and Congress have "fenced," i.e.,
dedicated for only specified activities. National Security Council-mandated [ ]
program money is always fenced. To move fenced money, budget office must negotiate with the
Congress, CMS, OMB, and others. In addition, personnel services funds cannot be reallocated to
pay for non-personnel services costs.
In light of these limits, there has been a call for increasing the budget authority of
Intelligence Community managers. For instance, former National Security Advisor Berger
testified: "I believe in strengthening the DCI's program to plan, program, and budget for
intelligence collection, analysis, and dissemination will permit much more effective integration of
our intelligence priorities and efforts, including better concentration on counterterrorism." And
former FBI Director Freeh criticized the budget process as taking away discretion from the FBI
Director and making it difficult to transfer money to priorities such as terrorism.
II. Foreign Liaison
Al-Qa'ida is engaged in a worldwide struggle against the United States and its allies.
Those responsible for the September 11 plot, for example, became radicalized in Germany, held
meetings in Malaysia, and received funds channeled through the United Arab Emirates. The
September 11 attack is only one example of the global scope of al-Qa'ida's activities. The group
has conducted or supported attacks not only in America, but also in the Balkans, the Caucasus,
[page 285] France, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Kenya, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Spain, Tanzania, Tunisia,
Uzbekistan, Yemen, and dozens of other countries.
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The Intelligence Community recognized early on that an effective U.S. response to al-
Qa'ida must be global and that foreign intelligence and security services ("liaison services")
would be important allies in fighting terrorism. Improving ties to liaison services became
increasingly important for the CIA, FBI, NSA, and other agencies, and their efforts helped make
foreign countries more effective partners and more willing to assist U.S. counterterrorism efforts.
[Several problems remained, however, some of which are inherent to bilateral
relationships. CIA's liaison partners vary in competence and commitment. Others are unwilling
to share information and some include individuals believed to have cooperated with terrorist
groups. At times, U.S. policies and procedures also hinder successful liaison].
A. Efforts to Improve Foreign Liaison
[In the mid-1990s, CIA counterterrorism officials recognized that unilateral CIA
operations alone were not sufficient in penetrating and countering terrorist organizations. For
instance, difficulties in unilaterally penetrating [ ] extremist groups necessitated
increased cooperation with liaison services, according to a former CTC Chief. To this end, CIA,
NSA, and other Intelligence Community agencies strengthened their liaison relationships with
existing partners and forged new relationships to fight al-Qa'ida and other terrorist groups.
Throughout the 1990s, the FBI also greatly expanded its efforts to work with foreign
governments against terrorism. Former FBI Director Louis Freeh testified that he met with dozens
of foreign leaders to build a global counterterrorism network and greatly expanded the Bureau's
presence overseas through its Legal Attache ("Legat") program. As of September 11, 2001, the
FBI had agents assigned to 44 U.S. embassies. As Mr. Freeh explained, the FBI began to position
itself around the globe "in places that matter in the fight against terrorism," particularly in the
Middle East, as Legats were assigned to Cairo, Islamabad, Tel Aviv, Ankara, [page 286]
Riyadh, and other sites. As a result, he added, the FBI was often able to expedite access to
witnesses and create additional channels for information about terrorism.
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[Liaison relationships within a country often vary by agency. For instance, interviews the
Joint Inquiry conducted in [
]. Arrangements also vary by location. For example, FBI Legats often have established
relationships with liaison services in Europe, but they often coordinate efforts through CIA in
certain countries of counterterrorism interest].
[The struggle against al-Qa'ida led U.S. intelligence agencies to work closely with liaison
services that were not major partners during the Cold War. The Joint Inquiry received testimony
and responses from U.S. Government officials that several foreign liaison services deserved praise
for their assistance to the United States. [
].
[In the developing world, many liaison services are limited in resources, training and
[ ], according to CIA officers, and the U.S. may be able to augment their
capabilities greatly. According to Joint Inquiry interviews in [ ], for example, the U.S. has
helped pay for and train the [ ], to the point that the [ ] require personnel to take
several CIA- taught courses in order to rise above the rank of Major. The CIA support has
improved [ ] capabilities and has led to several joint efforts against terrorism, according
to the Chief of CIA's Near East Division].
[The CIA has also developed a program that CIA personnel told the Joint Inquiry makes
liaison services [page 287] better able and more willing to pursue terrorist groups].
B. Benefits Of Foreign Liaison
[The United States relies heavily on liaison services in the fight against terrorism because
they offer many critical advantages. A former CTC Chief described liaison services as a "force
], language skills and cultural backgrounds enable multiplier." Their [
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them to work more effectively against local terrorism than can most American intelligence officers
[ ]. Some liaison services are highly skilled and have operated against these targets for
decades].
Liaison services can also provide considerable assistance in human intelligence operations
that goes beyond mere information sharing. [
].
In addition, liaison services have legal jurisdiction in their own countries, which they used
before September 11 to support a number of U.S. Government operations against terrorist suspects
and otherwise disrupt terrorist activities. Liaison services, particularly those outside the West, can
operate more freely in accordance with laws and procedures often less restrictive than those of
liberal democracies. [
].
[Page 288]
Liaison operations are often necessary because of the paucity of unilateral Intelligence
Community sources, according to CIA's National Intelligence Officer for the Near East and South
Asia. This is especially so in remote or hostile parts of the world where U.S. access is limited.
[
].
Liaison services are also important for [
].
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C. Disadvantages of Relying on Foreign Liaison Services
[Despite the many advantages of working with foreign liaison services, this approach has
several limitations that were manifest before September 11. These limitations can hinder
cooperation and possibly be exploited by terrorists].
[On some occasions, individuals in some liaison services are believed to have cooperated
with terrorist groups, [
]. In addition,
the former Chief of CTC's Bin Ladin unit testified that [
].
Governments can also be highly sensitive about information that embarrasses them or
implicates their citizens in terrorism. The former Chief of CTC's Bin Ladin unit testified that [
[page 289]
].
Problems are common even with governments that have long been close partners of the
United States. Many intelligence services are reluctant to share information. Even the most
cooperative services withhold information to protect sources and methods and for other reasons.
Several European governments were described as indifferent to the threat al-Qa'ida posed before
September 11, while others faced legal restrictions that impeded their ability to disrupt terrorist
cells.
Former National Security Advisor Sandy Berger told the Joint Inquiry that European
governments (except Britain) did not share the U.S. assessment of the al-Qa'ida threat. Joint
274


Inquiry interviews in Germany showed that the Germans did not see Islamist groups as a
significant threat to their interests before September 11. Deputy National Security Advisor Steve
Hadley also noted that European support varied according to the perceived threat.
[The former Chief of CTC's Bin Ladin unit testified that some European services had
minimal interest in the Bin Ladin target and offered little assistance. [
]." Bin Ladin also was not a priority target for the [
] until after September 11, according to Joint Inquiry interviews abroad].
Several services are apparently excessively bureaucratic. Interviews in Germany revealed
that the intelligence apparatus was deliberately fragmented to make abuses of power more
difficult. This fragmentation also made coordination and information sharing more difficult.
Furthermore, before September 11, it was not illegal to be a member of foreign terrorist
organizations in Germany or to raise funds for them. The Assistant Director for the FBI's
[page 290] Counterterrorism Division noted that "the Germans were so restrictive prior to 9/11
with their Constitution about what they can and cannot do, that they could do very little."
[Finally, [ ] liaison partners have their own equities to consider, and this must
be taken into account when working with them and in evaluating information received from them.
Some services will try to take advantage of joint operations to seek more information [
].
D. Liaison Service Problems with the United States
An array of factors can often hinder the degree of liaison services cooperation. Many of
these are outside the control of the Intelligence Community.
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Leaks of information revealing a liaison service's role in assisting the United States are a
source of frustration cited by almost every expert the Joint Inquiry interviewed. At times, leaks
are the result of procedures regarding warnings. For example, the U.S. has issued warnings based
on information from liaison services - warnings required by U.S. policies - even though this
angered the liaison service by potentially revealing its sources. More commonly, leaks are
unauthorized, serve no policy purpose and simply anger liaison services whose sources and
methods may be compromised.
[Leaks also hinder cooperation with governments that prefer to minimize public ties to the
U.S., and particularly to U.S. intelligence. For example, one foreign government is sensitive to
excessive public connections with the United States because they damage its reputation in the area
and provide fuel for criticism to [ ] rivals, according to a U.S. Government official].
Interviews with Intelligence Community officials suggest a range of additional problems.
The U.S. can easily overwhelm a small liaison service with many demands. For instance, CIA
Station personnel in [ ] maintain that one of their principal responsibilities is to decide on the
priorities for requests for information so that the [ ] do not receive too many. U.S. laws,
[page 291] particularly those that attach the death penalty to crimes, make it difficult for several
governments to extradite terrorist suspects to, or provide information in support of prosecutions
by, the U.S. This has hindered cooperation in the investigations of Zacarias Moussaoui and other
suspects. Finally, although intelligence cooperation is often isolated from shifts in bilateral
diplomacy, poor bilateral relations can affect intelligence liaison relations in negative ways.
E. Coordination of Foreign Liaison
[Most Intelligence Community officials operating overseas coordinate liaison relations
well with DCI representatives who are responsible for intelligence relations with foreign
governments. U.S. Ambassadors are always briefed, according to the Chief of the CIA's [
]. He emphasized that the primary instruction given to the DCI representatives by CIA is:
"Recruit the U.S. Ambassador first," that is, gain the good will of the Ambassador. Interviews
with several Ambassadors indicate that, in general, the Intelligence Community coordinates well
with U.S. embassies].
276


Nonetheless, there are challenges to coordinating relations with liaison services. For
instance, liaison on counterterrorism has not always been integrated into overall U.S. regional
goals. Senior policy makers told the Joint Inquiry that, before September 11, they had not always
succeeded in incorporating the struggle against al-Qa'ida into U.S. policy toward key states [
]. As a result, other issues often diverted attention from terrorism.
There are also many channels through different agencies for U.S. Government liaison with
foreign governments. These range from CIA and FBI to the Agriculture and Commerce
Departments. As former National Security Advisor Sandy Berger noted, U.S. ambassadors often
lack control over these relationships and, consequently, the U.S. Government does not always
properly consider the priorities of all the requests it makes of foreign governments.
Mr. Clarke also noted that there exists a "gentleman's agreement" with friendly liaison
services: "you don't spy in the United States and we don't spy in your country." In his view,
[page 292] however, this arrangement can put the U.S. at "some disadvantage when [foreign
liaison services] are not terribly aggressive on our behalf."
[This disadvantage was compounded by the decision at the end of the Cold War to cut CIA
presence in some Western countries dramatically. [
].
[The CIA is responsible for coordinating the overall intelligence liaison relationship, but
FBI Legats and Defense Department attachés do not need CIA permission to interact with their
local partners when, for example, a U.S. citizen overseas is involved in terrorism. Weaknesses in
inter-agency coordination overseas can also reflect lack of coordination within the United States.
For example, during Joint Inquiry interviews abroad, it was determined that a joint planning
meeting to target al-Qa'ida leader [ ], which was to include CIA officers
and their foreign liaison service counterparts, did not include the local FBI Legat. In fact, he was
not aware of the meeting, although the Bureau plays a major role in tracking [ ]. In
277


general, however, CIA and FBI have come to learn more about each other's procedures and
requirements and, as a result, have improved cooperation overseas].
F. Additional Challenges for the FBI Overseas
The FBI's Legat program, which grew rapidly in the 1990s and remains relatively new,
faces several additional problems. FBI agents reported to the Joint Inquiry that some offices were
responsible for too large an area or for too many countries. As a result, they have little
opportunity for the face-to-face meetings with foreign counterparts that are integral to establishing
liaison relationships. In addition, Legats have limited funding for interaction with foreign
counterparts. One Legat also noted that most FBI agents in the United States have little
understanding of how the program works and, therefore, do not use it effectively.
[Page 293]
In addition, the Joint Inquiry was told in interviews that FBI Headquarters has often been
slow in responding to Legat requests for support or information. The FBI Headquarters unit that
supports the Legat program appears to be understaffed, since it has the same number of staff to
support 45 Legat offices as it did when there were only 20 such offices.
G. Progress After September 11
[The Joint Inquiry did not delve deeply into how liaison relationships changed after the
September 11 attacks. However, almost all interviews and testimony that dealt with this subject
indicated that cooperation had improved dramatically, particularly in regard to al-Qa'ida. The
immediacy and magnitude of the threat impressed governments worldwide. In addition, increased
U.S. attention to terrorism increased pressure on other governments to cooperate, and the amount
of shared intelligence reporting has greatly increased, as have other types of cooperation, even
with some previously recalcitrant or hostile countries [ ].
278


III. Covert Action and Military Operations Against Bin Ladin
[The Joint Inquiry examined whether the Intelligence Community might have missed
opportunities to disrupt the September 11 attacks through covert action or military operations
directed against Usama Bin Ladin. To answer that question, the Joint Inquiry reviewed covert
action documents and interviewed twenty-six persons with first-hand knowledge of U.S. efforts to
capture Bin Ladin before September 11. The review included documents authorizing covert action
[
], and information related to 13 military options formulated by the Chairman of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff in late 2000. Interviews included CIA personnel involved in covert action to
capture Bin Ladin and his principal lieutenants; senior military officers responsible for planning
contingency operations; [
]; senior CIA and NSC officials and senior military officers involved in
[page 294] authorizing and implementing covert action and the use of military force; and State
Department counterterrorism officials.
A. Background
The National Security Act of 1947, as amended, defines "covert action" as "activities of
the United States Government to influence political, economic, or military conditions abroad,
where it is intended that the role of the United States Government will not be apparent or
acknowledged publicly." Covert action does not include activities whose primary purpose is to
acquire intelligence; traditional diplomatic or military activities; traditional law enforcement
activities; or routine support to these activities or the activities of other government agencies
abroad.
[In spring 1986, President Reagan signed a directive authorizing CIA to conduct certain
counterterrorism operations abroad]. [
279


].
[
, [page 295]
]. All actions authorized [ ] must be
important to U.S. national security as established in the relevant Presidential Finding. [
]:
[
].
[
].
280


The U.S. military does not require [
]. Thus, a traditional military operation, such as a strike by cruise missile or special
operations forces, to kill or capture Bin Ladin would require only an order from the President.
B. Authorities to Conduct Covert Action Against Bin Ladin
[Page 296]
[Former National Security Advisor Sandy Berger testified that "from August 1998 on, . . .
[President Clinton] authorized a series of overt and covert actions to try to get Bin Ladin and his
principal lieutenants." [
]:
[
].
[
]:
o [
];
o [
];
281


o [
]; and
[Page 297]
o [
].
According to CIA personnel and NSC officials interviewed by the Joint Inquiry, Bin Ladin
and his associates were expected to resist capture attempts. [
].
The President also ordered the U.S. Navy to fire cruise missiles at targets in Sudan and
Afghanistan. Some of the missiles were aimed at a location where Bin Ladin was thought to be,
and the Joint Inquiry was told that one of the objectives of the strike was to kill Bin Ladin.
[
]. The NSC was considering [ ] operations: to capture Bin Ladin and
a U.S. Navy cruise missile strike to kill him. According to a former Chief of CTC's Bin Ladin
unit, the NSC decided against a cruise missile strike because of concerns about collateral damage
to a nearby mosque.
NSC and CIA personnel alike have said that [
]. They differ in their interpretation [ ],
282


however. [
[page 298]
].
[Former National Security Advisor Sandy Berger testified to the Joint Inquiry on
September 19, 2002 that, from the time of the East Africa U.S. Embassy bombings in 1998, the
U.S. Government was:
. . . embarked [on] an very intense effort to get Bin Ladin, to get his lieutenants,
through both overt and covert means. . . . We were involved - at that point, our
intense focus was to get Bin Ladin, to get his key lieutenants. The President
conferred a number of authorities on the Intelligence Community for that purpose.
Senator Shelby: By "get him," that meant kill him if you had to, capture him or kill
him?
Mr. Berger: I don't know what I can say in this hearing, but capture and kill. . . .
There was no question that the cruise missiles were not trying to capture him. They
were not law enforcement techniques. . . ."]
[ ]. Mr. Berger noted that the Administration was openly and
simultaneously trying to kill Bin Ladin with cruise missiles. Mr. Clarke also told the Joint Inquiry
in June 2002 that "we wanted to make clear to the people in the field that we preferred arrest, but
we recognized that that probably wasn't going to be possible." [
].
[Later in the September 19, 2002 hearing, Mr. Berger and former National Security
Advisor Brent Scowcroft were asked whether the Executive Order 12333 prohibition on
assassinations should be reconsidered. They responded:
Mr. Scowcroft: . . . it gets us into all kinds of complications and drawing legalistic
lines. One of the things that we found [in connection with a 1989 coup attempt in
Panama] is that CIA personnel who were - I wouldn't say involved, but who knew
about it and were meeting with the coup plotters and so on, were concerned about
being accessories; because if you mount a coup, . . . it is very likely there are going
to be some people killed.
Mr. Berger: . . . we received rulings from the Department of Justice that the
Executive Order did not prohibit our ability . . . to try to kill Bin Ladin, because it
283


did not apply to situations in which you are acting in self-defense or you are acting
against command and control targets against an enemy, which he certainly was. . . .
[A]s a practical matter, it didn't stop us from doing anything].
. . . .
Senator Bayh: . . . we have heard from some of [those] who deal in these kinds of
areas. They are pretty reluctant, absent an express authorization, to wander too far
down that path for fear of having the wrong legal interpretation and someday being
faced with a lawyer who has a different analysis of some kind. . . .
Mr. Berger: They certainly would have to have clarity from the President of the
United States or something like that.]
[
]:
o "[
]."
o "[
].
[page 299] [
].
284


o "[
]."
o "[
]."
o "[
]."
As former National Security Advisor Berger noted in his interview, "We do not have a rogue
CIA."
While NSC officials maintained that [
]. CIA
personnel interviewed by the Joint Inquiry explained that [
[page 300]
].
[
285


]:
o [
]:
o [
]; and
o [
]."
[
[page 301]
].
[
286


].
[
].
[
[Page 302]
]:
[
].
. . . .
[
].
287


[
].
[
].
[
].
[Page 303]
[
].
According to individuals interviewed by the Joint Inquiry, [
]. This idea reflects a tension between two views of counterterrorist efforts.
One view is that the problem is primarily a law enforcement matter, with prosecutions and
288


convictions as the ultimate goal, while the other is that we are at war and terrorists are combatants
in a foreign army who may be detained until the end of the conflict.
[
]. The White House refused to allow the Joint Inquiry to
review the relevant documents, but [
]:
[
].
[
[Page 304]
].
[Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage testified to the Joint Inquiry on September
19, 2002 that:
The National Security Council . . . called for new proposals [in March 2001] on a
strategy that would be more aggressive against al-Qa'ida. The first deputies
meeting, which is the first decision making body in the administration, met on the
30th of April and set off on a trail of initiatives to include financing, getting at
financing, to get at increased authorities for the Central Intelligence Agency, sharp
end things that the military was asked to do. . . . So, from March through about
August, we were preparing a national security Presidential directive, and it was
289


distributed on August 13 to the principals for their final comments. And then, of
course, we had the events of September 11. . .].
[
]:
o [
].
o [
].
The Joint Inquiry was told [
]. The Joint Inquiry was not able to
determine whether senior U.S. Government policymakers or the President reviewed them before
that date.
Within the Congress, distribution of [ ] was limited to the
Speaker of the House, the Senate Majority Leader, the Minority Leaders of the [page 305] House
and Senate, and the Chairs and Ranking Minority members of the House and Senate Intelligence
Committees. Congress did nor receive [ ].
Senior U.S. military officers involved in planning military operations against Bin Ladin
have told Joint Inquiry staff that there were no documents [ ] authorizing the
U.S. military to carry out clandestine operations against Bin Ladin. Nor were there efforts to draft
290


such documents, because they were not deemed necessary. However, Presidential approval would
have been required for military operations.
C. Additional Operational Challenges and Constraints
In interviews, CTC personnel pointed out numerous operational challenges and constraints
they faced in attempting to capture [ ] Bin Ladin and his lieutenants:
o Bin Ladin resided in a country suspicious of foreigners and embroiled in a civil war.
Thus, determining his whereabouts was exceptionally difficult and dangerous,
especially for Western intelligence officers.
o Bin Ladin had a number of enemies, any one of whom might attempt to kill him. As a
result, when he traveled inside Afghanistan, he was always in the company of a large
security detail. Some of his bodyguards were "hardened killers" who had fought with
Bin Ladin against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
o [
]. Moreover,
Bin Ladin and his associates were careful not to reveal operational information [
].
[Page 306]
o [
]; and
o The U.S. had limited access to Afghanistan and the countries near it, [
].
291


In interviews with the Joint Inquiry, a former CTC Chief and a former Chief of the [
] Extremist Group also described constraints on CIA actions:
o The CIA could not violate the Constitution, U.S. law, or human rights, including Bin
Ladin's, during these operations;
o The operations could not violate the prohibition on assassinations in Executive Order
12333;
o [
];
o [
];
o The CIA was not authorized to upset the political balance in Afghanistan; and
o The U.S. military did not support putting U.S. "boots on the ground" in Afghanistan.
[Page 306]
[In the September 12, 2002 hearing, a CIA official also spoke of the constraints he faced
in staging covert action against Bin Ladin:
[
].
In a Joint Inquiry interview, a former CTC Chief also offered his opinion that firing cruise missiles
based on a single strand of human intelligence was not advisable since the risk of missing Bin
Ladin or inflicting excessive collateral damage outweighed the chances of success.
292


In a statement to the Joint Inquiry, a former CTC Chief cited the "international political
context of this period" as presenting "an operational environment with major impediments that
CIA constantly fought to overcome":
o "The U.S. Government had no official presence in Afghanistan, and relations with the
Taliban were seriously strained. Both of these factors made it difficult to get access to
Bin Ladin and al-Qa'ida personnel."
o "U.S. policy stopped short of replacing the Taliban regime or providing direct support
to others for the specific purpose of overthrowing the Taliban. These realities limited
our ability to exert pressure on Bin Ladin."
o "During this period, the Taliban gradually gained control over most of Afghanistan,
increasingly limiting the opposition's capabilities and room to maneuver."
[Page 308]
o "U.S. relations with Pakistan, the principal access point to Afghanistan, were strained
due to the nuclear tests of 1998 and the military coup in Islamabad in 1999."
He also noted other factors that complicated CIA operations against Bin Ladin:
[
].
The former CTC Chief explained that these challenges and operational constraints, [
], left virtually no room to craft an executable operation. In
an interview with the Joint Inquiry, CIA's Deputy Director for Operations also noted that CIA
[ ] capabilities had "atrophied" in the years preceding the
September 11 attacks.
293


General Hugh Shelton, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Joint Staff's
current Director of Operations pointed to two additional constraints on military operations against
Bin Ladin. The first was the absence of "actionable" intelligence on Bin Ladin's whereabouts: the
Intelligence Community never provided a location and time at which a missile strike could be
launched. The second was the absence of a declaration of war or some similar declaration
indicating that the Taliban was a formal enemy. In General Shelton's view, the absence of such a
declaration precluded the United States from sending U.S. soldiers into Afghanistan to capture or
kill Bin Ladin. He believes that solving the Afghanistan problem before September 11 required
the full range of diplomatic, economic, and military tools available to the U.S. Government.
[Page 309]
In contrast, the Chief of CTC's Bin Ladin unit through June 1999, told the Joint Inquiry:
[
].
A former CTC Chief had a somewhat different view of intelligence support to the military during
his tenure [ ]:
[The military has] exacting criteria that intelligence needs, that needs to be met
before they can launch an operation. [
].
Another Chief of CTC's Bin Ladin unit had yet another view on actionable intelligence:
I think our swift victory . . . after September 11th - underscores the fact that we had
an enormous body of actionable intelligence on Bin Ladin's terrorist infrastructure.
[
].
D. CIA Covert Action Against Bin Ladin [ ]
294


[The Joint Inquiry also became aware of the existence of [
]. The White House declined to provide access, but the Joint Inquiry was
able to develop some information about their content.
[Page 310]
Notwithstanding the extensive efforts [ ] to guide CIA covert action against Bin
Ladin, actual efforts to implement covert action and military operations against him in
Afghanistan before September 11 were very limited. A central element in these efforts was the
CTC unit established in 1996 to focus exclusively on Bin Ladin and his terrorist network.
Initially, the unit was created to examine terrorist financing and to determine whether Bin Ladin
posed a significant threat. [
].
[
]. In February 1998,
Bin Ladin issued his public fatwa authorizing attacks on American civilians and military personnel
anywhere in the world. His statement and subsequent indictment in the United States added
urgency to the effort to formulate a covert action plan against him. [
].
[
].
295


[
[page
311]
].
[
].
[
].
[
296


[Page 312]
]:
[
].
[
] [The President ordered the U.S. Navy on August 20, 1998 to launch
cruise missiles against targets in Afghanistan and Sudan. This is the only instance the Joint
Inquiry has been able to identify in which the CIA or U.S. military carried out an operation
directly against Bin Ladin before September 11].
According to the President's public statements at the time, the cruise missile strikes were
launched in self-defense against groups that had played key roles in the embassy bombings, had
executed earlier attacks against Americans, were planning to launch additional attacks, and were
attempting to obtain chemical weapons. All personnel interviewed on this matter by the Joint
Inquiry concur that one objective of the strikes in Afghanistan was to kill Bin Ladin.
[
]:
o [
]. [Page 313]
297


o [
].
o [
].
[
].
In the summer and fall of 1999, following the arrival of a new Chief of CTC and a new
Chief of the Bin Ladin unit, CTC reviewed its covert action program against Bin Ladin and
developed "The Plan." This review was propelled by the DCI's December 1998 memorandum
declaring "war" against Bin Ladin. The Plan that resulted in September 1999 contained five main
elements, with an estimate of each element's prospects of success:
o [
].
o [
].
[Page 314]
298


o [
].
o [
].
A CIA September 1999 briefing presentation outlining these elements concluded:
[The Bin Ladin unit] cannot implement "The Plan" without additional resources. . .
. Without additional resources, we will continue to be defense [sic]. . .not
offensive. . . . [The Chief of the CTC is] working on resource issue.
[
]." In CTC's view, although there was "lots of desire at the working
level," there was "reluctance at the political level," and it was "unlikely that JSOC will ever
deploy under current circumstances."
A [ ] CIA document mentions another option to capture Bin Ladin [
[Page
315][
].
299


In testimony before the Joint Inquiry, the DCI acknowledged impediments to "The Plan":
U.S. policy stopped short of replacing the Taliban regime, limiting the ability of the
U.S. Government to exert pressure on Bin Ladin. U.S. relations with Pakistan, the
principal access point to Afghanistan were strained by the Pakistani nuclear tests in
1998 and the military coup in 1999. The U.S. Government had no official presence
in Afghanistan, and relations with the Taliban were seriously strained. Both factors
made it more difficult to gain access to Bin Ladin and al-Qa'ida personnel.
Over time, CTC officers engaged in these covert action efforts concluded that "getting Bin
Ladin" required dealing with the Taliban regime first. They believed that the different means of
capturing Bin Ladin were unlikely to succeed as long as the Taliban continued to provide Bin
Ladin a safehaven. In addition, CIA officers recognized that the entire al-Qa'ida apparatus in
Afghanistan, not just Bin Ladin, was a problem. Thus, placing pressure on the Taliban to expel
Bin Ladin and end its support for terrorism was necessary.
[
]. [The Joint Inquiry was denied access to that document].
While it appears that CIA was not able to mount a single operation against Bin Ladin
directly before September 11, CIA [
] were key factors in
U.S. military execution of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan beginning in October
2001. The DCI alluded to this in his testimony before the Joint Inquiry on June 18-19, 2002.
[Page 316]
E. [Use of [ ] against Bin Ladin
[In June 2002, then-Presidential Advisor for Cybersecurity Richard Clarke told a
Congressional forum examining technology that can be used to combat terrorism:
Because of that development, which was telescoped and done very quickly in six
months instead of three years, we were able to launch [ ] into
Afghanistan last September].
300


[Former National Security Advisor Berger testified that the President demanded more
information on Bin Ladin's location in 2000:
We were continually looking at what we were doing, looking at new techniques,
looking at new steps we could take. In the fall - in February of 2000, for example,
I sent a memo to President Clinton outlining what we were doing. And he wrote
back, this is not satisfactory. It was particularly related to how you find this guy.
We have got to do more. And that prompted us to work with the Intelligence
Community and the military on a new technique for detecting Bin Ladin. . . .
Actually it was very promising as a way of determining where he would be if we
had one strand of human intelligence].
[
].
[
]:
[
].
[Page 317]
[Page 317]
[
].
[
301


].
[
].
[
].
[
].
[Page 318]
[
302


]:
[
].
[Beginning in 2001, the U.S. Government embarked on an effort to develop [
].
[
].
[
]
[Page 319]
F. Use of U.S. Military Force Against Bin Ladin
According to interviews of current and retired senior military officers and DoD civilians
about U.S. military options for capturing or killing Bin Ladin, cruise missile strikes in August
1998, following the embassy bombings in East Africa, were the only use of U.S. military force
against Bin Ladin or his terrorist network in Afghanistan prior to September 11, 2001. On [ ]
occasions in [ ], President Clinton and his advisors contemplated additional
missile strikes against Bin Ladin.
o [
303


].
o [
].
o [
[page 320]
].
In each situation, the Intelligence Community lacked "actionable intelligence" for a
capture or kill operation by military means. Mr. Clarke described the problem:
The Clinton Administration considered additional military strikes against Afghanistan on [
] occasions [
]. We now know that on only one of those [ ]
occasions was the intelligence correct.
[Actionable intelligence was particularly difficult to obtain since killing or capturing Bin
Ladin required knowing where he would be when cruise missiles arrived at the target area, not
304


where he had been when they were launched. Several senior CIA officers who were interviewed,
including the Deputy Director for Operations, two former CTC Chiefs, a former Chief of CTC's
Bin Ladin unit, and a [
]. Thus, CIA's general reluctance to rely on a single source of information or recommend
missile launches based on human intelligence alone was compounded by concerns about the
reliability of this information. In addition, policymakers sought information on the presence of
non-combatants and property that might be damaged in a strike].
[The interviewees also mentioned contingency plans to launch additional cruise missile
strikes at Bin Ladin had the Intelligence Community been able to obtain precise information on his
location. [Page 321] As former National Security Advisor Sandy Berger explained to the Joint
Inquiry:
Unfortunately, after August 1998, we never again had actionable intelligence
information reliable enough to warrant another attack against Bin Ladin or his key
lieutenants. If we had, President Clinton would have given the order. The
President ordered two submarines loaded with cruise missiles on perpetual
deployment off the coast of Pakistan for that very purpose. We also were engaged
in a number of covert efforts I cannot discuss in this unclassified format].
According to a CIA document, in December 1999, the U.S. Special Operations Command
had been tasked to begin planning and was "working closely" with CIA. The Joint Inquiry did not
identify any operations that came about as a result of this planning.
In an interview with the Joint Inquiry, General Shelton, former Chairman of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff explained the military options beyond cruise missile strikes. In the fall of 2000, he
prepared a paper containing 12 or 13 options for using military force against Bin Ladin. Several
options reportedly involved "U.S. boots on the ground" in Afghanistan and were aimed at
capturing Bin Ladin, [ ]. General Shelton, along with
Secretary of Defense William Cohen, discussed these options with National Security Advisor
Berger in late 2000, after Mr. Berger had expressed impatience with U.S. efforts to get Bin Ladin.
The military Joint Staff's Director of Operations described the military options paper as an effort
to "educate" the National Security Advisor about the "extraordinary complexity of the 'boots-onthe-
ground' options." According to this officer, the military did not receive any tasking to develop
305


these options further. The Joint Inquiry requested a copy of both the paper detailing the military
options as well as the military Joint Staff's pre-September 11 strategic plan for Afghanistan that is
discussed below. The NSC denied that request, although a senior officer in the military Joint Staff
was allowed to brief the Joint Inquiry on those options.
Former Chairman Shelton said the options could have been executed "very quickly," but
depended on the Intelligence Community obtaining actionable intelligence. He said CIA never
provided such intelligence and the military had never been tasked to obtain it.
Mr. Clarke explained that "the overwhelming message to the White House from the
uniformed military leadership was 'we don't want to do this,' [ ]
[Page 322]
]." Mr. Clarke also said that '[t]he military repeatedly came back
with recommendations that their capability not be utilized for commando operations in
Afghanistan."
According to CTC officers, the military levied so many requirements for highly detailed,
actionable intelligence before conducting an operation - far beyond what the Intelligence
Community was ever likely to obtain - that U.S. military units were effectively precluded from
conducting operations against Bin Ladin's organization on the ground in Afghanistan before
September 11. As noted above, the Joint Inquiry heard conflicting testimony from CIA officers
about the Intelligence Community obtaining actionable intelligence. For instance, one former
CTC officer told the Joint Inquiry:
[
].
A former CTC Chief [ ] explained:
[The military has] exacting criteria that intelligence needs . . . that needs to be met
before they can launch an operation. [
].
306


The military Joint Staff's Director of Operations also mentioned a strategic plan developed
by the Joint Staff in late 2000 for dealing with the Taliban regime. The U.S. military was coming
to the same conclusion as the Intelligence Community: getting Bin Ladin meant dealing with the
Taliban regime first and shutting down the sanctuary in Afghanistan.
The Joint Inquiry also asked General Shelton whether the military and CIA ever pooled
assets or developed plans to conduct a joint operation against Bin Ladin. The former Chairman
said that no plans existed, and that, as a general principle, he was opposed to joint CIA-military
[page 323] operations. He explained that he did not want U.S. military units to be dependent on
the actions of CIA paramilitary units outside the military chain of command. He noted an instance
in which CIA and the U.S. military conducted a coordinated operation [ ].
In that case, a "firewall" between CIA and military units allowed the military to proceed even if
CIA units did not accomplish their mission. General Shelton said that he would have insisted on
similar arrangements for joint operations in Afghanistan against Bin Ladin. In contrast, a former
CTC Chief said about joint operations involving CIA and military units:
I think it is an absolutely great [idea]. This is something we have been advocating
for a long time. If you want to go to war, you take the CIA, its clandestinity, its
authorities, and you match it up with special operations forces of the U.S. military,
you can really - you can really do some damage... This is something that we have
tried to advocate at the working level, and we haven't made much progress. But, if
this is something that you [the Congress] would like to look into, it would be great
for the United States.
Similarly, a former Chief of CTC's Bin Ladin unit commented:
As someone who [ ] worked with special forces, they want to
work with us and we want to work with them. History was made between the CIA
and special forces. We need to do that.
307


IV. Strategy to Disrupt Terrorist Funding
Bin Ladin and al-Qa'ida financial assets and networks are substantial, diverse, and elusive.
In addition to Bin Ladin's personal wealth, the al-Qa'ida financial network relies on funds
reportedly raised through legitimate and illegitimate businesses and on donations from wealthy
Muslims and charitable organizations supporting Muslim causes. Bin Ladin has claimed that he
has access to four ways of transferring money: smuggling cash, the global banking system, the
Islamic banking system, and hawalas or informal money transfer networks. Bin Ladin once
boasted to a Pakistani newspaper that the cracks in the Western financial system were as familiar
to him and his al-Qa'ida colleagues as the lines on their own hands.
[Page 324]
A. Financial Tracking before September 11
Before September 11, no single federal agency was responsible for tracking terrorist funds
or coordinating U.S. Government efforts and securing international collaboration to interdict these
funds. Some agencies did track terrorist financing, but, for the most part, the effort was
disorganized and related to specific cases, and the U.S. Government was generally reluctant to
seize assets or make arrests relating to that financing.
The General Counsel of the Department of Treasury explained to the Joint Inquiry that,
before September 11, 2001, the financial war on terrorism was "ad-hoc-ism," episodic, and
informal, with no mechanism for exchanging information among agencies or for setting priorities.
He described errors in perception, focus, and targeting of the Bin Ladin threat and his realization
as he watched the World Trade Center Towers disintegrate:
It was as if we had been looking at the world through the wrong end of a telescope.
. . . Money had been spirited around the globe by means and measures and in
denominations that mocked all of our detection. . . . The most serious threat to our
well-being was now clean money intended to kill, not dirty money seeking to be
rinsed in a place of hiding.
The fact that, before September 11, no single agency was responsible for coordinating
government efforts to attack terrorist funding does not mean that individual agencies were not
tracking funds effectively, identifying terrorists and their organizations, and unraveling their plots
by targeting assets. The Chief of the FBI's Financial Crimes Section and the Director of
308


Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) told the Joint Inquiry that, before
September 11, they had the capacity to develop leads on terrorist suspects and link them to other
terrorists by examining funding sources. The FBI Financial Crimes Section Chief also explained
his belief that he would have been able to locate hijackers Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-
Mihdhar, if asked, through credit card and banking transactions.
FinCEN started doing linkage analysis of terrorist financing in April 1999 and first
identified an account with a direct link to Bin Ladin in February 2001. FinCEN has the advantage
of being able to work with law enforcement and intelligence information, which it [page 325]
combines with Bank Secrecy Act information and commercial data to produce a product useful to
the Department of Treasury and others in seizing, blocking, and freezing terrorist assets. These
capabilities and databases at FinCEN, the Drug Information Center, and across the Intelligence
Community enabled the FBI and FinCEN to connect almost all 19 hijackers within days after
September 11 by linking their bank accounts, credit cards, debit cards, addresses, and telephone
numbers.
B. Financial Tracking after September 11
Since September 11, 2001, the federal government has taken actions to block and seize
terrorist assets such as smuggled cash, to arrest and indict terrorist financiers, and to shut down
front companies, charities, banks, and hawala conglomerates that offer financial support to al-
Qa'ida. On September 24, 2001, four days after signing an Executive Order blocking terrorist
funds, President Bush gave a new priority to the effort: "We will starve the terrorists of funding."
The Treasury General Counsel described to the Joint Inquiry the change in the government's
strategy: "the difference between the activity before 9/11 and after 9/11 is the difference between a
mule and an 8-cylinder Chevy."
V. Khalid Shaykh Mohammed: The Mastermind Of September 11
[Khalid Shaykh Mohammed (KSM) is one of al-Qa'ida's most senior leaders and is
believed to be the mastermind behind the September 11 attacks. Although the Intelligence
309


Community knew of KSM's support for terrorism since 1995 and later learned of his links to al-
Qa'ida, he was not recognized as a senior al-Qa'ida lieutenant. In April 2002, the Intelligence
Community learned that KSM and his group conceived the September 11 plot. KSM is also
known as Mukhtar or "the Brain]."
The efforts the Intelligence Community took against KSM illustrate the difficulties it had
in understanding al-Qa'ida's activities and structure and formulating a coherent response. The
Community devoted few analytic or operational resources to tracking KSM or understanding his
[page 326] activities. Coordination within the Community was irregular at best, and the little
information that was shared was usually forgotten or dismissed.
A. KSM's Links to Terrorist Attacks before September 11
KSM and his followers played a major role in several Islamist extremist plots before
September 11. These plots are notable for the large number of casualties they sought to create, the
use of airplanes, and focus on symbolic targets such as the World Trade Center and U.S.
government facilities, all characteristics of the September 11 attacks.
Investigators determined in 1995 that KSM was linked to the February 1993 bombing of
the World Trade Center. Federal prosecutors gave CIA a copy of a financial wire transaction for
$660 between Qatar and the U.S., dated several days before the blast, from "Khaled Shaykh" in
Doha to Muhammad Salameh, one of four defendants convicted in the World Trade Center
bombing. With additional information that emerged from the Philippines investigation described
below, CIA was able to determine that Khaled was KSM, that KSM was an uncle of Ramzi
Yousef, the mastermind of the first World Trade Center bombing plot, and that KSM had married
the sister of Yousef's wife.
[In 1995, Yousef's plots to bomb twelve U.S. airplanes flying Asian routes, kill the Pope,
and crash a plane into CIA Headquarters were thwarted by Philippine police when a fire erupted in
an apartment where Yousef was preparing explosives. The police seized a list of names and
telephone numbers and found a notation for "Khalid Doha" with telephone and facsimile numbers
in Qatar. [
310


]. Yet another link to
KSM was made when Yousef, who was apprehended shortly after fleeing the Philippines, made a
call from detention to Qatar and asked to speak with "Khalid." This number was similar to the
one found by the Philippine police. [
].
[Page 327]
B. The Hunt for KSM
The Intelligence Community agencies worked together to apprehend KSM during his time
in Qatar and in the Balkans. However, KSM's frequent travels, and the slow pace of efforts to
learn his whereabouts, [ ].
C. Finding KSM and Building the Case
[
]. [Prosecutors asked that CIA
continue to assist the FBI by using its assets to help establish the case. [
].
[
].
[It was determined that KSM was a top priority. The FBI was poised to take a photograph
abroad for identification purposes. If KSM were identified from the photograph, an indictment
311


would be sought. [
]. On December 30, 1995 KSM was
identified [page 328] from the photograph, and he was indicted by a New York City grand jury in
January 1996. The indictment was sealed and would be opened once KSM was in custody].
D. [ ]
[
].
[
].
[
].
[
].
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E. Link to al-Qa'ida Discovered
The Intelligence Community was not sure of KSM's alliances until after [ ]. For
example, a December 1995 CIA cable stated, "As far as we know, Yousef and his [page 329]
confederates - such as [KSM] - are not allied with an organized terrorist group and cannot readily
call upon such an organized unit to execute retaliatory strikes against the U.S. or countries that
have cooperated with the U.S. in the extradition of Yousef and his associates."
[This assessment changed in 1996 when a foreign government shared information that Bin
Ladin and KSM had traveled together to a foreign country the previous year. In August 1998,
after the bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, another foreign government sent CIA a list of
the names of individuals who flew into Nairobi before the attack. Based on information delivered
by another liaison service, CIA recognized that one of the passengers' names was an alias for
KSM. The liaison report also described KSM as close to Bin Ladin. In an interview, the FBI
agent responsible for the KSM case could not remember this information, even though it had been
disseminated by CIA. This information and subsequent reporting led the CIA to see KSM as part
of Bin Ladin's organization. Several CIA cables indicated that following up on information
relevant to KSM was essential, given his past activities and his links to al-Qa'ida].
F. The Emphasis on Renditions
[
].
[
]: [Page 330]
313


[
].
Only once before September 11 did an analyst write requirements that were intended to determine
KSM's role in al-Qa'ida, his future plans, or other traditional intelligence concerns.
G. KSM's U.S. Connection
[Though KSM had numerous links to the United States, it appears that information
concerning such links was difficult to discover and did not generate an aggressive response. The
Intelligence Community knew that KSM had attended college in the United States in the 1980s.
Both the CIA and FBI tried to track this down, but they were unsuccessful until the Kuwaitis
published information in the media. CIA disseminated a report that KSM had traveled to the
United States as recently as May 2001 and was sending recruits to the United States to meet
colleagues already in the country did not cause the Intelligence Community to mobilize, even
though it contained apparently significant [ ] information. The report explained that
KSM was a relative of convicted World Trade center bomber Ramzi Yousef, appeared to be one
of Bin Ladin's most trusted lieutenants and was active in recruiting people to travel outside
Afghanistan, including to the United States, to carry out unspecified activities on behalf of Bin
Ladin. According to the report, he continued to travel frequently to the United States, including as
recently as May 2001, and routinely told others that he could arrange their entry into the United
States as well. Reportedly, these individuals were expected to establish contact with colleagues
already there. The clear implication of his comments, according to the report, was that they would
be engaged in planning terrorist-related activities].
[Page 331]
The CIA did not find the report credible, but noted that it was worth pursuing in case it was
accurate: "if it is KSM, we have both a significant threat and an opportunity to pick him up." The
Joint Inquiry requested that CIA review this particular source report and provide information
314


concerning how CTC, CIA field personnel, and other agencies reacted to this information. That
information has not been received.
H. The Hunt for KSM Continues
[Since September 11, the CIA has come to believe that KSM may have been responsible
for all Bin Ladin operations outside Afghanistan. In Spring 2002, intelligence indicated that he
played a leading role in the USS Cole bombing. In the Summer 2002, CIA created a new High
Value Target Team to track and target terrorist masterminds such as KSM. In the summer of
2002, KSM appeared along with Ramzi Bin al-Shibh in a taped al-Jazeera interview. Despite Bin
al-Shibh's capture in Pakistan shortly thereafter, KSM has not yet been found].*
VI. The FBI's Investigation of Zacarias Moussaoui Before September 11
Zacarias Moussaoui came to the attention of the FBI as the Intelligence Community was
detecting numerous signs of an impending terrorist attack against U.S. interests somewhere in the
world. He was in the custody of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) on September
11, 2001. The Joint Inquiry examined whether information resulting from the FBI's investigation
of Moussaoui could have alerted the government to the scope and nature of the attacks on
September 11.
From interviews with flight school personnel and with Moussaoui himself in August 2001,
the FBI pieced together the details of his arrival in the United States. Moussaoui contacted the
Airman Flight School in Oklahoma by e-mail on September 29, 2000 and expressed interest in
taking lessons to fly a small Cessna aircraft. On February 23, 2001, he entered the United States
at Chicago's O'Hare Airport, traveling on a French passport that allowed him to stay in [page 331]
the country without a visa for 90 days until May 22, 2001. On February 26, he began flight
lessons at Airman Flight School.
* On March 1, 2003, Khalid Shaykh Mohammed was captured in Rawalpindi, Pakistan as a result of a joint operation
by Pakistani and U.S. authorities.
315


Moussaoui was unhappy with the training and, at the end of May, contacted Pan American
International Flight School in Minneapolis. While Airman provided flight lessons in piloting
Cessnas and similar small aircraft, Pan Am provided ground training and access to a Boeing 747
flight simulator used by professional pilots.
Most of Pan Am's students were newly hired airline pilots, who used the flight simulator
for initial training, or active airline pilots, who used the equipment for refresher training.
Although anyone can sign up for lessons at Pan Am, the typical student has a pilot's license, is
employed by an airline, and has several thousand flight hours. Moussaoui had none of these
qualifications.
On August 11, Moussaoui and his roommate, Hussein al-Attas, arrived in Egan, Minnesota
and checked into a hotel. Moussaoui began classes at Pan Am on August 13. On Wednesday,
August 15, a Pan Am employee called the FBI's Minneapolis Field Office because he and other
Pan Am employees had become suspicious of Moussaoui.
Before September 11, the FBI determined that Moussaoui had paid approximately $6,800
in cash for training on the Boeing 747 simulator, but met none of the usual criteria for students at
the flight school. Moussaoui had no aviation background and, apparently, no pilot's license. It
was also considered odd that Moussaoui simply wanted to learn the most challenging elements of
flying, taking off and landing a 747, which he referred to as an "ego boosting thing."
Based on information from the flight school, the FBI field office opened an international
terrorism investigation of Moussaoui. Agents within that office saw him as a threat to national
security. Because the FBI field office in Minneapolis hosts and is part of a Joint Terrorism Task
Force, INS agents, who share space and work closely with the FBI in Minneapolis, were able to
determine immediately that Moussaoui had been authorized to stay in the United States until May
22, 2001 and, thus, was "out of status" when the FBI began to investigate him in August.
[Page 333] On the day the Minneapolis field office learned about Moussaoui, it asked both the
CIA and the FBI's legal attaché in Paris for information about him. The FBI field office also
informed FBI Headquarters about the investigation.
316


FBI documents indicate Moussaoui's instructors thought that he had what they
characterized as a "legitimate" interest in aircraft. Nonetheless, he was unlike any other student
with whom his flight instructor had worked. Moussaoui began the ground school portion of the
training with a Power Point presentation on aircraft systems. The instruction was reportedly
useless for Moussaoui, who had no background in sophisticated aircraft systems and, apparently,
had only approximately 50 hours of flight training in light civil aircraft. In addition, Moussaoui
was extremely interested in the operation of the plane's doors and control panel. Pan Am found
that suspicious. Further, Moussaoui reportedly said that he would "love" to fly a simulated flight
from Heathrow Airport in England to John F. Kennedy Airport in New York. Thus, the
Minneapolis FBI office decided to arrest Moussaoui.
In a Joint Inquiry interview, a Minneapolis FBI field office agent said that a Supervisory
Agent at Headquarters had suggested that Moussaoui be put under surveillance, but Minneapolis
did not have enough agents to do that. In testimony before the Joint Inquiry, however, the
Minneapolis agent said that he had relied on his criminal experience in deciding to arrest
Moussaoui, rather than surveilling him:
The decision on whether or not we were going to put Mr. Moussaoui under
surveillance rested with me. And I made the decision that he was going to be
arrested because we had a violation. The INS was participating as a member, a full
member of our joint terrorism task force. My background in the criminal arena
suggests that when a violation occurs and you can stop further or potential criminal
activity, you act on that. So that is exactly what I instructed the agents to do. If we
had the possibility of arresting him, we were going to arrest him. If we needed to
surveil him, we certainly could have instituted a surveillance plan. . . . It was not
appropriate to do [so] in this case.
In response to questions, the agent explained in more detail why he decided to arrest
Moussaoui, rather than put him under surveillance: [Page 334]
Because I didn't want him to get any additional time on a flight simulator that
would allow him to have the knowledge that we could no longer take back from
him to operate an aircraft. This provided us the opportunity to freeze the situation
as it was going on right there, prevent him from gaining the knowledge that he
could use at some point in the future. And, if ultimately we determined all we
could do, after interviewing him and doing some other investigative steps, if all we
could do was deport him, then we would be sensitized to the fact that he was
interested in doing something else and he could be put in the Tip-off System. He
would be put in--the appropriate notifications could have been made if he attempted
to reenter the United States. But our focus was on preventing him getting the
knowledge that he would have needed. . . .
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[I]t is important to remember the circumstances that were present before September
llth. We had no real incidents of airplane hijacking that had happened domestically
within the preceding decade. We now have a different perspective, that it is very,
very difficult to go back and forget and not acknowledge. But, again, I speak to my
criminal background in saying if a violation has occurred, and we can take further
steps to stop what could speak to a continued violation, we will act. And those
were the circumstances under which I made that decision.
Thus, on August 16, 2001, FBI agents, along with two INS agents, went to Moussaoui's
hotel. The INS agents temporarily detained Moussaoui and his roommate, Hussein al-Attas, while
checking to determine if they were legally in the United States. Al-Attas showed the INS agents a
valid student visa and agreed to allow the agents to search his property in the hotel room.
Moussaoui showed the agents his passport case, which included his passport, a British
driver's license, a bank statement showing a deposit of $32,000 in cash to an Oklahoma account,
and a notification from INS acknowledging his request to extend his stay in the United States.
The INS agents determined that Moussaoui had not received an extension beyond May 22, 2001,
and they therefore took him into custody.
Moussaoui declined to allow the agents to search his belongings. When the agents told
him that he would be deported, Moussaoui agreed to let the agents take his belongings to the INS
office for safekeeping. In packing those items, the agents noticed that Moussaoui had a laptop
computer.
[Page 335]
The agents interviewed Moussaoui at the INS office in Minneapolis. He told them that he
had traveled to Morocco, Malaysia, and Pakistan for business, although he could not provide
details of his employment or convincingly explain the $32,000 bank balance.
After Moussaoui's detention, the Minneapolis case agent called the field office's legal
counsel and asked if there was any way to search Moussaoui's possessions without his consent.
He was told that he had to obtain a search warrant. Over the ensuing days, Minneapolis agents
considered several alternatives, including a criminal search warrant and a Foreign Intelligence
Surveillance Act (FISA) Court search order. They also considered deporting Moussaoui to
France, after arranging for French authorities to search his possessions and share their findings
318


with the FBI. Adding to the sense of urgency, a supervisor in the INS Minneapolis office told the
FBI that INS typically does not hold visa-waiver violators like Moussaoui for more than 24 hours
before returning them to their home countries. Under the circumstances, however, the supervisor
said that INS would hold Moussaoui for seven to ten days.
After August 17, the FBI did not conduct additional interviews of Moussaoui. On
Saturday, August 18, Minneapolis sent a detailed memorandum to FBI Headquarters describing
the Moussaoui investigation and concluding that Minneapolis had reason to believe that
Moussaoui, al-Attas "and others yet unknown" were conspiring to seize control of an airplane,
based on Moussaoui's "possession of weapons and his preparation through physical training for
violent confrontation."
In Joint Inquiry interviews, FBI Minneapolis field office agents said that FBI Headquarters
advised against trying to obtain a criminal search warrant as that might prejudice subsequent
efforts to obtain a FISA Court order. Under FISA, an order warrant could be obtained if the
agents could establish probable cause to believe that Moussaoui was an agent of a foreign power
and that he had engaged in international terrorism or was preparing to do so. FBI Headquarters
was concerned that if a criminal warrant were denied and the agents then tried to obtain a FISA
Court order, the FISA Court would think the agents were trying to use authority for an intelligence
investigation to pursue a criminal case.
[Page 336]
Around this time, an attorney in the National Security Law Unit at FBI Headquarters asked
the Chief Division Counsel in the Minneapolis field office whether she had considered trying to
obtain a criminal warrant. The Chief Division Counsel replied that a FISA order would be the
safer course. Minneapolis also wanted to notify, through the local U.S. Attorney's Office, the
Criminal Division within the Department of Justice about Moussaoui, believing it was obligated to
do so under Attorney General guidelines that require notification when there is a "reasonable
indication" of a felony. FBI Headquarters advised the Minneapolis field office that there was not
enough evidence to justify notifying the Criminal Division.
The Minneapolis field office agent became increasingly frustrated with what he perceived
as a lack of assistance from the Radical Fundamentalist Unit (RFU) at Headquarters. He had had
319


conflicts with the RFU agent over FISA issues earlier and believed that Headquarters was not
being responsive to the threat Minneapolis had identified. At the suggestion of a Minneapolis
supervisor, the agent contacted an FBI officer who had been detailed to the CTC. The agent
shared the details of the Moussaoui investigation with the CTC detailee and provided the names of
Moussaoui's associates. The agent explained in a Joint Inquiry interview that he was looking for
any information CTC could provide to strengthen the case linking Moussaoui to international
terrorism.
On August 21, the Minneapolis field office agent sent an e-mail to the RFU Supervisory
Special Agent handling this matter:
[It's] imperative that the [U.S. Secret Service] be apprised of this threat potential
indicated by the evidence. . . . If [Moussaoui] seizes an aircraft flying from
Heathrow to NYC, it will have the fuel on board to reach D.C.
The RFU supervisory special agent sent a teletype to several U.S. Government agencies on
September 4, 2001, recounting the interviews of Moussaoui and al-Attas and other information the
FBI had obtained in the meantime. The teletype, however, merely described the investigation. It
did not place Moussaoui's actions in the context of the increased level of terrorist threats during
the summer of 2001, and it did not analyze Moussaoui's actions or plans or present information
about the type of threat he might have presented.
[Page 337]
A CIA officer detailed to FBI Headquarters learned of the Moussaoui investigation from
CTC personnel in the third week of August. The officer was alarmed about Moussaoui for several
reasons. First, Moussaoui had denied being a Muslim to the flight instructor, while al-Attas,
Moussaoui's companion at the flight school, informed the FBI that Moussaoui was a
fundamentalist. Further, the fact that Moussaoui was interested in using the Minneapolis flight
school simulator to learn to fly from Heathrow to Kennedy Airport made the CIA officer suspect
that Moussaoui was a potential hijacker. As a result of these concerns, CIA Stations were advised
by cable of the facts known about Moussaoui and al-Attas and were asked to provide information
they had. Based on information received from the FBI, CIA described the two in the cable as
"suspect 747 airline attackers" and "suspect airline suicide attacker[s]," who might be "involved in
a larger plot to target airlines traveling from Europe to the U.S."
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On Wednesday, August 22, the FBI Legat in Paris provided a report that [
] started a series of discussions
between Minneapolis and Headquarters RFU as to whether a specific group of Chechen rebels was
a "recognized" foreign power, that is, was on the State Department's list of terrorist groups and for
which the FISA Court had previously granted orders.
The RFU agent told Joint Inquiry staff that, based on advice he received from the NSLU,
he believed that the Chechen rebels were not a "recognized" foreign power and that, even if
Moussaoui were to be linked to them, the FBI could not obtain a search order under FISA. The
RFU agent told the Minneapolis agents that they had to connect Moussaoui to al-Qa'ida, which he
believed was a "recognized" foreign power. The Minneapolis case agent later testified before the
Joint Inquiry that he had had no training in FISA, but that he believed that "we needed to identify
a - and the term that was thrown around was 'recognized foreign power' and so that was our
operational theory."
As the FBI's Deputy General Counsel would later testify, the agents were incorrect. The
FBI can obtain a search warrant under FISA for an agent of any international terrorist group,
including Chechen rebels. Because of this misunderstanding, the Minneapolis field office spent
[page 338] valuable time and resources trying to connect the Chechen group to al-Qa'ida. The
Minneapolis field office agent contacted CTC, asking for additional information regarding
connections between the group and al-Qa'ida. The Minneapolis supervisor also suggested that the
RFU agent contact CTC for assistance on the issue. The RFU agent responded that he had all the
information he needed and requested that Minneapolis work through FBI Headquarters when
contacting CTC in the future. Ultimately, the RFU agent agreed to submit Minneapolis' FISA
request to attorneys in the FBI's NSLU for review.
In interviews, several FBI attorneys with whom the RFU agent consulted confirmed that
they advised the RFU agent that the evidence was insufficient to link Moussaoui to a foreign
power. One of the attorneys noted that Chechen rebels were not an international foreign terrorism
group under FISA. The Deputy General Counsel, however, testified before the Joint Committee
that "no one in the national security law arena said that Chechens were not a power that . . . could
qualify as a foreign power under the FISA statute." The FBI attorneys also said that, had they had
321


been aware of the July 2001 communication from the Phoenix field office raising concerns about
al-Qa'ida flight training in the U.S., they would have forwarded the FISA request to the Justice
Department's Office of Intelligence Policy and Review.
Two FBI agents assigned to the Oklahoma City field office's international terrorism squad
visited Airman Flight School on August 23 as part of the Moussaoui investigation. In September
1999, one of the agents had been assigned a lead from the Orlando field office to inquire at the
flight school about another individual, who had been identified as Usama Bin Ladin's personal
pilot and who had received flight training at Airman Flight School. The agent had not been given
any background information about this individual, and he did not know that the person had
cooperated with the Bureau during the East Africa U.S. embassy bombings trial. Although the
agent told the Joint Inquiry that this lead had been the most significant terrorism information he
had seen in Oklahoma City, he did not remember it when he returned to the flight school two years
later to ask questions about Moussaoui. The agent acknowledged that he should have connected
the two visits but he did not have time to do so.
[Page 339]
[The Joint Inquiry also confirmed that an individual, who attempted to post bond for
Moussaoui's roommate, had been the subject of a full-field FBI international terrorism
investigation in the Oklahoma City Field Office. According to FBI reports, this individual was a
Vice President of Overseas Operations and Recruiting for al-Fatah, the Palestinian group, and a
member of the Muslim Brotherhood. He was also a close associate of [ ],
the imam at the Islamic Center [ ], which hijackers al-Hazmi and al-Midhar attended
when they lived there. That imam was also a close associate of the imam in San Diego who
served as the hijackers' spiritual leader. The Minneapolis field office agent and the head of the
RFU both testified that neither of them knew that the individual who had attempted to post bond
for Moussaoui's roommate was the subject of a terrorism investigation before September 11].
On August 27, the RFU agent told the Minneapolis supervisor that the supervisor was
getting people "spun up" over Moussaoui. According to his notes and his statement to the Joint
Inquiry, the supervisor replied that he was trying to get people at FBI Headquarters "spun up"
because he was trying to make sure that Moussaoui "did not take control of a plane and fly it into
the World Trade Center." The Minneapolis agent said that the Headquarters agent told him:
322


[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.
[On August 28, the RFU agent edited, and returned to Minneapolis for comment, the
request for a FISA Court order that Minneapolis had prepared. The RFU agent told the Joint
Inquiry that it was not unusual for FBI Headquarters agents to make changes to field submissions.
The major substantive change was removal of information that tried to make connections between
the Chechen rebels and al-Qa'ida. After the edit was complete, the RFU agent briefed the FBI
Deputy General Counsel, who told the Joint Inquiry that he agreed with the agent that there was
insufficient information to show that Moussaoui was an agent of a foreign power].
The Bureau's focus shifted to arranging for Moussaoui's planned deportation to France,
planned for September 17. French officials had agreed to search his belongings and provide the
results to the FBI. Although the FBI was no longer considering a FISA Court order, no one
[page 340] revisited the idea of attempting to obtain a criminal search warrant, even though the
only reason for not attempting to obtain a criminal search warrant earlier - concern that it would
prejudice a request under FISA - no longer existed.
On Thursday, September 4, Headquarters sent a teletype to the Intelligence Community
and other government agencies, including the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), providing
information about the Moussaoui investigation. The teletype noted that Moussaoui was being held
in custody, but did not describe any particular threat that the FBI thought he posed -- for example,
that he might be connected to a larger plot. The teletype also did not recommend that the
addressees take action or look for additional indicators of a terrorist attack. It also did not provide
any analysis of a possible hijacking threat or specific warnings. The following day, the
Minneapolis field office agent hand-carried the teletype to two employees of the FAA's
Bloomington, Minnesota office and briefed them on the investigation. The two FAA employees
told the Joint Inquiry that the agent did not convey any urgency about the teletype and did not ask
them to take specific action. The final preparations for Moussaoui's deportation were underway
on September 11.
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The Joint Inquiry record demonstrates that the FBI's focus when Moussaoui was taken into
custody appears to have been almost entirely on investigating specific crimes and not on
identifying links between investigations or on sharing information with other agencies with
counterterrorist responsibilities. The RFU chief testified that no one at Headquarters saw a
connection between the Moussaoui case and the Phoenix communication, the possible presence of
al-Mihdhar and al-Hazmi in the United States, and the flood of warnings about possible terrorists
attacks in the United States, some using airplanes as weapons, all of which developed in the spring
and summer of 2001. Moreover, as the RFU Chief testified, before September 11, the FBI did not
canvass persons in custody and cooperating with the government in terrorist investigations to see
whether they knew Moussaoui. After September 11, FBI agents showed one of those persons a
photograph of Moussaoui and asked him what he knew of Moussaoui. He asserted that he had
met Moussaoui in an al-Qa'ida terrorist camp in Afghanistan. When asked about this during
[page 341] testimony before the Joint Inquiry, the RFU Chief admitted that "[t]he photograph was
not shown before 9/11 and it should have been."
[The indictment against Moussaoui, which was filed on December 11, 2001, alleges that
Moussaoui possessed a number of items on August 16, 2001. On that day, which is when FBI and
INS agents first interviewed him, the INS took Moussaoui's possessions for safekeeping. Absent
search authority, however, the possessions were not examined at that time. As it turned out,
according to the indictment, Moussaoui's possessions included letters indicating that Moussaoui
was a marketing consultant in the United States for Infocus Tech. The letters had been signed in
October 2000 by Yazid Sufaat, whom the Intelligence Community was aware was the owner of
the Malaysian condominium used for the January 2000 al-Qa'ida meeting attended by hijackers al-
Mihdhar and al-Hazmi. The indictment also alleges that Moussaoui possessed a notebook listing
two German telephone numbers and the name "Ahad Sabet," which the indictment states was used
by Ramzi Bin al-Shibh to send funds to Moussaoui. Bin al-Shibh, who was apprehended in
Pakistan in September 2002, is named in the indictment as a supporting conspirator.]
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VII. The Phoenix Electronic Communication
In July 2001, an FBI agent in the Phoenix field office sent an "Electronic Communication"
(EC) to the Usama Bin Ladin and the Radical Fundamentalist Units at Headquarters and to several
agents on an International Terrorism squad in the New York field office. The agent outlined his
concerns about a coordinated effort by Bin Ladin to send students to the United States for aviation
training. He noted an "inordinate number of individuals of investigative interest" taking such
training in Arizona and speculated that this was part of an effort to establish a cadre of persons,
trained in aviation, who could conduct terrorist activity. The EC contained a number of
recommendations the agent asked FBI Headquarters to consider.
The FBI's handling of the Phoenix EC is symptomatic of its focus on short-term
operational priorities, often at the expense of long-term strategic analysis. The Bureau's ability to
handle strategic analytic products, such as the EC, was limited before September 11, 2001. The
EC also highlights inadequate information sharing within the FBI, particularly between
operational and analytic units. Several addressees on the EC, especially at the supervisory level,
did not receive it before September 11 because of limitations in the electronic dissemination [page
342] system. The Joint Inquiry repeatedly heard such complaints about the FBI's information
technology. Finally, the FBI's case-driven approach, while extremely productive in the Bureau's
traditional law-enforcement mission, does not generally encourage FBI personnel to pay attention
to preventive analysis and strategy, particularly when the matter appears to have no direct,
immediate impact on ongoing counterterrorism investigations.
A. The Phoenix EC
The Special Agent in Phoenix who wrote the EC told the Joint inquiry he first became
concerned about aviation-related terrorism in the early 1990s, while he was investigating Libyans
with suspected terrorist ties who were working for U.S. aviation companies. Possible terrorists
with easy access to aircraft conjured up for the agent visions of Pan Am Flight 103, which
terrorists had blown up years before. His primary concern was that Islamic extremists, studying
aviation subjects ranging from security to piloting, could learn how to hijack or destroy aircraft
325


and evade airport security. However, the agent told the Joint Inquiry that, in writing the EC, he
never imagined terrorists using airplanes as was done on September 11.
The Phoenix EC focused on ten individuals who were subjects of FBI investigations, Sunni
Muslims from Kenya, Pakistan, Algeria, the United Arab Emirates, India, and Saudi Arabia. Not
all were in flight training; several were aeronautical engineering students, and one was studying
international aviation security.
The Phoenix agent testified that in April 2000 he interviewed the primary subject of the
EC. In the agent's experience, young foreign nationals who are subjects of interviews tend to be
somewhat intimidated in their first contact with the FBI. By contrast, this subject told the agent
that he considered the U.S. Government and military to be legitimate targets of Islam. The agent
noticed a poster of Bin Ladin and another poster of wounded Chechen mujahideen fighters in the
subject's apartment. He was also concerned that the subject, who was taking expensive aviation
training, was from a poor Middle Eastern country and had not studied aviation before his arrival in
the United States.
[Page 343]
The agent described to the Joint Inquiry another incident that increased his suspicion about
Middle Eastern flight students in the Phoenix area. During a physical surveillance, the agent
determined that the primary subject of the Phoenix EC was using a vehicle registered to another
person, who in 1999 had been detained with a third person after trying to gain access to the
cockpit of a commercial airliner on a domestic flight. The two told FBI agents who questioned
them that they thought the cockpit was the bathroom, and they accused the Bureau of racism.
After an investigation, they were released and the case was closed. In November 2000, the
subject's name was added to the State Department's watchlist after intelligence information was
received that he may have received explosive and car bomb training in Afghanistan. In August
2001, the same person applied for a visa to re-enter the United States and, as a result of the
watchlisting, was denied entry.
Finally, the Phoenix agent's concern about Middle Eastern flight students in Arizona was
fueled by suspicion that al-Qa'ida had an active presence in Arizona. Several Bin Ladin
operatives had lived and traveled to the Phoenix area, and one of them -- Wadih El-Hage, a Bin
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Ladin lieutenant -- had been convicted for his role in the 1998 East Africa U.S. embassy
bombings. The agent believes that El-Hage established a Bin Ladin support network in Arizona
that is still in place.
The Phoenix EC requested that FBI Headquarters consider four recommendations:
o Headquarters should accumulate a list of civil aviation university
and colleges around the country;
o FBI offices should establish liaison with these schools;
o Headquarters should discuss the theories in the EC with the Intelligence Community;
and
o Headquarters should consider seeking authority to obtain visa information on persons
seeking to attend flight schools.
[Page 344]
B. Headquarters' Response to the Phoenix EC
When the Phoenix agent sent the EC to FBI Headquarters, he requested that the Radical
Fundamentalist Unit (RFU) and the Usama Bin Ladin Unit (UBLU) consider implementing the
suggested actions. The Phoenix agent explained in testimony to the Joint Inquiry that:
Basically what I wanted was an analytic product. I wanted this discussed with the
Intelligence Community. I wanted to see if my hunches were correct.
The EC was initially assigned to an Intelligence Operations Specialist (IOS) in the RFU,
who worked on it with a Intelligence Operations Specialist in the UBLU. The latter consulted two
IOSs in her unit, mentioning specifically the paragraph in the EC about obtaining visa
information. Their discussion centered on the legality of the proposal and whether it raised
profiling issues. The IOS also decided to forward the EC to the Portland FBI field office because
a person named in the EC, with ties to suspected terrorists arrested in the Middle East in early
2001, was an employee of an airline and had previously lived and studied in the northwestern
United States. Portland did not take action on the communication or disseminate it because it was
sent to the field for "informational purposes" only.
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On August 7, 2001, the Specialists in the two units decided that the matter should be
closed. The Specialist in the UBLU told the Joint inquiry that she intended to return to the project
once she had time to do additional research, but on September 11, she had not yet had an
opportunity to do so. Both Specialists also said that they had considered assigning the Phoenix
communication to a Headquarters analytic unit, but had decided against it.
The Chiefs of both the RFU and UBLU informed the Joint Inquiry that they did not see the
Phoenix EC before September 11. They do not remember even hearing about the flight school
issue until after September 11. An FBI audit of the central records system requested by the Joint
Inquiry supports their statements.
[Page 345]
The Phoenix EC was also not shared with other agencies before September 11, although
the former Chief of the FBI's International Terrorism Operations Section explained in testimony
to the Joint Inquiry:
One of the great frustrations is that [the Phoenix Communication] talks about
airlines-we have FAA people in the [International Terrorism Operations Section];
it talks about intelligence-we have CIA people; it talks about visas-there are
State Department people and immigration people in that unit. That information
should have been shared, if only for [informational] purposes, with all those people
at our Headquarters. And it wasn't done, and it should have been done.
In fact, Transportation Security Administration Assistant Undersecretary for Intelligence
Claudio Manno testified at a Joint Inquiry hearing that "the first time that we saw [the Phoenix
EC] was when it was brought to our attention by [the Joint Inquiry Staff]. Had the FAA received
the memo before September 11, Mr. Manno believes that:
[W]e would have started to ask a lot more probing questions of FBI as to what this
was all about, to start with. There were a number of things that were done later to
try to determine what connections these people may have had to flight schools by
going back [to information] maintained by the FAA to try to identify additional
people. . . . [I]n fact our process is whenever we get a threat, we open . . . an
intelligence case file, and that is so we segregate that issue from the hundreds and
hundreds and hundreds of other intelligence reports that we get and that we focus
on it. And the work that may entail in trying to determine whether this is a credible
threat, something that needs to be acted upon, maybe going back and working with
FBI to try and get additional information. In some cases it can be working with the
State Department or the CIA if it requires overseas work. So we make all efforts to
try to get to the bottom of what this is all about.
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C. New York FBI Office Action in Connection with the Phoenix EC
The Phoenix EC was sent to two FBI New York field agents who specialize in Bin Ladin
cases. They were asked to "read and clear" the memorandum, but were not asked to take follow-up
action. A Joint Inquiry audit of electronic records shows that at least three people in New York
saw the EC before September 11. Two of the three do not recall seeing the communication
[page 346] before September 11; the third remembers reading it, but said that it did not resonate
with him because he found it speculative.
The New York agents stated in Joint Inquiry interviews that they had been aware that
Middle Eastern men frequently came to the United States for flight training because the United
States was considered the best and most reasonably priced venue for such training. In the agents'
view, information about Middle Eastern men with ties to Usama Bin Ladin receiving flight
training in the United States would not necessarily be alarming because the agents knew that
persons connected to al-Qa'ida had already received training in the United States. Before
September 11, many agents believed that Bin Ladin needed pilots to operate aircraft he had
purchased in the United States to move men and material. Two pilots with al-Qa'ida ties testified
for the government during the East African embassy bombing trial.
Nonetheless, the FBI had also received reports not entirely consistent with this view of Bin
Ladin pilots. One of those who testified and one other pilot had been trained in al-Qa'ida camps
in Afghanistan to conduct terrorist operations. One who had received training in surveillance and
intelligence apparently was selected for the course because of his aviation skills. In addition, the
FBI's New York field office was one of the recipients of the 1997 communication from FBI
Headquarters, asking that the field office identify Islamic students from certain countries who
were studying aviation within its area of responsibility.
D. Handling of Phoenix EC Indicates FBI Headquarters Weaknesses
The manner in which FBI Headquarters handled the Phoenix EC provides valuable insight
into the Bureau's operational environment before September 11, 2001. A number of FBI
329


executives have acknowledged that the handling of the EC illustrates important weaknesses before
September 11. For example, Director Mueller told the Joint Inquiry:
. . . the Phoenix memo should have been disseminated to all field offices and to our
sister agencies, and it should have triggered a broader analytical approach. . . .
These incidents . . . have informed us on needed changes, particularly the need to
improve accountability, analytic capacity and resources, information sharing and
technology, to name but a few.
[Page 347]
The Joint Inquiry found that the FBI's strategic, analytic, and technological problems were
the primary weaknesses demonstrated by the handling of the Phoenix EC. As a supervisory
Headquarters agent testified: "when you want to look at systemic problems, . . . clearly you are
going to be focused in on strategic analysis and you are going to be focused in on technology; and
to run a national program you have to do both."
The Phoenix EC demonstrates how strategic analysis took a back seat to operational
priorities at the Bureau before September 11. Many people throughout the government and the
FBI believed that an attack was imminent in Summer 2001, but this led only to further deemphasis
of strategic analysis. For example, the Specialist in the UBL unit who handled the
Phoenix EC was primarily concerned with a person in the EC connected to persons arrested
overseas and paid less attention to the flight school theories.
The RFU Chief told the Joint Inquiry that because he could not keep up with the
approximately one hundred pieces of mail he saw daily, he assigned responsibility for reviewing
intelligence reports to an Intelligence Operations Specialist in the unit. Even the FBI analytic unit
responsible for strategic analysis was largely producing tactical products to satisfy the operational
section. There was no system for handling projects with nationwide impact, such as the Phoenix
EC, differently than other matters. In fact, the Phoenix agent testified that he recognized the
possibility that his EC might not receive a great deal of attention.
I am also a realist. I understand that the people at FBI Headquarters are terribly
overworked and understaffed, and they have been for years. And at the time that I
am sending this in, having worked this stuff for thirteen years, and watched the unit
in action over the years, I knew that this was going to be at the bottom of the pile,
so to speak, because they were dealing with real-time threats, real-time issues
trying to render fugitives back to the United States from overseas for justice.
330


The handling of the Phoenix EC also exposed information sharing problems among FBI
Headquarters elements. A number of analysts commented in Joint Inquiry interviews that the
UBLU and RFU frequently do not share information with the International Terrorism analytic
unit. A UBLU supervisor explained that the Investigative Services Division, of which the
[page 348] analytic unit is a part, was not a "major player" and that information was often not
shared with it. In testimony before the Joint Inquiry, the FBI's Deputy Assistant Director for
Counterterrorism Analysis referred to strategic analysis as the Bureau's "poor stepchild" before
September 11. As a result, strategic analysts were often marginalized by the operational units and
rarely if ever received requests from those units for assessments of pending al-Qa'ida cases.
Even if the Phoenix EC had been transmitted to the International Terrorism Analytic Unit,
its capacity to conduct strategic analysis on al-Qa'ida was limited because five of the unit's
analysts had been transferred to operational units. According to the Chief of the National Security
Intelligence Section, the Bureau had no personnel dedicated solely to strategic analysis before
September 11. The Joint Inquiry has also been told that, as competent new analysts arrived,
UBLU and RFU would recruit them as operational support analysts or refuse to share information
with them if they remain in the analytic unit.
Due to the FBI's technological limitations, operational units, such as UBLU and RFU,
controlled information flow. Strategic analysts often had to rely on operational units for incoming
intelligence, a problem the FBI's Deputy Assistant Director for Counterterrorism Analysis
acknowledged before the Joint Inquiry: "[because] the FBI lacked effective data mining
capabilities and analytical tools, it has often been unable to retrieve key information and analyze it
in a timely manner-and a lot has probably slipped through the cracks as a result." Thus, even if
the project had been assigned to an al-Qa'ida analyst in the analytic unit, there can be no guarantee
that the several reports the FBI had received about airplanes as weapons and terrorist networks
sending students to flight schools in the United States would have been drawn together.
The handling of the Phoenix EC also illustrates the extent to which technological
limitations affected information flow because most EC addressees have told the Joint Inquiry that
they had not seen the EC before September 11. The FBI's electronic system is not designed to
ensure that all addressees receive communications, a point a Headquarters supervisory agent
331


addressed in testimony before the Joint Inquiry: "I can tell you that, based on my position, that my
name is on hundreds, if not thousands of documents in that building that will probably not be
brought to my attention." In fact, the electronic system was considered so unreliable that many
[page 349] personnel in the field and at Headquarters used e-mail and followed up personally on
important communications to ensure that they were not neglected. The same supervisory agent
described the FBI's information systems as "a setup for failure in terms of keeping a strategic
picture of what we are up against." He went on to conclude that, "the technology problems . . . are
still there."
RFU and UBLU policies at the time of the Phoenix EC gave the person to whom the
matter was assigned discretion to determine which people in the unit would see the report. One
FBI employee said that he was not certain why the Phoenix agent put all the addressees on the EC
but believes the Intelligence Operations Specialist probably decided that the EC was more relevant
to UBLU and therefore did not route the communication to all addressees within the RFU.
E. Links from the Phoenix EC to September 11
FBI officials have noted in public statements and Joint Inquiry testimony that the
September 11 hijackers did not associate with anyone of "investigative interest." However, there
are indications that hijacker Hani Hanjour, who was unknown to the Intelligence Community and
law enforcement agencies before September 11, associated with [ ], an individual who
was mentioned in the Phoenix EC, had taken flight training in the United States, and was possibly
a radical fundamentalist. There are several reasons why [ ] 's association with Hanjour
did not bring Hanjour to the FBI's attention before September 11.
FBI personnel believe that, beginning in 1997, Hanjour and the person named in the
Phoenix EC trained together at a flight school in Arizona and may also have known each other
through a religious center. The Bureau attempted to investigate this person in May 2001, but
discovered that he was out of the country. The Phoenix office generally did not open
investigations on persons they believed had permanently left the United States. Although there
were no legal bars to opening an investigation, Headquarters discouraged this practice. The
Phoenix office did not notify INS, the State Department, or CIA of its interest in this person. The
332


[page 350] FBI was apparently unaware that the person returned to the United States soon
thereafter and may have associated with Hanjour and several other Islamic extremists.
For the FBI to be aware that persons of investigative interest have returned to the United
States, close contact must be maintained with INS and CIA. Unfortunately, before September 11,
no system was in place to ensure coordination. In this case, the FBI did not notify the INS, State
Department, or CIA of its interest in the Phoenix subject. Therefore, this person was able to get
back into the United States without any notification to the FBI.
The FBI has confirmed since September 11, 2001, that another individual mentioned in the
Phoenix EC is also connected to the al-Qa'ida network. This individual was arrested [
] in Pakistan in 2002 with [ ], one of the most prominent al-Qa'ida figures
and one of the primary al-Qa'ida facilitators.
F. Previous FBI Focus on Suspected Terrorists at U.S. Flight Schools
The Phoenix EC must be understood in a broader context: it was not the first occasion that
the FBI was concerned about terrorist groups sending persons to the United States for aviation
study. The agents involved in drafting the Phoenix EC and the Headquarters personnel who
worked on it were unaware of this context.
In 1981, as the U.S. military was involved in hostilities with Libya, President Reagan
decided to revoke visas held by Libyan students in the United States involved in aviation or
nuclear studies. In March 1983, the INS published a rule in the Federal Register, terminating the
non-immigrant status of Libyan nationals or persons acting on behalf of Libyan entities engaged in
aviation or nuclear studies. The INS turned to the FBI for assistance in locating such persons. In
May 1983, FBI Headquarters sent a "priority" communication to all field offices, asking for
assistance in complying with the INS request.
In 1998, the Chief Pilot in the FBI's Oklahoma City Field Office informed an agent on the
office's counterterrorism squad that he had observed many Middle Eastern men at Oklahoma
[page 351] flight schools. An intra-office communication to the counterterrorism squad supervisor
333


was drafted noting the Chief Pilot's concern that the aviation education might be related to
terrorist activity and his speculation that light planes would be an ideal means to spread chemical
or biological agents. The communication was sent to the office's "Weapons of Mass Destruction"
control file, apparently for informational purposes only with no follow-up requested or conducted.
The FBI also received reports in 1998 that a terrorist organization might be planning to
bring students to the United States for flight training. The FBI was aware that persons connected
to the organization had performed surveillance and security tests at airports in the United States
and had made comments suggesting an intention to target civil aviation.
In 1999, the FBI received reports that another terrorist organization was planning to send
students to the United States for aviation training. The purpose of this training was unknown, but
organization leaders viewed the plan as "particularly important" and reportedly approved openended
funding for it. An operational unit in the Counterterrorism Section at Headquarters
instructed 24 field offices to pay close attention to Islamic students from the target country
engaged in aviation training. This communication was sent to the Phoenix Office's International
Terrorism squad, but the agent who wrote the Phoenix EC does not recall it. The communication
requested that field offices "task sources, coordinate with the INS, and conduct other logical
inquiries, in an effort to develop an intelligence baseline" regarding the terrorist group's
involvement with students. There is no indication that field offices conducted any investigation
after receiving the communication. The analyst who drafted it explained that he received several
calls from the field for guidance since it raised concerns about the Buckley Amendment, which
bars post-secondary educational institutions that receive federal funding from releasing personal
information without written student consent.
The project was subsequently assigned to the International Terrorism Analytic Unit at
Headquarters, where an analyst determined that 75 academic and more than 1000 non-academic
institutions offered flight education in the United States. In November 2000, the analyst informed
field offices that no information had been uncovered about the terrorist group [page 352]
recruiting students and stated that "further investigation by FBI field offices is deemed imprudent"
by FBI Headquarters.
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The former chief of the operational unit involved in this project told the Joint Inquiry that
he was not surprised by the apparent lack of vigorous investigative action by the field offices. The
FBI's structure often prevented Headquarters from forcing field offices to take investigative action
they were unwilling to take. The FBI was so decentralized, he said, and Special Agents in Charge
of field offices wielded such power that when field agents complained to a supervisor about a
request from Headquarters, the latter would generally back down.
Personnel working on the Phoenix EC at Headquarters were not aware of these earlier
reports on terrorist groups sending aviation students to the United States and did not know that
Headquarters had undertaken a systematic effort in 1999 to identify Middle Eastern flight students
in the United States. This example demonstrates the lack of information sharing in the FBI.
According to interviewees, this is a problem not only at Headquarters, but also in the field.
Agents often will be familiar only with cases in their own squad. The FBI's Deputy Assistant
Director for Counterterrorism Analysis, recently detailed from CIA to improve the FBI's analytic
capability, testified before the Joint Inquiry that the Bureau "didn't have analysts dedicated to sort
of looking at the big picture and trying to connect the dots, say between the Phoenix memo . . .
and some other information that might have come in that might have suggested that there were
persons there who might be preparing to hijack aircraft."
The Phoenix agent also testified that he was unaware of most of the earlier reports on the
potential use of airplanes as weapons. He explained that after a downsizing at Headquarters "we
in the field . . . saw a decreased amount of analytical material that came out of Headquarters that
could assist someone like myself in Arizona." In an interview, the agent noted that he often felt
"out on an island" investigating counterterrorism in Phoenix. In his words, before September 11
counterterrorism and counterintelligence were the "bastard stepchild" of the FBI because these
programs do not generate career-enhancing statistics like other programs, such as Violent
Crimes/Major Offenders or drugs.
[Page 353]
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VIII. Strategic Analysis
A recurrent theme throughout this Joint Inquiry has been the need for stronger, more
focused analytic capability throughout the Intelligence Community. The FBI had fewer than ten
tactical analysts and only one strategic analyst assigned to al-Qa'ida before September 11. At
CTC, only three analysts were assigned to al-Qa'ida full time between 1998 and 2000, and five
analysts between 2000 and September 11, 2001. Including analysts from other CIA components
in CIA who focused on al-Qa'ida to some degree, the total was fewer than 40 analysts. DCI Tenet
acknowledged at a Joint Inquiry hearing that the number of analysts in the CTC analytic unit
working on Bin Ladin and al-Qa'ida was "too small" and "we should have had more analysts than
we did."
NSA had, in all, approximately [ ] analysts in its Counterterrorism "Product Line,"
supported by analysts in other lines. Throughout 2001, the Counterterrorism Product Line had a
standing request for an additional [ ] SIGINT analysts, but there was little expectation that
such a large request would be satisfied. Moreover, requirements for NSA's Arabic linguists were
substantial. Before September 11, only [ ] language analysts were working "campaign
languages," such as Arabic, Pashto, and Dari. Today that number is almost [ ], but
requirements continue to increase.
When CTC was created in 1986, DIA's analytic capability remained as a parallel analytic
organization. In 1993 or 1994, DIA began a concerted effort against Bin Ladin, with a total
authorized strength of 80 terrorism analysts.
A. The Intelligence Community's Lack of Strategic Analysis
The Intelligence Community's analytic focus on al-Qai'da was far more oriented toward
tactical analysis in support of operations than on strategic analysis intended to develop a broader
understanding of the threat and the organization. For example, the DCI's National Intelligence
Council never produced a National Intelligence Estimate on the threat al-Qa'ida posed to the
United States. According to an August 2001 CIA Inspector General report, CTC analysts only had
time to focus on crises or short-term demands and "did not have the time to spot trends or to [page
336


354] knit together the threads from the flood of information." Commenting on the CTC's analytic
record, the Director of Terrorism Analysis explained during a Joint Inquiry hearing:
[W]hile the unit's production had gone up dramatically-particularly in the area of
current intelligence where the increase had been more than double-production of
strategic research had, in fact, remained flat. Earlier correction of these
shortcomings would not have enabled us to produce explicit tactical warning of the
September 11 plot-the available data was only sufficient to support the strategic
warning we indeed provided - but we did recognize our shortcomings and took
several steps to address them.
In a Joint Inquiry hearing, DCI Tenet explained the importance of strategic analysis:
[T]he single lesson learned from all of this is the strategic analytical piece of this
has to be big and vibrant to give you the chance to be predictive, even when you
don't have much information to go on. I think it's a very important point. We've
made a lot of progress.
FBI witnesses identified little, if any, strategic analysis against domestic al-Qa'ida
activities before September 11, 2001. The Chief of the FBI's National Security Intelligence
Section testified to the Joint Inquiry that the FBI had "no analysts" dedicated to strategic analysis
before September 11. In fact, as of that date, the FBI had only one analyst working on al-Qa'ida.
FBI Assistant Director for Counterterrorism Dale Watson testified that he could not recall any
instance where the FBI Headquarters analytical unit produced "an actual product that helped out."
In regard to the September 11 attacks, witnesses confirmed the Bureau's failure to connect
information on al-Mihdhar, al-Hazmi, Moussaoui, and the FBI Phoenix memorandum in the
summer of 2001. The FBI's Deputy Assistant Director for Counterterrorism Analysis, recently
detailed from the CIA to improve the FBI's analytic capability, testified before the Joint Inquiry
that the Bureau "didn't have analysts dedicated to sort of looking at the big picture and trying to
connect the dots, say between the Phoenix memo and Moussaoui and some other information that
might have . . . suggested that there were individuals there who might be preparing to hijack
aircraft."
One of the primary reasons there was so little focus on strategic analysis in the Intelligence
Community may have been the perception that operational matters were more [page 355]
important to counterterrorism missions than analysis. Consistent with its traditional law
enforcement mission, the FBI was, before September 11, a reactive, operationally-driven
337


organization that did not value strategic analysis. While FBI personnel appreciated case-specific
analysis, most viewed strategic analytic products as academic and of little use in on-going
operations. The FBI's Assistant Director for Counterterrorism acknowledged in Joint Inquiry
testimony that the reactive nature of the FBI was not conducive to success in counterterrorism:
No one was thinking about the counterterrorism program what the threat was and
what we were trying to do about it. And when that light came on, I realized that,
hey, we are a reactive bunch of people, and reactive will never get us to a
prevention and what we do. . . . Is there anybody thinking and where's al-Qa'ida's
next target? And no one was really looking at that.
The Assistant Director also acknowledged the difficulty of going beyond the FBI's traditional
case-oriented approach:
We will never move away from being reactive. We understand that. And that's
what people want to talk about most of the time is how's that case going in East
Africa, or how's the USS Cole investigation going? But if you step back and look
at it strategically you need to have people thinking beyond the horizon and that's
very difficult for all of us. It's particularly difficult for law enforcement people.
A former CTC Chief also told the Joint Inquiry that in CTC:
We have underinvested in the strategic only because we've had such near-term
threats. The trend is always toward the tactical. . . . The tactical is where lives are
saved. And it is not necessarily commonly accepted, but strategic analysis does not
… get you to saving lives.
In Joint Inquiry testimony, the FBI's Deputy Assistant Director for Counterterrorism
Analysis explained that, before September 11, strategic analysis was the FBI's "poor stepchild."
As a result, strategic analysts were often marginalized by operational units and rarely, if ever,
received requests from operational sections for assessments of pending al-Qa'ida cases.
In 2000, FBI management aggravated this situation by transferring five strategic analysts,
who had been working on al-Qa'ida matters, to operational units to assist with ongoing cases.
[Page 356] According to a former Chief of the International Terrorism Analytic Unit, this
"gutted" the analytic unit's al-Qa'ida expertise and left it with little capacity to perform strategic
analysis.
338


Concerns about protecting criminal prosecutions also limited the FBI's ability to utilize
strategic analytic products. In interviews, some analysts said they frequently were told not to
produce written analyses, lest they be included in discovery during criminal prosecutions. FBI
analysts were further hindered because of the limitations of the FBI's information technology.
The Bureau has had little success in building a strategic analytic capability, despite
numerous attempts before September 11 to do so. For example, in 1996, the FBI hired
approximately 50 strategic analysts, many with advanced degrees. Most of those analysts left the
Bureau within two years because they were dissatisfied with the role of strategic analysis at the
FBI.
CTC analysts also expressed concern that their opinions were not given sufficient weight.
A CTC manager confirmed that CIA operations officers in the field resented tasks from analysts
because they did not like to take direction from the Directorate of Intelligence. Despite the need
for increased analytic capability, CTC reportedly refused to accept analytic support from other
agencies in at least two instances before September 11. Both FAA and DIA informed the Joint
Inquiry that CTC management rebuffed offers of analytic assistance because the agencies wanted
in return greater access to CTC intelligence, particularly intelligence about CIA operations.
NSA analysts told Joint Inquiry staff that the CTC viewed them as subordinate, like an
"ATM" for signals intelligence. The analysts attempted to accommodate CTC requests for
information by focusing on short-term operational requirements, sometimes at the expense of
more thorough analysis, even changing reporting formats because CTC did not like NSA analyst
comments to be embedded in the text of the reports. Several NSA analysts also stated their belief
that the DCI will always side with the CIA's CTC operational personnel over NSA analysts in the
event of agency disagreements.
[Page 357]
B. Analyst Qualifications and Training
The Joint Inquiry explored the extent to which analysts were inexperienced, undertrained,
and, in some cases, unqualified for the responsibilities they were given. At the CTC, analysts
were a relatively junior group before September 11 with three years experience on the average, in
339


contrast to eight years for analysts in the CIA's Directorate of Intelligence. The Director of
Terrorism Analysis explained during a closed hearing:
We had some analysts who had been on the terrorism target for some time, but . . .
our biggest concentration was people at about the three to four years of experience,
so we had a few senior analysts, a large cadre of very good, very experienced when
we hired them, but nevertheless they hadn't had the ten years, fifteen years on the
account that you would want. There's a historical reason for that. In the
Counterterrorist Center, when it was founded, people were brought in on a
rotational basis and worked there for two years, and then they went back to their
home office. So you hadn't built up that skill back in the late eighties and nineties.
Starting in about '97 the Counterterrorist Center had a career service, a nurturing
expertise-building service. So by 2000, when I arrived in the Center, what you had
is the new people who had been hired into that career service who were reaching
their own, but still in the beginning part of their careers.
A January 2002 FBI internal study found that 66% of the FBI's 1200 "Intelligence
Research Specialists," or analysts, were unqualified. This problem was compounded by the fact
that newly assigned analysts received little counterterrorism training. As the Chief of the FBI's
National Security Intelligence Section told the Joint Inquiry:
While there was no standardized training regimen, other than a two-week basic
analytical course, training was available on an ad hoc basis and guidance was
provided by both the unit chiefs of the analytical units and the FBI's Administrative
Services Division. The development of a standardized curriculum, linked to job
skills, and career advancement was being planned . . . , but it was never
implemented.
A senior CTC supervisor testified at a Joint Inquiry hearing that CTC did not have enough
analysts with sufficient experience to produce sophisticated, in-depth analysis in the quantities
needed. In the same hearing, the FBI's Deputy Assistant Director for Counterterrorism Analysis
testified that FBI analysts "had great expertise on investigations, [but] were not in a position to see
the big picture [or] connect the dots." As a result, the FBI's [page 358] Counterterrorism Division
had great difficulty in producing integrated intelligence assessments that provided early warning
of emerging threats. Finally, the Chief of DIA's Joint Intelligence Task Force for Combating
Terrorism concluded, "We are probably still in the business of describing potentials more than we
are able to really render predictive analysis." That testimony reinforces an observation by a DIA
senior official with broad experience in counterterrorism that Intelligence Community analysts
largely perform descriptive analysis, and interpretive analysis skills have not been encouraged or
built into the workforce.
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Former NSA Director William Odom also focused on training in materials he submitted to
the Joint Inquiry:
[Although] the Intelligence Community's system of education and training is
extensive, diverse, specialized - and fragmented . . . it lacks three key elements.
First, nowhere is a common doctrinal understanding of intelligence functions and
processes documented and taught to all Intelligence Community management and
executive leadership personnel. Second, the teaching of Community-wide resource
management has been generally neglected. Third, there is no educational emphasis
on senior executive leadership and staff training.
C. Analysts' Access to Information
The Joint Inquiry was also told that all-source counterterrorism analysis suffered because
analysts not located at CTC had limited access to "raw material" in FBI counterterrorism
investigations, including Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act information, unpublished NSA
information and CIA operations cables. The Special Assistant for Intelligence at DIA testified
about the extent of these problems:
In my opinion, one of the most prolonged and troubling trends in the Intelligence
Community is the degree to which analysts, while being expected to incorporate all
sources of information into their assessments, have been systematically separated
from the raw material of their trade. . . . At least for a few highly complex high
stakes issues, such as terrorism, where information by its nature is fragmentary,
ambiguous and episodic, we need to find ways to emphatically put the "all" back in
the discipline of all-source analysis.
At the FBI, information access continues to be frustrated by serious technology shortfalls.
The Bureau's Deputy Assistant Director for Counterterrorism Analysis told the Joint Inquiry:
[page 359]
There were a variety of problems in sharing information, not only with other
agencies, but within the Bureau itself. This was and is largely attributable to
inadequate information technology. In a nutshell, because the Bureau lacks
effective data mining capabilities and analytical tools, it has often been unable to
retrieve key information and analyze it in a timely manner - and a lot probably has
slipped through the cracks as a result.
Following the attack on the USS Cole, DIA recognized the need for better information
sharing and initiated the Joint Terrorism Analysis Center. The DIA Special Assistant for
Intelligence testified:
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. . . a specific aspect of the concept of operations was its provisions for a highlyprotected
merged data base containing all U.S. intelligence on terrorism, regardless
of sensitivity, sourcing or collection methods. This was a Director of DIA initiative
to overcome the evident vulnerabilities posed by insufficient intelligence sharing
within the U.S. Intelligence Community. Although Intelligence Community
principals endorsed the idea at the time and since, it has so far not been
implemented. . . . Legacy rules, policies, interpretation of regulations, and agency
cultures continue to impede information and data sharing. As a result, we cannot
bring our full analytical power to bear on the terrorist threat, nor can we provide the
best possible support to military planners, operators, decision makers or to other
consumers of intelligence. . . . [P]rogress is being made and there are positive
developments under way. But so far remedies remain insufficient to the magnitude
of the problem.
Witnesses also described a lack of collaboration among analysts within the Intelligence
Community. Terrorist-related intelligence often consists of small fragments of seemingly
disparate information. Information that may seem unimportant to one agency may be critical to
another. Capitalizing on the analytical strengths of each intelligence agency to understand the
terrorist target from different angles should be paramount. Unfortunately, there was no
mechanism in place to enable inter-agency collaboration. A former CTC Director of Terrorism
Analysis described the problem:
I think the only way to overcome the various cultures of the various agencies is to
force the interaction . . . where you're putting people together and getting the
understanding. You do find out there are real concerns. People aren't trying to be
jerks on purpose. They have problems and you start finding out about those and
learning how to work with those.
[Page 360]
Although it was established with the intention that it would be the Intelligence
Community's hub for counterterrorism activities, some suggested that CTC's operational focus
significantly overshadowed collaborative strategic analysis. In interviews, NSA analysts, for
example, said that CTC viewed them as subordinate, despite the value of their products.
Constructive CTC feedback on their reports was rare. A positive step was taken in early 2001
when NSA and CTC analysts began holding bi-weekly video teleconferences, but these were
suspended following September 11 due to workload demands.
DIA analysts reported that their efforts are not fully appreciated by CIA. According to a
senior DIA official, a lack of trust on the part of collectors and all-source analysts underlay the
failure of the CIA to share information with the rest of the Intelligence Community concerning the
January 2000 Malaysia meeting that involved at least two of the September 11 hijackers.
342


Another component of collaboration is understanding the culture and information
requirements of other intelligence agencies. NSA regularly sends liaison personnel to other
intelligence agencies to help NSA customers better understand its products. Currently there are
[ ] NSA analysts assigned to CTC; before September 11, there were [ ]. There also are [ ]
NSA analysts at the FBI; before September 11, there were [ ]. These analysts often do double
duty as NSA liaison and by working on projects for the offices to which they are assigned.
Conversely, no CIA analyst and only one FBI analyst works in NSA's Counterterrorism
Product Line. The lack of Intelligence Community representation at NSA reportedly prevents
collaboration and insight into how customers use NSA products. Over a year ago, for example, a
CIA analyst agreed to an assignment at NSA. While there, she was able to scour unpublished
NSA transcripts for lead information, such as [ ], of utility to CTC operations.
She left after four months without a replacement, despite CTC's increasing need for leads. While
the CIA analyst was at NSA, she had access to the CIA computer network, which is not otherwise
available to NSA analysts. The CIA detailee conducted searches of CIA operational cables to
determine how NSA products were being used by CTC and to check lead information relevant to
NSA. These NSA analysts found the information very useful. When the detailee left, the CIA
computer access left as well. A senior NSA analyst said that, if her office had daily [page 361]
access to CIA [ ] cable traffic, its productivity could increase dramatically with
immediate insight into [ ] requirements and lead information. Currently, the
responsibility for reviewing CTC [ ] cables for lead information falls to
overworked NSA analysts assigned to CTC who usually conduct these searches "when they have
the time."
D. Language Skills
[Witnesses emphasized for the Joint Inquiry the critical importance of language skills in
counterterrorism analysis. The linguistic expertise needed to identify, analyze, and disseminate
intelligence relating to the al-Qa'ida threat includes an understanding of colloquial expression in
[ ] "terrorist languages" and dialects. [
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]. The majority of Intelligence Community language employees,
however, do not have the skills necessary to understand terrorist communications.
[According to NSA's Deputy Director for Analysis and Reporting, "[a]nalyzing,
processing, translating, and reporting al-Qa'ida related [ ] communications
requires the highest levels of language and target knowledge expertise that exists." Communicants
speak all major Arabic dialects, making analysis linguistically and conceptually challenging.
Evaluating these communications requires considerable subject-matter expertise in Islam in
general and Islamic extremist thought in particular to ensure accurate interpretation. Very few
NSA Arabic language analysts have done any graduate work in Islamic Studies, [
]. The
targeted person lives in and understands life in a thoroughly Islamic milieu that is reflected in that
person's communications].
[The level of language expertise needed to work on the counterterrorist threat is very high.
Subject-matter knowledge is necessary in explosives, chemistry, technical communications,
[ ], paramilitary operations, weaponry and tactics. Moreover, speakers of
Arabic [page 362] and other languages used by al-Qa'ida are in demand: Arabic linguists are also
sought for such important issues [ ] as other regional and terrorist intelligence targets].
The pool of qualified persons from which the Intelligence Community can draw to meet
this challenge is very small and includes persons with military experience, university students, and
those with native background or extensive experience in particular countries. Very few U.S.
college graduates have more than a limited capability in Arabic. According to the 2002 Integrated
Postsecondary Education Data System statistics, American colleges granted only six degrees in
Arabic in the survey year, 183 in Chinese, and 339 in Russian. U.S. colleges or universities offer
degrees in languages that are critical in countering the terrorist threat, such as Dari, Pashto,
Punjabi, Persian-Farsi, Hindi, Urdu, Turkmen, Tadjik, Tagalog, Somali, Kurdish, Chechen, or
Uzbek.
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In sum, the Joint Inquiry was told that the quality of Intelligence Community
counterterrorism analysis affected not only its strategy and operations, but also the ability of U.S.
Government policymakers to understand threats and make informed decisions. Several current
and former policymakers provided testimony underlining the importance of intelligence analysis.
For example, Mr. Clarke, former National Coordinator for Counterterrorism, explained:
The FBI did not provide analysis. The FBI, as far as I could tell, didn't have an
analytical shop. They never provided analysis to us, even when we asked for it, and
I don't think that throughout that ten-year period we really had an analytical
capability of what was going on in this country.
Former National Security Advisor Sandy Berger implied in his testimony that the U.S.
Government has often relied too heavily on analytic expertise within its own ranks:
I think we live in a world, Congressman, in which expertise increasingly does not
exist in the government. It's a very complicated world. And the five people who
know Afghanistan the best or Sierra Leone the best are probably located either in
academia, think tanks or in companies, not to devalue the people of the
government. So we have to find a way in my judgment to integrate the expertise
that exists on the outside with the information that exists on the inside.
[Page 363]
IX. Views of Outside Experts on the Intelligence Community
The Joint Inquiry interviewed and took testimony from many leading experts on the
Intelligence Community. The experts touched on a wide array of topics, but much of the
discussion revolved around four issues: setting priorities, strategy against international terrorism,
reform of the Intelligence Community, and counterterrorism within the United States. Included in
the record are, for example, the testimony and statements of several seasoned observers: Lee
Hamilton, former chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Judge
William Webster, former Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Central
Intelligence Agency, General William Odom, former Director of the National Security Agency;
Frederick Hitz, former CIA Inspector General; former Senator Warren Rudman, co-chairman of
the U.S. Commission on National Security/21st Century; and former Governor James Gilmore,
chairman of the Advisory Panel to Assess Domestic Response Capabilities for Terrorism
Involving Weapons of Mass Destruction.
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A. Setting Priorities
Former Congressman Hamilton placed "first" on his list of reforms setting "clear priorities
for the Intelligence Community." Because demand for intelligence by policymakers has become
"insatiable," the Congressman argued, the Intelligence Community has become "demand driven"
and "there are simply too many intelligence targets, products, and consumers." Since the end of
the Cold War, there has not been a "clear set of priorities" within the Intelligence Community and,
consequently, there has not been an ordered allocation of resources.
In addition, Former Congressman Hamilton noted that generally "responsibility [has been]
on the consumer of the intelligence in both the Legislative and the Executive branches to set
forward in some orderly manner the priorities," and he called on the National Security Council to
provide guidelines for "long-term strategic planning." The two most important [page 364]
priorities, he urged, should be "combating and preventing terrorism" and "preventing the
proliferation of weapons of mass destruction."
B. Strategy And Organization
Senator Rudman brought to the Joint Inquiry's attention a 1996 recommendation of the
Aspin/Brown Commission on Roles and Capabilities of the United States Intelligence
Community, "a distinguished group of Americans who spent a lot of time looking in advance of
9/11 at precisely the things that [the Joint Inquiry is] looking at post-9/11." Under the heading,
"The Need for a Coordinated Response to Global Crime," the Aspin/Brown Commission
recommended that, in responding to terrorism and other transnational criminal dangers to the
American people, the U.S. Government may have to develop "strategies which employ diplomatic,
economic, military, or intelligence measures . . . instead of, or in collaboration with, law
enforcement response." This made it essential "that there be overall direction and coordination of
U.S. response to global crime." Senator Rudman reflected, "I will tell you that nobody evidently
read it."
346

--
--

Congressman Hamilton stated the broad case for reorganizing the Intelligence Community,
which he described as now a "loose confederation" with redundant efforts, imbalances between
collection and analysis, and coordination problems:
The very phrase 'Intelligence Community' is intriguing. It demonstrates how
decentralized and fragmented our intelligence capabilities are. . . . New
intelligence priorities demand a reorganization of the Intelligence Community. . . .
[W]e really are in a new era, and we must think anew.
Joint Inquiry witnesses expressed a range of views on two interrelated questions about the
organization of the Intelligence Community:
whether Community leadership should be vested in a new, cabinet-level Director of
National Intelligence (DNI) with Community-wide responsibilities beyond those now
vested in the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI), particularly with regard to budget
planning and execution; and [page 365]
whether the "double-hatting," by which the DCI is also the Director of the Central
Intelligence Agency, should be ended so that the DNI becomes the President's
principal intelligence advisor with authority to lead the Community, while a separate
Director oversees the CIA.
C. Should a Strong Director of National Intelligence be Established?
Congressman Hamilton testified that:
[w]e need a single cabinet-level official who is fully in charge of the Intelligence
Community, a Director of National Intelligence or DNI." To fulfill that role, the
DNI "must be in frequent and candid contact with the President[,] have his full
confidence . . . have control over much, if not most of, the Intelligence
Community budget, and the power to manage key appointments. [Presently, the
DCI] does not have this control, and thus [the DCI] lacks authority.
Former National Security Advisor Sandy Berger also stated:
. . . [S]trengthening the DCI's authority to plan, program and budget for
intelligence collection, analysis and dissemination will permit much more effective
integration of our intelligence priorities and efforts, including better concentration
on counterterrorism.
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A DNI with authority over management and particularly budget, Congressman Hamilton
concluded, is important for "responsibility and accountability":
The person who controls the budget controls the operation. And if you don't have
budget authority, you are dramatically undercut in your ability to manage the
operation. That's why the bureaucrats fight so hard over budget. Budget is power.
General Odom expressed a limited difference on the extent of the proposed Director of
National Intelligence's budget authority: "I think Congressman Hamilton wants more executive
budget authority than I do, but otherwise I think we overlap enormously." The General would
give the DNI the planning power necessary to take "an overall comprehensive look" at the
intelligence budget and assess whether intelligence agencies are adequately funded. He would not
give the DNI budget "execution" or "spending" power, which would require that Congress [page
366] rewrite regulations governing Department of Defense spending because NSA, a principal
member of the Intelligence Community, is a component of the Department of Defense.
D. Should the Same Person be both DNI and Director of the CIA?
Several experts called for separate heads of the Intelligence Community and the CIA.
Former National Security Advisor Sandy Berger "encourage[d] the Committees to consider
proposals to separate the DCI and CIA Director positions, so the DCI can focus primarily on
Community issues and not just CIA concerns." Congressman Hamilton was even more definite:
to avoid a "natural bias" toward the CIA, the head of the CIA should not also be the DNI: "You
cannot be head of the Intelligence Community and head of the CIA at the same time. There's a
conflict there. And I want someone over all that. . . ." General William Odom, former Director
of the National Security Agency; added: "The DCI becomes trapped if he's also directing an
agency, and therefore he doesn't look at the Community as a whole as much as he could."
Judge Webster disagreed with separate appointments and roles for the head of the
Community and the CIA and argued instead for keeping the DCI "double-hatted," but
strengthening the DCI role.
[M]ore emphasis [should be put] on finally addressing the lack of real authority that
the DCI has over the Intelligence Community. He does not write the report cards
on the agency heads. He does not even pick the agency heads. He has nominal
authority over the budget….
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Reflecting on his time as DCI, Judge Webster explained that "[o]ccasionally I would issue
something that looked nominally like an instruction, it was mostly hoping with a lot of
groundwork behind it . . . something would come of it." If the head of national intelligence were
placed at the White House "without troops," Judge Webster argued, "it's difficult for me to see
how it would be truly effective."
Former CIA Inspector General Fred Hitz agreed with Judge Webster, describing the
Secretary of Defense as an "800-pound gorilla" that the DCI has never been able to wrestle to the
ground because of the Secretary's responsibility and command authority for defense intelligence
[page 367] agencies. Mr. Hitz recommended "realistic" proposals giving the DCI "a kibitzing
power over selection of Director of NSA and more collaborative powers with the Secretary of
Defense."
Former Congressman Hamilton responded that the Director of National Intelligence should
have "real authority and real personnel authority": "I wouldn't put him in the White House, as
Judge Webster is suggesting [I would]." General Odom argued that the DNI "has to take some
organizational capability with him - he can't just stand out there in an office and be a czar over in
the White House." He should have an expanded National Intelligence Council as a reinforcement
which together with the DCI's Community management staff give him "a pretty good
organizational base." As for limiting change to strengthening the existing DCI position,
Congressman Hamilton asserted:
We're in a new world, and we have to begin to think of ways to structure this. I
have heard the argument about strengthening the DCI for 35 years. . . . It's a move
in the right direction. But I don't think it gets us into the new era we're in.
E. Counterterrorism within the U.S and Creation of a Domestic Intelligence Agency
The witnesses addressed the organizational and other challenges to the effective conduct of
counterterrorism operations in the United States. To Congressman Hamilton, the CIA and FBI
must "fundamentally alter" policies and practices: "The FBI, with its new emphasis on prevention,
will have to focus more on counter-terrorism, and the CIA will have to trace international leads to
the homeland." Indeed, "the threat of terrorism is going to require an unprecedented overlap
between intelligence and law enforcement." Although Congressman Hamilton favored
349


restructuring the Intelligence Community so that "resources can be coordinated and agencies aid,
not obstruct one another," he did not recommend a new organization to conduct counterterrorism
domestically:
I don't think it's a statutory solution, a legislative solution. . . . Most important, the
two agencies will have to share information and work together to infiltrate, disrupt
and destroy terrorist cells … If the shortcomings leading up to 9/11 were systemic
in nature, the solution lies in better system management, the handling and analysis
of vast amounts of information, and the distribution in a timely manner of the key
conclusions to the right people.
[Page 368]
Congressman Hamilton urged recognition of the fact that CIA and FBI have "for a very
long period" done their jobs "quite well" and they are now "suddenly confronted with a new
world." The decision to transform FBI priorities from law enforcement to prevention is a "huge
change," and we cannot expect the Bureau "to turn around on a dime." Rather than new
legislation, change "takes leadership, it takes oversight."
In contrast, General Odom argued for a major change in the organization of U.S.
counterintelligence and counterterrorism. Counterintelligence, he urged, "is in the worst shape of
all." Five agencies have counterintelligence operations - FBI, CIA, and three military services -
"with no overall manager." As a consequence, "[t]he parochialism, fragmentation, and
incompetence are difficult to exaggerate in the U.S. counterintelligence world." Fragmentation
and lack of skills ensures "dismal performance" because "terrorists, like spies, come through
openings."
General Odom recommended that the "first step" is "to take [counterintelligence]
responsibility out of the FBI, leaving the Bureau with its law enforcement responsibilities, and
create a National Counterintelligence Service under the DCI with operational oversight over the
[counterintelligence] operations of the CIA and the three military departments in the Pentagon."
The new organization would not be given arrest authority, which would remain with the FBI and
other law enforcement organizations: "The FBI might be the agency to use [intelligence] to go
make arrests and provide the evidence for prosecutions, but the business of locating spies, finding
out what they're doing, understanding patentable collection, terrorist infiltrations, et cetera, can be
primarily an intelligence operation."
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Judge Webster did not "warm to the idea of separating counterterrorism from the FBI." He
responded to proposals for a separate domestic intelligence service modeled after England's MI-5
service:
We're not England. We're not 500 miles across our territory. We have thousands
of miles to cover. Would you propose to create an organization that had people all
over the United States, as the FBI does?
[Page 369]
The Congress, Judge Webster argued, would "never vote the resources to have a second
FBI throughout the country." It is better, then, "to use what we have and train them to be more
responsive." Rather than spending time "moving the boxes around," Judge Webster
recommended that Congress look to those areas in the system which need to be shored up with
appropriate resources and training." The "crucial" example, he testified, was the FBI's twelve
year-old information system, that "the FBI has been trying to get help with for years, and has not
succeeded." Judge Webster also called for "new sets of relationships between CIA, which has
been functioning largely abroad, until more recently, with the FBI's participation and expanded
legal attaché relationships, and the law enforcement responsibilities of dealing with the threat
here":
More than any other kind of threat, there is an interrelationship between law
enforcement and intelligence in dealing with the problem of terrorism … We need
both investigative capability and intelligence collection capability, as well as those
who go through the bits and pieces and fill in the dots.
Senator Rudman maintained that creation of a British-styled MI-5 domestic intelligence
service would not solve the problems we face: "You have got enormous domestic collection
capability in the FBI, assuming it is focused in the right direction." He concluded that the
Intelligence Community could enhance its campaign against terrorism by adopting measures
designed to share and cooperate amongst its members:
[T]he more jointness that you have between these agencies, the more they work in
joint counterterrorism centers, the more their information databases become
common, the more there is constant daily, hourly cooperation between them, the
more the NSA is brought in by statute, if necessary, to supplying the FBI with
domestic counterterrorism information, then you will do the improvement you
need.
Senator Rudman spoke forcefully against proposals for a new counterterrorism organization:
I do not believe we need new structures or new systems. We may need different
kinds of people, we may need different kinds of technology, but I don't think
351


[page 370] there is anything wrong with the systems. I think there is a lot wrong
with how they have been used over the last ten years.
Senator Rudman did not believe that a law-enforcement culture makes it impossible for the
Bureau to be an effective intelligence-gathering agency, an issue he has also addressed as
chairman of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. "The best domestic
intelligence-gathering organization . . . on the ground today is the FBI," although the Senator
agreed that "[t]he problem is that they have had a law enforcement mind-set." In spite of that
problem, the Bureau has 56 field offices and 44 offices overseas, and, therefore, "it is not a
question of trying to get a new agency to do the domestic intelligence, counterintelligence; it is a
question of [getting] the resources" necessary for the task.
Following the Joint Inquiry hearings, the Commission that Governor Gilmore chairs on
assessing domestic response capabilities against terrorism, released recommendations in advance
of its fourth annual report in December 2002. The Commission recommended establishment of a
National Counter Terrorism Center (NCTC), a "stand-alone organization" headed by a Senate
confirmed, presidential appointee, "responsible for the fusion of intelligence, from all sources,
foreign and domestic, on potential terrorist attacks inside the United States." The Commission
also recommended that "collection of intelligence . . . on international terrorist activities inside the
United States, including the authorities, responsibilities and safeguards under the Foreign
Intelligence Surveillance Act, which are currently in the FBI, be transferred to the NCTC" for two
reasons: First, "while the FBI remains the world's preeminent law enforcement agency, there is a
big difference between dealing with a terrorist act as a crime to be punished and dealing with it as
an attack to be prevented." Second, "it is important to separate the intelligence function from the
law enforcement function to avoid the impression that the U.S. is establishing a kind of 'secret
police.'" The proposed NCTC would not have arrest authority.
Governor Gilmore's preference is "to maintain these [domestic intelligence] functions
within the FBI and to build upon [its] considerable structures, sources and resources to upgrade
and improve these functions." Nevertheless, he said he would support the Commission's
recommendation, given the oversight provisions and legal restrictions described in the
Commission's preliminary report to ensure that our civil liberties are not diminished. Another
Commission member disagreed with the [Page 371] recommendation, however, asserting in
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dissent that "[t]he FBI culture as a law enforcement agency provides a backdrop and check and
balance against any abuse of civil liberties."
F. A Legislative Charter for the Intelligence Community
Beyond streamlining the Intelligence Community by, for example, enacting legislation to
create a new Director of National Intelligence, Congressman Hamilton urged the enactment of a
"legislative charter" for the Community, a task he knew from personal experience would be
difficult to accomplish:
U.S. intelligence is governed by a set of disparate laws and executive orders
produced over the last fifty-five years. No single one of these laws provides a
comprehensive legal foundation for our massive intelligence establishment. This is
a remarkable state of affairs in a country that takes the rule of law so seriously.
In short, the Congressman testified, "[w]e need a statutory foundation for U.S. intelligence."
G. Respect for the Rule of Law
Notwithstanding differences on particular proposals, many witnesses joined in the
conviction Congressman Hamilton voiced that "[r]eforms in the Intelligence Community must not
come at expense of the rule of law and respect for civil liberties." As Judge Webster put it: "I
hope that in the rush to judgment, we will remember who we are and [that] the methods we
choose, both for intelligence and for law enforcement, will be consistent with who we are in this
country." Congressman Hamilton described the challenges ahead: "Intelligence work requires
that our government obtain information, and obtaining that information requires surveillance of
people who have committed no crime -- the challenge is to facilitate information-gathering about
suspicious people, while insulating legitimate personal and political activity from intrusive
scrutiny."
Congressman Hamilton also stressed that responsibility for protecting basic rights lies in
several places:
It's very easy to overlook these matters of privacy and civil rights -- it has to come
from the top of the agency. It has to be protected by the courts. The United
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[page 372] States Congress, the intelligence committees, have to be sensitive to the
manner in which intelligence activities are carried out, and they have to zero in on
civil rights and liberties.
Judge Webster added that ensuring that investigatory tools are used in accordance with the law is
"an important role for the Department of Justice," and, therefore, he is opposed to law
enforcement "go[ing] outside the Department of Justice at the federal level by giving it to people
who are not trained and do not understand the requirements that the Constitution and our laws
impose on them."
General Odom asserted that "[t]he [Congressional] committees that did the investigation
[of the Intelligence Community] in the 1970s did a great service in implementing the system that
they have at NSA now, ensuring that rights are not violated":
Congress should get credit for that. And as the director of the agency I felt better
for having this. I felt that I could be certain that my bureaucracy was not going to
run away and violate these kind of rights. And it was a thoughtfully done process
that created that system in the 1970s.
Finally, General Odom emphasized the importance of accountability:
In the military, we have a tradition. When you screw things up, we relieve the
commander, which leaves me puzzled about the behavior of the Administration in
the intelligence area. I consider intelligence . . . a military engagement, and I
would hold the commanders as responsible as I would ship commanders who run
their ships aground. They don't stay around after they've run them aground, even
if they are not very guilty.
X. Information Sharing
Before September 11, 2001, the Intelligence Community had not melded into an effective
team to prevent terrorist attacks within the United States. Efforts had been taken to improve
cooperation between the CIA and FBI. After the DCI created the CTC in 1986, for instance, CIA
and FBI cross-detailed personnel to each other's counterterrorism units, but this did not lead to a
plan between those two agencies or across the Community to integrate intelligence collection and
analysis. In the absence of a plan, agencies tended to operate independently.
[Page 373]
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Prior to September 11, information was inadequately shared not only within the
Intelligence Community, but also between the Community, other federal agencies, and state and
local authorities. In sum, the Joint Inquiry discovered significant problems in how intelligence
agencies shared information among themselves and with entities that need information to protect
the nation against terrorist attack.
A. Information Sharing between Intelligence Agencies and within the Federal Government
In closed and open hearings witnesses from both the intelligence and law enforcement
communities spoke of the need to share information. As the Comptroller General put it in a
statement submitted for the Joint Inquiry record, "The success of a homeland security strategy
relies on the ability of all levels of government and the private sector to communicate and
cooperate effectively with one another."
a. National Security Agency
NSA intercepts well over [ ] communications each day, which it uses to
create reports for dissemination to components of the Executive Branch that have expressed
requirements for certain information. The growth of global communications and computer
networks has significantly increased the volume of communications NSA can intercept. One of
the major challenges the agency faces is to find information buried in the avalanche of electronic
data it receives every day. In deciding which communications [ ] to target, which [ ] to
monitor [ ], and which communications to select [ ], NSA tries to
maximize its exploitation capability, including its linguistic and analytic workforce.
[The effort to find and report the most useful information results in decisions at every step
in the exploitation process that leave information behind, unanalyzed and unreported. Thus,
potentially vital information is rejected before analysts see it, or, if it reaches an analyst, it is not
reported to customers. For example, NSA informed the Joint Inquiry that it reported some but not
all communications analyzed in 1999 and the first half of 2000 involving a [page 374] suspected
terrorist facility in the Middle East linked to al-Qa'ida activities directed against U.S. interests.
NSA did not publish other communications involving this facility and associated with a participant
355


in a January 2000 meeting in Malaysia, hijacker Khalid al-Mihdhar. As was explained in the
section of this report devoted to that meeting, these communications fell below NSA's reporting
threshold].
NSA officials described the threshold as a subjective standard that can change every day.
It is a product of several factors including the priority of the intelligence topic (for example, threat
warnings have the highest priority), the level of customer interest in a particular subject, the
perceived value of the information, and the amount of intercept available for analysis and
reporting. In short, analysts have considerable discretion in reporting information, especially
when it is fragmentary or obscure.
A major concern of NSA customers is that this winnowing process is not sufficiently well
informed to avoid leaving potentially vital but seemingly irrelevant information on the "cutting
room floor," particularly with regard to targets like al-Qa'ida where the smallest piece of
information may fill in the mosaic of the organization and its plans. To make well-informed
decisions about what to report, NSA needs detailed knowledge about how raw intercept data might
respond to customer needs. NSA deploys many analysts to customer agencies to understand their
needs and help them shape NSA reports. This is an important, but not complete solution to the
problem.
NSA officials complained to the Joint Inquiry that its customers rarely reciprocate by
assigning analysts to NSA to access its information, including raw intercepts. An NSA
counterterrorism supervisor noted that the productivity of NSA analysts was substantially
increased when a CIA analyst with access to Directorate of Operations cables was detailed to
NSA.
NSA officials are concerned about sharing raw intercepts in large part because some
intercepts contain information about "U.S. persons" that NSA must protect under "minimization
procedures" established by the Attorney General and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
It is not practical to review all raw traffic to strip off this information, and minimized [page 375]
356


information might not have the same value as original text. NSA officials also cited concerns
about protecting sources and methods that produced the data and the difficulties in separating
content from information about them.
b. The Central Intelligence Agency
CIA personnel also make decisions about sharing information, particularly with regard to
[ ] cables that contain vital information about CIA activities.
[NSA has told the Joint Inquiry that regular access to [ ] cables would
enhance its understanding of material it intercepts and increase the productivity of its analytic
workforce. The Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency expressed particular concern about
cables relating to the Malaysia meeting. Joint Inquiry staff identified numerous CIA [ ] cables
concerning that meeting that contained information of value to all-source analysts. In response to
a Joint Inquiry request, DIA identified four leads its terrorism analysts could have pursued in early
2000 and one in December 2000, had information been shared. DIA also identified three leads in
[CIA] cables in August 2001 that would have allowed it to take action concerning the Malaysian
meeting, Zacarias Moussaoui, Khalid al-Mihdhar, and Nawaf al-Hazmi].
[CIA is concerned that access to cables would place its sources and methods at risk
because cables contain information about activities, including meetings with human assets. Most
analytic personnel recognize this concern and profess not to want operational details or
information about sources and methods. These analysts see information of potential significance,
embedded in the raw data. The CIA, they believe, filters out many intelligence "nuggets" before
analysts receive the information. The agency has itself recognized the value of this data by
integrating its counterterrorism analysts into the CTC where they are supposed to have full access
to raw traffic].
[Page 376]
c. The Federal Bureau Of Investigation
The FBI collects vast amounts of information from both criminal and intelligence
investigations, including interviews, wiretaps, physical searches, grand jury material, and
357


intelligence disseminated by other members of the Intelligence Community. The FBI's problem is
twofold: 1) dissemination of information within the Bureau and, 2) sharing of information with
other members of the Intelligence Community. In some cases, the FBI was limited by legal or
policy constraints on, for example, the use of grand jury information and information obtained
through criminal wiretaps. The USA Patriot Act eliminated some of those constraints. However,
the FBI has also been hampered by its own limitations, for example, a failure to develop a strategy
for sharing information. As its Deputy Assistant Director for Counterterrorism and
Counterintelligence testified:
We did not leverage what we had information-wise, and we did not leverage what
other agencies had as information. We lacked analysts, we lacked linguists, we
lacked electronic architecture that allows to us interact with other organizations. . . .
We lacked size. And we lacked attacking the target from 360 degrees. For
example, we did not develop a program that leveraged what we have as expertise,
what the Treasury had as expertise, and what the [CIA] had as to expertise for a
concentrated, focused, aggressive investigation in finances. Terrorist organizations
. . . like al-Qa'ida . . . have several points of strength, but several points of
weakness. . . . We did not leverage State and local police. The culture says you
don't share that information.
In addition, as a result of technological problems, FBI analysts did not have access to all
information within the Bureau. The FBI's Deputy Assistant Director for Counterterrorism
Analysis testified that "the FBI lacked effective data mining capabilities and analytical tools, it has
often been unable to retrieve key information and analyze it in a timely manner, and a lot has
probably slipped through the cracks as a result."
Before September 11, FBI personnel were not trained or equipped to share foreign
intelligence developed in counterterrorism investigations with the Intelligence Community or even
with other units within the Bureau, which deprived analysts throughout the Community of
information. The FBI's Chief of the Counterintelligence Analysis Section in the
Counterintelligence Division explained: [page 377]
Technology alone, however, is not the silver bullet; gaining access to all relevant
FBI information associated with an individual terrorist suspect, terrorist group or
State Sponsor was also an issue the analysts faced periodically. Information was
sometimes not made available because field offices, concerned about security or
media leaks, did not upload their investigative results or restricted access to specific
cases. This, of course, risks leaving the analysts not knowing what they did not
know.
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Finally, the FBI typically used information obtained through the Foreign Intelligence
Surveillance Act only in the cases in which it was obtained and would not routinely disseminate
the information within the Bureau or to other members of the Intelligence Community.
d. The Department Of State
One of the principal State Department contributions to the fight against terrorism is the
TIPOFF watchlist program, which, according to its director, was established in 1987 after the
Department issued a visa to someone the Intelligence Community knew was a terrorist.
According to TIPOFF's Director, from inception to Summer 2002, the program prevented
763 individuals from receiving visas to enter the United States. However, the Joint Inquiry was
told that information flow into TIPOFF before September 11 was less than complete. It was not
until 1995, eight years after a terrorist was mistakenly allowed into the United States, that the CIA
approved State Department declassification of data for inclusion in TIPOFF. Before the change in
policy, State would submit a list of names monthly for CIA declassification, and that process
delayed the watchlist updates.
Growing concern about the terrorist threat did not noticeably increase the amount of
information shared between the Intelligence Community and the State Department before
September 11, which, in contrast, advised the Joint Inquiry that it received at least 1,500 CIA
Central Intelligence Reports containing terrorist names shortly after September 11. State
Department officials also spoke about the difficulty in obtaining data for watchlisting purposes
from the FBI National Crime Information Center, in spite of ten years of negotiations with the
Bureau for access.
[Page 378]
September 11 hijackers Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi provide perhaps the most
glaring examples of incomplete information sharing with the State Department. As is
demonstrated in other sections of this report, the CIA had reportable information about these men
long before it asked that they be "watchlisted" in August 2001. As DCI Tenet testified, this failure
is not the result of a limited problem in the systems in place:
The fact that we did not recommend al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar for watchlisting is
not attributable to a single point of failure. There were opportunities, both in the
359


field and at Headquarters, to act on developing information. The fact that this did
not happen - aside from questions of CTC workload, particularly around the period
of the disrupted Millennium plots - pointed out that a whole new system, rather
than a fix at a single point in the system, was needed.
In particular, the DCI pointed to CIA personnel not understanding their obligation to place
people on watchlists or the criteria by which watchlist decisions should be made. The Director of
the TIPOFF program also described poor attendance at meetings he would arrange to brief CIA
personnel on the program and the frequent turnover of CIA personnel assigned to it.
Some improvements have been made since September 11. For example, Ambassador
Francis Taylor told the Joint Inquiry that, "in August, 2002, the entire TIPOFF database, including
full biographic records on nearly 85,000 terrorist names, photographs, fingerprints, and on-line
documentation, was made available to the authorized users from five Intelligence Community and
law enforcement agencies." In August 2002 the State Department added over seven million
names from FBI indices to a State watchlist, augmenting the 5.8 million names already uploaded.
e. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Transportation Security
Administration (TSA)
The FAA and its successor TSA are responsible for making threat information available to
airlines and airports, domestic and foreign. Without specific information from intelligence [page
379] and law enforcement agencies, TSA is unable to provide the context of threat to carriers and
airports. FAA officials told the Joint Inquiry that they have to make convincing cases about
threats to the aviation industry because the industry is not willing to absorb additional security
costs, absent strong evidence of need.
An example of the importance of providing context is the memorandum an agent in the
FBI's Phoenix office prepared expressing concern about Middle Eastern students taking aviation
training. Claudio Manno, TSA's Assistant Undersecretary for Intelligence, told the Joint Inquiry
that the FAA saw the Phoenix memorandum for the "first time" when Joint Inquiry staff brought
the matter up. Mr. Manno testified that, had he been made aware of the document, he would have
done "a number of things that were done later" to advance the post-September 11 investigation.
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B. Information Sharing between Intelligence Agencies and State and Local Officials
Although federal officials emphasized the importance of state and local perspectives, the
Joint Inquiry heard witnesses complain that the federal government does not systematically
involve state and local agencies in counterterrorism programs. Governor Gilmore, Chairman of
the Advisory Panel to Assess Domestic Response Capabilities for Terrorism Involving Weapons
of Mass Destruction, testified:
[T]o the extent that there has been intelligence sharing, it has been ad hoc. It has
been without a real systematic approach. And what would you expect? With the
Intelligence Community, it is within the culture if not within the statute that you
don't share information. If you do [share information], you are even subject to
criminal penalties. . . .
Some progress was made on information sharing with state and local officials after the FBI
organized Joint Terrorism Task Forces in its field offices. Starting with the first JTTF New York
City in 1980, the FBI made a concerted effort to expand the program. As Director Freeh noted,
"We doubled and tripled the number of Joint Terrorism Task Forces around the United States so
we could multiply our forces and coordinate intelligence and counterterrorism [page 380]
operations with FBI's federal, state, and local law enforcement partners." As of September 11,
thirty-five FBI field offices had JTTFs; now all fifty-six offices do.
JTTFs are designed to combine federal and local law enforcement and intelligence
capabilities into a cohesive unit to address complex international and domestic terrorism
investigations. JTTFs might include federal participants from CIA, INS, the Marshals Service, the
Secret Service, TSA, Customs, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, the State
Department, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the IRS, Park Police, and other agencies.
According to FBI representatives, JTTFs have improved communication among these
agencies and enabled the FBI to leverage their capabilities in counterterrorism investigations. For
example, INS personnel assigned to the Minneapolis JTTF were able to determine quickly that
Zacarias Moussaoui's authority to stay in the United States had expired, leading to his arrest and
detention.
361


JTTFs have not solved the information concerns of all state and local officials. Baltimore
Police Commissioner Edward Norris told the Joint Inquiry that serious gaps remain:
I would like to know exactly what everyone else knows in my city. Whatever
Federal agencies are working on in my city . . ., I should know exactly what's
happening. . . . [W]e know for a fact [that] terrorists are living in our cities. We all
know they're here; we just don't know who they are, we being the urban police
departments in this country. I would like to know and I would like to have a
briefing . . . at least every month. I would like to know what's happening, because I
get briefings from my intelligence division every day, so I know who we're
working on and I know what we're looking at. . . . If I had access in a full briefing
from whatever agency investigating within my city, it would make my life a whole
lot more efficient and comfortable. I would like to know what is happening, but
currently do not.
C. Additional Information Sharing Problems
Detailing employees from one agency to another is often praised as a form of information
sharing, but the Joint Inquiry heard that there are several limits to the practice. The Departments
of State, Transportation, Treasury, and Energy and the INS, Customs, and other organizations
detail personnel to the CIA's Counterterrorist Center, the FBI, and, to a much lesser extent, NSA.
[Page 381]
Intelligence Community agencies also send detailees to non-intelligence and lawenforcement
agencies. Numerous task forces and cooperative agreements exist between the FBI
and border-security and intelligence agencies. Task forces are also primary vehicles for involving
state and local agencies in counterterrorism efforts.
The Joint Inquiry was told repeatedly that host agencies restrict access to information and
limit databases detailees can query on security and policy grounds. Detailees often learn about
intelligence only after host agency employees make ad hoc judgments to share information.
Representatives of detailing agencies also told the Joint Inquiry that host agency
employees often do not understand issues of interest to other agencies and consequently provide
detailees with information without context.
Access to databases is also impaired. This is because there is no single architecture in the
Intelligence Community that bridges all federal, state, and local government databases.
362


Cultural concerns are another problem. Former DIA Director Admiral Thomas Wilson
explained to the Joint Inquiry that "information sharing" implies that one "owns the information."
According to Admiral Wilson, agencies must shed the belief that they own information, which, in
fact, belongs to the government.
D. The Wall: Barriers between Law Enforcement and Intelligence
Legal and other considerations have substantially influenced the degree to which
intelligence agencies share information with law enforcement agencies. These concerns also
affected how information was shared between FBI intelligence components and FBI criminal
investigators and Department of Justice prosecutors. In interviews and at hearings, the Joint
Inquiry has been told repeatedly that a phenomenon known as the "Wall" significantly hampered
the free flow of information between the intelligence and law-enforcement entities. Michael
Rolince, former Chief of the FBI's International Terrorism Operations Section, testified:
[Page 382] In terrorism cases this became so complex and convoluted that in some
FBI field offices FBI agents perceived walls where none actually existed. In fact,
one New York supervisor commented that "so many walls had created a maze"
which made it very difficult for the criminal investigators.
The "Wall" is not a single barrier, but a series of restrictions between and within agencies
constructed over sixty years as a result of legal, policy, institutional, and personal factors. These
walls separate foreign from domestic activities, foreign intelligence from law-enforcement
operations, the FBI from the CIA, communications intelligence from other types of intelligence,
the Intelligence Community from other federal agencies, and national-security information from
other forms of evidence.
Following World War II, the National Security Act of 1947 created the Central Intelligence
Agency, our first peacetime civilian intelligence organization. Two fundamental considerations
shaped that Act: the United States would not establish an organization that coupled foreign and
domestic intelligence functions, and the FBI's domestic jurisdiction would be preserved. To
satisfy these aims, the Act provided that the CIA would not have police, subpoena, or law
enforcement powers and would not perform internal security functions.
363


Generations of intelligence professionals have been trained in the belief that the CIA
should not play an internal security role. They also learned that sensitive information should be
disclosed only to those with a demonstrable "need to know" the information within the rigidities
of a national security classification system. In addition, law enforcement personnel have long
recognized that confidentiality, protection of witnesses, and secrecy of grand jury information are
essential to the successful investigation and prosecution of crimes. Thus, in the law-enforcement
and foreign intelligence professions, security practices and strict limits on sharing information
have become second nature.
The division between foreign intelligence and law enforcement is illustrated in the
different procedures developed for law-enforcement and foreign-intelligence electronic
surveillance and searches.
[Page 383]
The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution requires a judicial warrant for most physical
searches for law enforcement purposes. In 1967, the Supreme Court held in Katz v. United States,
389 U.S. 347, that the Constitution requires that law enforcement officers engaged in electronic
surveillance in criminal investigations also obtain a warrant.
The 1967 decision stated that it was not addressing the question of whether electronic
surveillance for foreign intelligence required a warrant. However, in 1972, the Court held that a
domestic group could not be subjected to warrantless electronic surveillance, even if authorized by
the President or Attorney General, unless a connection was established between the group and a
foreign power. The government's argument that surveillance was necessary to collect intelligence
about the group as part of an "internal security" or "domestic security" investigation was not
sufficient to override the Constitutional warrant requirement. The Court explicitly did not address
the President's surveillance power with respect to foreign powers.
A few years later, Congress conducted extensive investigations into the activities of U.S.
intelligence agencies, including warrantless electronic surveillance of citizens who were not agents
of a foreign power and warrantless physical searches purportedly to identify subversives and
protect intelligence sources and methods. These investigations led to the enactment of the Foreign
Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA).
364


FISA established a special court in response to the argument that the judiciary was not
equipped to review requests for foreign intelligence surveillances. Recognizing that intelligence
and law enforcement interests would coincide in many cases where foreign intelligence
surveillance is appropriate, such as espionage and terrorism investigations, the Act permits
information produced by surveillance to be shared with law enforcement. However, to ensure that
the division between foreign-intelligence and law-enforcement surveillance was maintained, the
Act required a certification that "the purpose" of a proposed FISA surveillance was collection of
foreign-intelligence information.
[Page 384]
In the early 1980s, the law enforcement and intelligence communities often worked
together often in counterintelligence and counternarcotics investigations. Law enforcement
agencies became more acutely aware in the course of this collaboration of the evidentiary
complications that could arise as a result of using intelligence information in law enforcement
efforts. For example, defense attorneys seeking discovery of investigative information relating to
the guilt or innocence of their clients could move to have charges dismissed, if the government
withheld information on the basis of national security. Thus, increased interaction between law
enforcement and intelligence agencies required that procedures be devised to disseminate
intelligence for law enforcement use while protecting intelligence sources and methods. For
example, intelligence agencies provided information to law enforcement organizations "for lead
purposes only," so as to allow those organizations to act on the information without its becoming
entwined in criminal prosecutions.
Personnel within the Justice Department and United States Attorneys' Offices were given
responsibility for insulating law enforcement personnel from intelligence information while
finding ways for them to benefit from it. These arrangements came to be known as "walls."
To avoid court rulings that FISA surveillances were illegal because foreign intelligence
was not their "primary purpose," Department of Justice lawyers began to limit contacts between
FBI personnel involved in these activities and DOJ personnel involved in criminal investigations.
One result of this approach was that the then Counsel for Intelligence Policy at DOJ, the official
365


most responsible for dealing with the FISA Court, was recused from handling FISA applications
on al-Qa'ida because she had worked with prosecutors on the embassy bombing prosecution.
The Attorney General issued procedures in 1995 regulating FBI foreign intelligence
investigations in which FISA was used and potential criminal activity was discovered. These
procedures required notice and coordination among the FBI, DOJ's Criminal Division, and its
Office of Intelligence Policy and Review (OIPR). In November 2001, the FISA Court adopted
these procedures.
[Page 385]
The wall in FISA matters became thicker and higher over time, as the FISA Court
explained in a May 2002 opinion rejecting procedural changes proposed by the Attorney General:
[T]o preserve . . . the appearance and the fact that FISA [was] not being used sub
rosa for criminal investigations, the Court routinely approved the use of
information screening "walls" proposed by the government in its applications.
Under the normal "wall" procedures, where there were separate intelligence and
criminal investigations, or a single counter-espionage investigation with
overlapping intelligence and criminal interests, FBI criminal investigators and
[DOJ] prosecutors were not allowed to review all of the raw FISA [information]
lest they become de facto partners in the FISA [operations]. Instead, a screening
mechanism, or person, usually the chief legal counsel in an FBI field office, or an
assistant U.S. attorney not involved in the overlapping criminal investigation,
would review all of the raw [information] and pass on only that information which
might be relevant evidence. In unusual cases . . . , [DOJ] lawyers in OIPR acted as
the "wall." In significant cases, . . . such as the bombings of the U.S. embassies in
Africa, . . . where criminal investigations of FISA targets were being conducted
concurrently, and prosecution was likely, this Court became the "wall" so that
FISA information could not be disseminated to criminal prosecutors without the
Court's approval.
The thicket of procedures, reviews, and certifications regarding FISA information and
contact between foreign-intelligence and criminal investigators led to confusion and error. An FBI
attorney noted in an interview that, as detail was added to certain FISA applications, the Court
began to expect that level of detail in all applications. Thus, an application to renew a surveillance
of an intelligence officer of a foreign government that might have originally required two
paragraphs in support grew to many pages, increasing the possibility of error in details.
In March 2000, the Department of Justice discovered substantive errors in factual
applications presented to the FISA Court. By September 2000, the Department identified errors in
366


about seventy-five FISA matters, and in March 2001 notified the FISA Court of additional errors.
In response, the Court required that all DOJ personnel involved in FISA matters certify that they
understood that FISA information could not be shared with criminal prosecutors without the
Court's approval and an FBI agent involved with the erroneous filings was barred from the Court.
While the Department attempted to correct the process that had led to erroneous [page 386] filings,
a large number of FISA surveillances, including many related to international terrorism, expired in
the spring and summer of 2001.
[The consequences of the FISA Court's approach to the Wall between intelligence
gathering and law enforcement before September 11 were extensive. FBI personnel involved in
FISA matters feared the fate of the agent who had been barred and began to avoid even the most
pedestrian contact with personnel in criminal components of the Bureau or DOJ because it could
result in intensive scrutiny by OIPR and the FISA Court. In addition, because NSA was not
certain that it could identify reporting that came from FISA derived information, it began to
indicate on all reports of terrorism-related information that the content could not be shared with
law enforcement personnel without FISA Court approval].
The various walls have had other consequences of direct relevance to the Joint Inquiry.
For example, a CIA employee spoke to two FBI employees in January 2000 about the activities of
future hijacker Khalid al-Mihdhar in Malaysia, but did not tell them that he had a U.S. visa. The
CIA officer stated in an e-mail at the time that the FBI would be brought "into the loop," only
after "something concrete" was developed "leading us to the criminal arena or to known FBI
cases." Perhaps reflecting the deadening effect of the long standing wall between CIA and FBI,
the FBI agents reportedly thanked the CIA employee and "stated that this was a fine approach,"
although the FISA wall did not apply in this case.
Even in late August 2001, when the CIA told the FBI, State, INS, and Customs that Khalid
al-Mihdhar, Nawaf al-Hazmi, and two other "Bin Laden-related individuals" were in the United
States, FBI Headquarters refused to accede to the New York field office recommendation that a
criminal investigation be opened, which might allow greater resources to be dedicated to the
search for the future hijackers than would be available in an intelligence investigation. This was
based on Headquarters' reluctance to utilize intelligence information to draw the connections
367


between al-Mihdhar and the USS Cole bombing necessary to open a criminal investigation. FBI
attorneys took the position that criminal investigators "CAN NOT" (emphasis original) be
involved and that criminal information discovered in the intelligence case would be "passed over
the wall" according to proper procedures. An agent in the FBI's New York field office responded
by e-mail, [page 387] "Whatever has happened to this, someday someone will die and, wall or
not, the public will not understand why we were not more effective in throwing every resource we
had at certain problems." Again, FBI Headquarters applied FISA "walls" to a non-FISA case.
The USA PATRIOT Act, enacted in response to September 11, provided unambiguous
authority for the Attorney General and other law enforcement officials to disclose to the Director
of Central Intelligence foreign intelligence collected in the course of a criminal investigation. The
Act also requires that intelligence be "a significant purpose" of a FISA search rather than "the
purpose." These provisions were intended to reduce, if not remove restrictions that had grown up
around FISA operations. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Review Court, in its first opinion
since being established in 1979, has affirmed that the Act permits the free flow of intelligence to
prosecutors, who may direct and control FISA surveillances.

XI. Technology Gaps
Technology is critical to the Intelligence Community's efforts to collect, analyze, and
disseminate information on terrorist identities, locations, capabilities, plans, and intentions. The
Joint Inquiry examined a number of issues in order to assess how well-postured the Community
was in regard to its use of technology as well as its understanding of the use of technology by
terrorists. The NSA, which, of all the intelligence agencies, relies the most on technical collection,
received most of the attention.
A. Technology Gaps at NSA
Al-Qa'ida members employed a variety of communications technologies, including
modern ones such as [ ], in the conduct
of their activities. In his testimony, NSA Director Lt. Gen. Hayden lamented the fact that
terrorists have access to the three-trillion-dollar-a-year communications industry. The Joint
368


Inquiry attempted to examine NSA's current and planned capabilities to exploit these types of
modern communications as well as the tools being used and developed to help linguists and
analysts process and share the volumes of information collected. In addition, the Joint Inquiry
[page 388] examined the health of the technical collection platforms from which the majority of
counterterrorism intelligence information is derived.
The assessment presented below draws on testimony, interviews, and some NSA
documentation.
[ ]
[
].
[
].
[ ]
[
369


].
[Page 389]
[
].
[ ]
[
].
[ ]
[
].
[
]
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[Page 390] [
].
F. Selection and Filtering for [ ]Communications
Much of NSA's pre-September 11 success against terrorist targets was due to the ability to
[ ] based on [ ] interest rather
than randomly choosing among millions of communications. With the proliferation of multimedia
communications, even better selection and filtering techniques will be required.
One area of increased attention is [
] an area in which NSA has made only limited progress. [
]. Unfortunately, NSA's selection capabilities suffer from a critical
deficiency, [ ] . The solution to
this deficiency is well understood and estimated to cost less than $1 million to implement.
However, the Joint Inquiry learned in interviews that even though [ ] have been
available for many years, and even though NSA has had recent significant funding increases, the
program manager is still "scrounging" for funds to pay for this upgrade that would not be
completed until 2004.
G. Analyst Tools
NSA often did not provide analysts with sufficient tools to exploit the data collected. For
example, NSA in 1998 did not have the capability to [
], NSA's Analysis and Production Chief, noted, "At that time the
systems that were in place were high tailored, not integratable. The plug and play was only
beginning to come into play at that point in time. So a tailored solution that you might be able to
architect at home wasn't necessarily one that you could deploy across [ ] or
within a CT shop." [ ] noted, however, that this capability now existed.
[Page 391]
However, field operators still do not have such tools, even though they were available at
NSA Headquarters after September 11. During a visit to the [ ],
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Joint Inquiry personnel found [ ] linguists frustrated with Headquarters support for language
tools. In fact, one of their primary concerns was the inability to display [
]. They noted that they could purchase software on the local economy that can display
[ ] but are prohibited from doing so because the software is not an
"approved application" for their computer platform. "When they officially requested such a
capability through official channels, they were told that something could be available in 18
months." They noted that some computers they still use are 1993 vintage UNIX machines that
cannot even display ordinary graphical user interfaces correctly due to color graphics limitations.
H. Collection Platforms
NSA collects signals intelligence using a variety of methods or platforms. Often these
platforms, which have a sizable infrastructure investment, serve a myriad of intelligence missions.
In identifying these critical platforms, the Joint Inquiry examined statistics on counterterrorismrelated
reporting. The following chart shows the source of counterterrorism reports per technical
collection platform both pre- and post-September 11:
Collection Platform All
Counterterrorism
Reports 10 May 01
- 10 Sep 01
All
Counterterrorism
Reports 11 Sep 01
- 11 Jan 02
Percent
Increase
[ ][ ][ ][]
NSA spending increases after September 11, however, are not focused on several of the
most productive sources of counterterrorism information. [ ] [Page 392]
372


[
].
The evidence suggests that an effective counterterrorism effort requires [
]. In testimony, Lt. Gen. Hayden acknowledged, [
]. Lt.
Gen. Hayden also stated that in his effort to develop capabilities against new communications
technologies by the end of the 1990s, "This meant taking money away from current, still active,
still producing activities. . . ." Since the attacks, NSA has focused on its transformation strategy.
Lt. Gen. Hayden testified:
"Shortly after September 11th, I had a meeting of my senior leaders. I asked them
the following question: Is there any part of our transformation roadmap that we
should change as a result of the attacks? Unanimously, they responded, 'No, but
we need to accelerate these changes.' With the money the President has requested
and Congress has provided, we have done just that."
NSA's commitment to the future viability of the [ ] collection platforms remains
unclear, despite their value.
XII. Technical Collection of Terrorist Communications
[Responsibility for most of the technical collection of terrorist communications falls under
the purview of the National Security Agency, although the CIA and the FBI also conduct technical
collection against terrorism. NSA and other agencies learned valuable information from
intercepting terrorist communications and prevented several planned attacks. Indeed, numerous
373


officials throughout the policy and Intelligence Community told the Joint Inquiry that [page 393]
Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) was a valuable source of information on al-Qa'ida. Exploitation of
terrorist communications, however, was uneven at best and suffered from insufficient investment.
Al-Qa'ida was only one of several high priority targets and a difficult one].
A. NSA's Organizational Structure for Collecting Terrorist Communications
Within the NSA, the Signals Directorate, which was created in February 2001 by
combining the Operations and Technology Directorates, has the primary SIGINT mission. Within
the Signals Directorate, the Counterterrorism Product Line has the lead for counterterrorism
reporting. [
]:
o [ ];
o [ ];
o [ ];
o [
];
o [ ];
o [ ].
B. SIGINT and the September 11 Attacks
Prior to 11 September 2001, NSA had no specific information indicating the date, time,
place, or participants in an attack on the United States. Numerous NSA personnel, including
374


Lt. [page 394] General Hayden, the Director of the NSA (DIRNSA), repeatedly related this
conclusion to the Joint Inquiry.
[NSA had intercepts on September 10, 2001 that, in retrospect, appear to relate to the
September 11 attacks. These intercepts were processed on September 11 (after the terrorist
attacks) and reported early on September 12, 2001. Although each of the products referred to
something occurring the following day, neither intercept had specifics on the attack, location, or
targets. This wording was similar to other non-specific threats occasionally reported by NSA over
the past several years].
In an effort to place the September 10 messages in perspective, General Hayden testified,
"I should also note that [over a period of time] earlier that summer we had intercepted and
reported over 30 such imminent attack messages and that since September 11 [NSA continues to
report similar activities]."
In fact, following September 11, there was a flurry of similar [ ] intercepts that were
not associated with any terrorist attacks:
o [
];
o [ ];
o [
]; and
o [
].
[Page 395]
375


C. A Chronological Review of NSA Collection Efforts Against al-Qa'ida
[In the years before the September 11 attacks, NSA steadily increased its collection on al-
Qa'ida. Initial Intelligence Community efforts focused on Bin Ladin himself as a terrorist
financier. As the 1990s wore on, this effort expanded to collection on Bin Ladin's associates and
the al-Qa'ida organization. [
].
The following review is largely drawn from Joint Inquiry interviews. It highlights
important milestones in NSA's collection against al-Qa'ida.
[
]. Bin Ladin was viewed almost exclusively by the
Intelligence Community as a terrorist financier until 1996].
[In 1996, CTC established its Bin Ladin unit as the Intelligence Community focal point for
tracking Bin Ladin. [
]. The first phase of the unit's Bin Ladin project was strategic information
gathering, [ ]. It was at this
point that the Intelligence Community began focusing on the Bin Ladin target as a terrorist support
network in addition to being a terrorist financier].
[
].
[Page 396]
376


[Before Bin Ladin issued his February 1998 anti-American fatwa, [
]. Following the fatwa, the Director of
NSA appealed to [ ] partners, few of which were focused on counterterrorism at the
time, for counterterrorism assistance. [
].
[Following the August 1998 East Africa Embassy bombings, NSA instituted a much higher
operations tempo, which never really subsided. After the bombings, at the request of FBI's New
York Field Office, NSA provided all reports that appeared related to the attacks. This information
was useful to the FBI].
[In the fall of 1998, NSA lost the ability to listen to Bin Ladin on his satellite phone. This
loss was probably the result of, among other things, a media leak. [
].
[
].
In February 1999, the Department of State demarched the Taliban, [
].
[Page 397]
377


[
].
The Millennium threat surge began in November 1999. The Millennium threat was a top
priority for the entire Intelligence Community, and NSA personnel worked around the clock
supporting CIA's disruption campaign. During this time, Jordanian officials arrested terrorists
linked to al-Qa'ida. [
].
[
].
Several other advances occurred throughout 2000. [
].
[Page 398]
Following the USS Cole bombing in October 2000, NSA consolidated some of its
counterterrorism efforts [
378


].
[By the winter of 2000, NSA noted a general rise in threat activity. The Intelligence
Community assessed the threat to be mostly oriented abroad. In spring 2001, NSA noted another
significant rise in threat activity. Again, the Intelligence Community assessed the threat to be
directed abroad].
[Throughout June and July 2001, another rise in threat activity was identified. NSA
analysts noted vague communications traffic indicating that something was afoot. Intelligence
Community speculation centered on whether the likely target was abroad. The U.S. military was
sufficiently concerned that an attack would occur on the Arabian Peninsula that "ThreatCon
Delta" was declared and all ships in the area were sent to sea].
[Military customers asked NSA/CT analysts if the threat were real. NSA counterterrorism
analysts reviewed the evidence and were confident that it was. [
].
[In the spring, the Intelligence Community reported indications that an attack may have
been postponed. The Joint Inquiry was told that this led the Intelligence Community to believe
that a real terrorist attack had been averted].
[Page 399]
D. Technical Collection Problems and Limits at NSA
Technical collection was limited. This was due to both the nature of the target and
missteps by the NSA and other U.S. government elements.
379


a. Difficulties of Gaining Actionable Intelligence on al-Qa'ida
[Several senior NSA officials, including the Deputy Director of NSA and Chief of the
counterterrorism organization contended in interviews and testimony that information on terrorist
plans and intentions was often not available [
]. Even when information was intercepted, the analyst often must interpret arcane,
circumspect discussions, put them into context, and identify linkages to other known targets or
activities. NSA's Director stated: "…. we do not anticipate being able to provide detailed threat
information from SIGINT in most cases." Indeed, SIGINT did not provide significant intelligence
to prevent other major terrorist attacks against U.S. interests such as Khobar Towers, the East
Africa U.S. Embassies, and USS Cole].
[However, these arguments are somewhat belied by evidence uncovered during the Joint
Inquiry that identified several instances of communications providing some specifics in terms of a
timeframe and general location for terrorist activity. In addition, the FBI acquired toll records that
five or six hijackers communicated extensively abroad after they arrived in the United States. The
Intelligence Community had no information prior to September 11, 2001 regarding these
communications, and, as a result, does not know what clues they may have contained].
[
]
[Page 400] [ ]. The Director of NSA, testifying about the
targeting challenges facing NSA, said "cracking into these targets is hard - very hard - and
SIGINT operations require considerable patience - sometimes over years - before they mature."
380


b. Difficulties in Adjusting to Terrorist Targets
The communications sophistication of stateless terrorists in general and al-Qa'ida in
particular clearly surprised NSA officials. The rise of al-Qa'ida seemingly paralleled in some
respects what NSA's Director referred to as "the telecommunications and information revolution"
of the past ten years. He noted that al-Qaida operatives are skilled users of the global
telecommunications infrastructure, "al-Qa'ida is in many respects different from NSA's typical
SIGINT targets of the past 50 years."
In spring 2001, NSA began to change direction: rather than analyzing what was collected,
NSA would dissect its targets' communications practices to determine what to collect. This is
commonly referred to at NSA as hunting rather than gathering. This procedure was in its infancy
when the September 11 terrorist attacks occurred.
c. Problems Keeping Pace with [ ] Advances before September 11
[
]. The Director of NSA did
acknowledge NSA's deficiencies in dealing with some forms of modern communications, but was
also quick to credit his organization for working on the building blocks before September 11, so
that [Page 401] fielding additional capabilities after September 11 was expedited].
NSA's Director apparently felt handcuffed in his effort to move forward in this area, citing
his inability to "churn" (redirect) some $200 million into "new age signals ... because we were
going to erode our coverage of [other intelligence issues] as part of this effort." Indeed, General
381


Hayden told the Joint Inquiry that he was severely criticized on several occasions for abandoning
so-called legacy communication paths in favor of developing robust new capabilities.
[There is some apparent inconsistency concerning NSA's concentration. On at least one
occasion, the Director of NSA asserted that it was not so much NSA's inability to collect some
modern communications, but other factors. The bulk of the information available to the Joint
Inquiry, however, suggests NSA was behind the curve in this area and only began to catch up after
September 11, 2001].
E. Insufficient Resources for Counterterrorism at NSA
Although NSA has had difficulty in generating consistent, accurate personnel numbers for
the Joint Inquiry, it appears from interviews and the limited information provided that personnel
employed in the counterterrorism organization were largely static over several years, despite
repeated efforts by local managers to increase the numbers of linguists and analysts. General
Hayden testified that in hindsight he would have liked to have doubled his resources against al-
Qa'ida.
NSA acknowledged it had insufficient numbers of linguists and analysts on the
counterterrorism target. This acknowledgment seems to have come from leadership in retrospect,
while those closer to the counterterrorism problem stated to the Joint Inquiry they had been
requesting personnel increases for years, mostly to little or no avail.
[Page 402]
Declining overall resources made it difficult to dramatically expand counterterrorism
coverage. As discussed in more detail in a separate chapter, for much of the 1990s NSA's budget
and manpower were steadily reduced to a point that all collection efforts were impeded. Cuts
were "salami-sliced" across the agency rather than specifically targeted, a tactic employed by NSA
for many years to cope with declines while still trying to satisfy an increasing number of
intelligence requirements, and competing priorities (especially force protection requirements) that
drained scarce resources, such as Arabic linguists. Funds for [ ] collection,
historically two of NSA's most lucrative reporting sources, were essentially put in a maintenance
382


mode, with investment focused on other collection sources that NSA felt needed to be developed
to have a more balanced SIGINT collection system.
There was little significant, sustained reaction to the DCI's declaration of war on al-Qa'ida
in 1998. Indeed, LTG Hayden (who became Director of NSA in 1999) noted that by 1998, NSA
was already at a heightened counterterrorism posture and thus no additional wholesale shifts in
resources were made at that time. LTG Minihan, the Director of NSA at the time of the DCI's
declaration, told the Joint Inquiry that he felt the DCI was speaking for the CIA only. In his view,
the DCI generally left Intelligence Community matters to the head of the Community
Management Staff.
[Numerous individuals noted that counterterrorism was but one of several seemingly
equally high priority targets levied on NSA prior to September 11. Although the Director of the
Signals Directorate stated that in addition to al-Qa'ida, [ ] was the only other Tier 0
(highest priority) target in the 1998-2001 timeframe, there did not seem to be an objective method
for resource assignment within NSA, nor guidance from the DCI. The Director of NSA in his
testimony referred to the PDD-35 requirements system as "cumbersome." The requirements
system in place on the eve of September 11 consisted of some 1,500 standing requirements calling
for some 200,000 detailed pieces of information - ad hoc requirements that were received
telephonically or via e-mail, and requests for additional information. In response, NSA juggled
resources to cope with competing requirements but did not make dramatic cuts in other priorities
to dramatically expand counterterrorism coverage].
[Page 403]
The NSA Director also cautioned in his testimony, "If these hearings were about the war
that had broken out in Korea or the crisis in the Taiwan Straits that had taken us by surprise or if
we had been surprised by a conflict in South Asia or if we had lost an aircraft over Iraq or if
American forces had suffered casualties in Bosnia or Kosovo, in any of these cases I would be
here telling you that I had not put enough analysts or linguists against the problem. We needed
more analysts and linguists across the agency, period."
383


F. Technical Collection at CIA
Most of the technical collection operations at the CIA have a human access element, and
the primary offices with responsibility are in the Directorate of Operations. The Counterterrorist
Center has a Technical Operations Branch that is responsible for orchestrating special technical
collection operations for terrorist targets. Some of these operations are conducted in concert with
NSA, [
].
[
]. [Despite this [ ] effort, a senior CIA official testified that in
hindsight he would have liked to have had more [
].
G. NSA/CIA Disputes Over [ ] Collection
[NSA and CIA failed to agree on an approach to collect [ ],
and both agencies independently developed a capability [
]. After considerable discussion with NSA and CIA personnel, the Joint Inquiry [page
404] determined that CIA wished to have [ ] as soon as possible [
], and NSA said it could not deliver in the requested
timeframe. Accordingly, CIA developed its own capability while NSA continued with its
program, which ultimately was delivered some 15 months early. In the end, peace was made and
over time, NSA and CIA began to benefit from each other's capabilities].
Especially during periods of budgetary shortfalls, the competitive example just cited
appears particularly wasteful. To avoid similar disputes, NSA and CIA have created the Senior
Partnership Advisory Group (SPAG).
384


H. Technical Collection at FBI
The FBI performs considerable technical collection within the United States to support its
own intelligence and criminal investigations. It also supports the collection efforts of Intelligence
Community agencies, [
]. These activities are conducted pursuant to the authority of
the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978. [
].
FBI was conducting relatively few technical collection operations against al-Qa'ida before
September 11. The intelligence produced was of relatively limited value because the targets did
not appear to be involved in significant activity.
FBI officials indicated that after September 11 a joint program had begun with NSA [
]. FBI is responsible for collecting the information. NSA
receives the information and is responsible for reporting to the Intelligence Community and
[page 405] intelligence customers. [ ]. FBI personnel maintain that collaboration [
] can still be improved.
XIII. HUMINT Collection
Three agencies in the Intelligence Community have primary responsibility for HUMINT
(intelligence from human sources) collection: the CIA, the FBI, and the DIA. Before September
11, none of these agencies had collected any information through HUMINT sources warning of
the September 11 attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center.
385


[The agencies' attempts to use human penetrations to gather intelligence on al-Qa'ida
steadily grew throughout the 1990s, until by the end of the decade it was a top priority. The CIA
met with the most success through its foreign liaison relationships and with volunteers. It made
only limited progress with unilateral attempts to place human assets in al-Qa'ida's leadership. The
DIA's Defense Humint Services (DHS) had some success against the Taliban, but little against al-
Qa'ida. The FBI collected valuable information on Islamic radical activity in the United States,
but the Bureau's focus was often overseas. In addition, the FBI often failed to coordinate its
human collection].
The Joint Inquiry collected information about the agencies' pursuit of HUMINT through
interviews and reviews of documents. The Joint Inquiry was frequently unable to catalog or audit
the HUMINT sources from the information delivered by CIA because the documents were heavily
redacted for source protection. This did decrease the Joint Inquiry's ability to judge the breadth
and depth of the HUMINT program at CIA.
A. CIA Human Intelligence Collection
[The CIA has tried to collect on Bin Ladin and al-Qa'ida since the mid-1990s. Collecting
human intelligence on al-Qa'ida became an increasingly important priority at the CIA, and in
1996, the Counterterrorist Center (CTC) set up a special Bin Ladin unit to increase its focus on
[page 406] Bin Ladin. The CIA used the three traditional mechanisms for developing HUMINT
or field intelligence: unilateral sources, volunteers, and liaison relationships].
The CIA made the penetration of al-Qa'ida a top priority. The DCI characterized the
counterterrorism effort against Bin Ladin and his organization to the Committees on June 18, 2002
in this way:
We understood that our first priority was to try and stop the next attack that was
going to occur and operate against these people around the world, and then
penetrate a sanctuary through whatever means we could, to build the [capabilities]
that would allow us to mount these kinds of operations. . . . As we race through [a]
period of threat when we're disrupting specific attacks against embassies and
overseas facilities and thousands of people would be dead, except for what we did,
I don't remember anybody saying you guys are too timid, you're not working it
hard enough or you haven't expended a level of effort.
386


[To improve collection on, and efforts to disrupt, al-Qa'ida, a special unit focused on Bin
Ladin was created in early 1996. The Bin Ladin unit initially had fewer than 20 people, and
included operations officers, analysts who acted as targeteers, and desk officers who directed field
operations. At the start, it did not have any case officers of its own deployed to the field. To
conduct operations overseas for intelligence collection or disruption, the unit had to work through
the Directorate of Operations (DO) area divisions and request the use of their operations officers
to pursue al-Qa'ida related leads. With the passage of time and the increased priority of al-Qa'ida,
more people were added to the Bin Ladin unit and more case officers were assigned to the field
either permanently or temporarily. The area divisions also increased their case officers' efforts
against the target].
However, Joint Inquiry interviews indicate that even into 2001, the Bin Ladin unit knew it
needed more people - particularly experienced Headquarters desk officers and targeters - to
effectively meet the HUMINT challenge. In early Spring 2001 briefing to the DCI, CTC
[page 407] requested hiring a small group of contractors not involved in day-to-day crises to digest
vast quantities of information and develop targeting strategies. The briefing emphasized that the
unit needed people, not money.
The penetration of al-Qa'ida by an Intelligence Community human asset is an
exceptionally difficult task. Intelligence Community officials in several agencies told the Joint
Inquiry that members of Usama Bin Ladin's inner circle have close bonds established by kinship,
wartime experience, and long-term association. Information about major terrorist plots was not
widely shared within al-Qa'ida, and many of Bin Ladin's closest associates lived in war-torn
Afghanistan. The United States had no official presence in that country and did not formally
recognize the Taliban regime, which viewed foreigners with suspicion. Pakistan is the principal
access point to southern Afghanistan, where al-Qa'ida was particularly active, but U.S.-Pakistani
relations were strained by Pakistani nuclear tests in 1998 and a military coup in 1999. This was an
exceedingly difficult operational environment in which to conduct clandestine operations.
[Nevertheless, CIA officials recognized the imperative of penetrating al-Qa'ida,
particularly at the leadership level. A CTC presentation made to the CIA senior leadership on
December 2, 1999 noted:
387


o Without penetrations of [the] UBL organization… [
].
o While we need to disrupt operations…we need to also recruit sources inside
UBL's organization.
o Realize that recruiting terrorist sources is difficult…but we must make an
attempt].
[On the next day, the CTC briefed the National Security Council Small Group about the
CIA's lack of sources and the importance of recruitment:
We will continue with disruptions of operations and renditions…but with an
increased emphasis on recruiting sources; at this time, we have no penetrations
inside UBL's leadership].
[Page 408]
[Because this target was such a high priority, the CIA tried many unilateral avenues to
obtain access to Bin Ladin and his inner circle. Interviews of CIA officials and documents
provided to the Joint Inquiry indicate the CIA tried to [
]
According to documents reviewed by the Joint Inquiry Staff, [
]: "[
]." Despite these creative attempts, former CTC officers told the Joint
Inquiry that before September 11 the CIA had no penetrations of al-Qa'ida's leadership, and the
Agency never got actionable intelligence [ ].
In interviews with current and former CTC officers, the Joint Inquiry learned that [
388


].
The CIA frequently draws on an active set of volunteer sources, [ ], to gain
intelligence. [
].
[Page 409]
[Volunteers needed particular scrutiny, as some of these individuals were suspected of
being sent in from foreign intelligence services as counterintelligence assets, or they might have
been al-Qa'ida provocations. [
].
[
].
Critical to the successful collection of intelligence and to the disruption of terrorist
activities were the relationships forged with foreign liaison services. (See Section II). Because of
the scarce personnel resources initially assigned to this target, and because of the intense pressure
to capture Bin Ladin himself, CTC chose to have liaison services develop sources wherever
possible to support the U.S. mission. In addition, as noted in section II, liaison services had
389


additional capabilities that made them particularly effective against the al-Qa'ida target. The DCI,
the senior leadership of the CTC, and the leadership of the Directorate of Operations were actively
engaged in building and maintaining these liaison relationships.
Developing relationships with liaison services paid off handsomely when there was some
actionable intelligence about a terrorist or a cell. For example, in July 2001, a Bin Ladin operative
was arrested in the [
]. Because of this arrest, a plot to bomb an American Embassy in Europe was
thwarted.
[Page 410]
[The liaison relationship worked extremely well with the [ ], as well as with other
services in the [ ]. Liaison sources often provided valuable information about the al-
Qa'ida network, but the CIA could not rely on them to provide access to Bin Ladin's leadership.
Moreover, in other parts of the world, abdicating collection to foreign partners meant the CIA
obtained precious little information. According to one U.S. Government official, if liaison
services did not want to help, for example in certain Western countries, there was little that could
be done, by CIA].
B. DIA Human Intelligence Collection
[DIA's Defense HUMINT Service also plays a role in clandestine collection, though on a
much smaller scale than CIA. According to General Dayton, the Director of DHS, after the
Embassy bombings DHS "got excited" about Bin Ladin and al Qa'ida. They searched their old
agent files and reestablished contact with [ ] sources that could help them with terrorist targets.
[ ] former highly placed agents were reactivated. Prior to September 11, at any one
time, DHS had [ ] active. Based on those sources they produced several hundred
intelligence reports from fall 1998 to September 2001.
Most of the DHS sources were focused on [ ] and had little direct reporting
capability against [ ]. DHS characterized its [ ] sources as well placed
and extremely useful in the post-September 11 air campaign targeting effort. [
390


].
C. FBI Human Intelligence Collection
The FBI attempted to develop specific intelligence that could be acted upon before
September 11 by penetrating terrorist organizations operating in the United States. Before
September 11, the FBI had 70 full field investigations of individuals with al-Qa'ida ties.
[Page 411] However, Bureau and Department of Justice policy and practice may have hampered
the FBI's coverage of the radical fundamentalist community in this country. Much of the FBI's
effort against al-Qa'ida was actually expended overseas, with the investigations of the terrorist
attacks against the US Embassies in Africa in 1998 and the USS Cole in 2000.
Recruiting sources in fundamentalist communities within the United States is difficult for
many of the reasons noted above with regard to the penetration of al-Qa'ida in general. However,
even those FBI agents who were skilled at developing such sources faced a number of difficulties
that may have hampered the Bureau's ability to gather intelligence on terrorist activities in the
United States. According to several agents, for example, FBI Headquarters and field managers
were often unwilling to approve potentially controversial activity involving human sources that
could provide counterterrorism intelligence.
The 1996 Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, which specifically outlawed
providing material support to terrorism, posed a particular problem. If an FBI source was
involved in illegal funding or in terrorist training, the agent responsible for the source had to
obtain approval from Headquarters and the Department of Justice to allow the source to engage in
the illegal activity. This reportedly was a difficult process that sometimes took as long as six
months. Because terrorist sources frequently engaged in activity that violated the 1996 Act, the
cumbersome approval process negatively affected the Bureau's ability to operate more sources
successfully.
Sending sources recruited in the United States overseas proved particularly difficult. Some
FBI agents also saw the requirement that the Director of Central Intelligence approve such
391


operations as a problem, claiming that the CIA took advantage of this requirement to prevent FBI
sources from operating overseas. Another FBI agent stated that FBI Headquarters management
did not readily approve overseas travel for sources because of its belief that the Bureau should
focus on activity within the United States. When management did approve such operations, it
often declined to allow the responsible agents to accompany the sources while traveling overseas,
a decision some agents believe significantly diminished the quality of the operations.
[Page 412]
The Joint Inquiry was told by several officials that the FBI was not using its network of
counterterrorism sources in the most effective and coordinated manner. The Bureau focused
source reporting on cases and subjects within specific field offices and did not adequately use
sources to support a national counterterrorism intelligence program. In 1999, the FBI received
reporting that a terrorist organization was planning to send students to the United States for
aviation training. In response, an operational unit at FBI Headquarters instructed twenty-four field
offices to "task sources" for information. However, it appears that no FBI sources were asked
about the matter. The problems experienced in Phoenix and Minneapolis - both of which are
discussed in separate sections - further suggest that the FBI did not effectively task its sources in
the United States to follow up on suspicious activity.
[This problem was painfully manifest in August 2001,when the FBI was made aware by
CIA that terrorist suspects Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar were in the United States.
Neither the FBI field offices that were involved in the search nor FBI Headquarters thought to ask
FBI field offices to ask their sources whether they were aware of the whereabouts of the two
individuals, who later took part in the September 11 attacks. A San Diego FBI field office agent
who handled such sources, including the source who had numerous contacts with Nawaf al-Hazmi
and Khalid al-Mihdhar, insisted to the Joint Inquiry that he would have been able to find them
through his sources].
Finally, that same agent testified that he had "never" discussed any FBI interest in Bin
Ladin or al-Qa'ida with that source prior to September 11, "because that was not an issue in terms
of my assignments. I was interested in Hamas, Hizbollah, Popular Front for the Liberation of
Palestine, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the whole different range." He
stated that "we knew [al-Qa'ida] was an important person or important organization. But we
392


didn't have any presence. We didn't have any cases and we didn't have any source information
that indicated that these guys were here in San Diego at that time."
[Page 413]
XIV. Summary of Joint Inquiry Review of Anthrax Attacks
In October 2001, the Congress, the United States Postal Service (USPS), and elements of
the domestic infrastructure were the targets of anthrax attacks that eventually killed five
Americans. The Joint Inquiry requested that the General Accounting Office review those attacks,
focusing on the difficulty of producing and spreading anthrax, mail as a delivery system, the status
of USPS efforts to detect anthrax, the federal investigation into the attacks, and how the
government is preparing for other incidents.
When the Joint Inquiry report was filed, the GAO investigation had been substantially
completed, with an initial finding that no consensus exists among experts regarding the ease with
which terrorists or a disgruntled scientist could effectively produce and disseminate anthrax on
U.S. soil. According to the GAO, technical experts believe that it would be very difficult to
overcome technical and operational challenges to produce and deliver biological warfare agents
sufficient to cause mass casualties.
According to the experts the GAO interviewed, delivery of anthrax by mail is not as
efficient a method of producing mass casualties as military technologies. However, in the public's
mind and in terms of economic damage, anthrax powder in the mail represents a potentially
significant problem. The USPS effort to defend against biological agents illustrates a key aspect
of homeland defense: the distinction between reactive and proactive operational environments.
Whereas the nation's posture had been to prevent attacks against military facilities, the anthrax
attacks targeted civilian facilities that are unprepared to react.
According to the GAO, the FBI is aware of numerous anthrax incidents throughout the
United States, which were random in nature and determined to be hoaxes. Because this was the
first time the FBI responded to an actual attack, however, there was some initial confusion about
the investigative roles and responsibilities of various agencies. The Bureau has recognized the
393


need to involve subject-matter experts and, as a result, its investigative teams include scientists,
criminal investigators, hazardous-material experts, investigators from other federal agencies, and
federal laboratories.
[Page 414]
As a result of the anthrax attacks, the FBI and other investigative agencies have increased
attention on chemical and biological threats. These agencies have reached agreements delineating
roles and responsibilities, increased liaison with public health officials, developed a Center for
Disease Control and FBI handbook for conducting investigations, and identified state and local
officials who need security clearances for access to classified information.
To date, no connection has been established between the anthrax attacks and the terrorist
attacks of September 11.
A copy of the GAO report can be found in the Appendix to this volume.
394


[Page 415]


PART FOUR-FINDING, DISCUSSION AND NARRATIVE REGARDING
CERTAIN SENSITIVE NATIONAL SECURITY MATTERS
20. Finding: [Through its investigation, the Joint Inquiry developed information
suggesting specific sources of foreign support for some of the September 11 hijackers while
they were in the United States. The Joint Inquiry's review confirmed that the Intelligence
Community also has information, much of which has yet to be independently verified,
concerning these potential sources of support. In their testimony, neither CIA nor FBI
officials were able to address definitively the extent of such support for the hijackers
globally or within the United States or the extent to which such support, if it exists, is
knowing or inadvertent in nature. Only recently, and at least in part due to the Joint
Inquiry's focus on this issue, did the FBI and CIA strengthen their efforts to address these
issues. In the view of the Joint Inquiry, this gap in U.S. intelligence coverage is
unacceptable, given the magnitude and immediacy of the potential risk to U.S. national
security. The Intelligence Community needs to address this area of concern as aggressively
and as quickly as possible].
Discussion: [The Joint Inquiry reviewed information in FBI and CIA documents
suggesting specific potential sources of foreign support for the September 11 hijackers. While
the Joint Inquiry uncovered this material during the course of its review of FBI and CIA
documents, it did not attempt to investigate and assess the accuracy and significance of this
information independently, recognizing that such a task would be beyond the scope of the Joint
[page 416] Inquiry. Instead, the Joint Inquiry referred a detailed compilation of information it
had uncovered in documents and interviews to the FBI and CIA for further investigation by the
Intelligence Community and, if appropriate, law enforcement agencies. A detailed summary of
the available information pertaining to this issue is included in the classified version of the Joint
Inquiry final report].
[It should be clear that this Joint Inquiry has made no final determinations as to the
reliability or sufficiency of the information regarding these issues that was found contained in
FBI and CIA documents. It was not the task of this Joint Inquiry to conduct the kind of
extensive investigation that would be required to determine the true significance of such alleged
support to the hijackers. On the one hand, it is possible that these kinds of connections could
suggest, as indicated in a CIA memorandum, "incontrovertible evidence that there is support for
these terrorists [---------------------------]." On the other hand, it is also possible that further
395

investigation of these allegations could reveal legitimate, and innocent, explanations for these
associations].
[Given the serious national security implications of this information, however, the
leadership of the Joint Inquiry is referring the Joint Inquiry Staff's compilation of relevant
information to both the FBI and the CIA for investigative review and appropriate investigative
and intelligence action].
[Page 416]
[ -
-------------------------------------------------------].
[
]:
o [
396
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In the October 10, 2002 closed hearing, FBI Director Mueller acknowledged that he
became aware of some of the facts regarding this issue only as a result of the investigative work
of the Joint Inquiry Staff:
I'm saying the sequence of events here, I think the staff probed and, as a result of
the probing, some facts came to light here and to me, frankly, that had not come
to light before, and perhaps would not have come to light had the staff not probed.
That's what I'm telling you. So I'm agreeing with you that the staff probing
brought out facts that may not have come to this Committee.
Senator DeWine: But what you're also saying, though, is that that probing then
brought facts to your attention.
Director Mueller: Yes.
422


GLOSSARY
OF
TERMS AND KEY NAMES

[Page 444]
GLOSSARY
OF
TERMS AND ACRONYMS
ACS FBI Automated Case System
Actionable Intelligence Intelligence information that is directly useful to customers for
immediate exploitation without having to go through the full
intelligence production process; it may address strategic or tactical
needs, close support of US negotiating teams, or action elements
dealing with such matters as international terrorism or narcotics.
AIG Assessments and Information Group - Counterterrorist Center's
analytic arm pre-September 11. After September 11th this office
became the Office of Terrorism Analysis.
Agent (1) A person who engages in clandestine intelligence activity under
the direction of an intelligence organization but who is not an
office, employee, or co-opted worker of that organization. (2) An
individual who acts under the direction of an intelligence agency or
security service to obtain, or assist in obtaining, information for
intelligence or counterintelligence purposes. (3) One who is
authorized or instructed to obtain or to assist in obtaining
information for intelligence or counterintelligence purposes.
Analysis A process in the production step of the intelligence cycle in which
intelligence information is subjected to systematic examination in
order to identify significant facts and derive conclusions therefrom.
Asset (1) Any resource - a person, group, relationship, instrument
installation, supply - at the disposition of an intelligence agency
for use in an operational or support role. (2) A person who
contributes to a clandestine mission but is not a fully controlled
agent.
[ ]
BW Biological Warfare
CBRN Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear
CDC FBI Chief Division Counsel (Chief Field Office Counsel)
424

CIA Central Intelligence Agency. An Intelligence Community agency
established under the National Security Council for the purpose of
coordinating the intelligence activities of several US departments
and agencies in the interest of national security. The CIA collects,
[page 445] produces, and disseminates foreign intelligence and
counterintelligence; conducts counterintelligence activities abroad;
collects, produces, and disseminates intelligence on foreign aspects
of narcotics production and trafficking; conducts special activities
approved by the President; and conducts research, development,
and procurement of technical systems and devices.
CIR Central Intelligence Report- A specific form of communicating
intelligence from the CIA to other agencies.
Clandestine Operation A preplanned secret intelligence collection activity or covert
political, economic, propaganda, or paramilitary action conducted
so as to assure the secrecy of the operation; encompasses both
clandestine collection and covert action.
Classification The determination that official information requires, in the interest
of national security, a specific degree of protection against
unauthorized disclosure, coupled with a designation signifying that
such a determination has been made; the designation is normally
termed a security classification and includes Confidential, Secret,
and Top Secret.
Compartmentation (1) Formal system of restricted access to intelligence activities,
such systems established by and/or managed under the cognizance
of the DCI to protect the sensitive aspects of sources, methods, and
analytical procedures of foreign intelligence information, limited to
individuals with a specific need for such information and who are
therefore given special security clearances and indoctrination in
order to have access to it. (2) Establishment and management of
an intelligence organization so that information about the
personnel, organization, or activities of one component is made
available to any other component or individual only to the extent
required for the performance of assigned duties.
Counterintelligence Information gathered and activities conducted to protect against
espionage, other intelligence activities, sabotage, or assassinations
conducted for or on behalf of foreign powers, organizations,
persons, or terrorist activities, but not including personnel,
physical, document, or communications security programs.
Counterterrorism Offensive measures taken to prevent, deter, and respond to a
425

terrorist act or the documented threat of such an act.
Covert Action (1) An operation designed to influence governments, events,
organizations, or persons in support of foreign policy in a manner
that is not necessarily attributable to the sponsoring power; it may
[page 446] include political, economic, propaganda, or
paramilitary activities.
(2) Operations that are so planned and executed as to conceal the
identity of, or permit plausible deniability by, the sponsor.
Covert Operation (Preferred term - Clandestine operation). A covert operation
encompassing covert action and clandestine collection.
[ ]
CSG Counterterrorism Security Group (also known as the Coordinating
Subgroup)
CTAU Counterterrorist Action Unit
CTC DCI's Counterterrorist Center at the CIA
[ ]
CTD FBI Counterterrorism Division
DCI Director of Central Intelligence- (1) Primary advisor to the
President and National Security Council on national foreign
intelligence, appointed by the President with the consent of the
Senate. (2) Head of the Intelligence Community and responsible
for the development and execution of the National Foreign
Intelligence Program. (3) Director of the Central Intelligence
Agency.
DHS DIA's Defense Human Intelligence (HUMINT) Service
DHS Department of Homeland Security
DIA The Defense Intelligence Agency is an agency of the Intelligence
Community responsible for satisfying the foreign military and
military-related intelligence requirements of the Secretary of
Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Unified and Specified
Commands, other Defense components, and, as appropriate, nondefense
agencies. It is a provider of military intelligence for
national foreign intelligence and counterintelligence products and
426

is responsible for coordinating the intelligence activities of the
military services and managing the Defense Attaché System.
Dissemination The timely distribution of intelligence products (in oral, written, or
[page 447] graphic form) to departmental and agency intelligence
consumers in a suitable form.
DNI Director of National Intelligence
Domestic Collection The acquisition of foreign intelligence information within the
United States from governmental or nongovernmental
organizations or individuals who are witting sources and choose to
cooperate by sharing such information.
[ ]
EC FBI Electronic Communication
Estimate (1) An analysis of a foreign situation, development, or trend that
identifies its major elements, interprets the significance, and
appraises the future possibilities and the prospective results of the
various actions that might be taken. (2) An appraisal of the
capabilities, vulnerabilities, and potential courses of action of a
foreign nation or combination of nations in consequence of a
specific national plan, policy, decision, or contemplated course of
action. (3) An analysis of an actual or contemplated clandestine
operation in relation to the situation in which it is or would be
conducted in order to identify and appraise such factors as
available and needed assets, and potential obstacles,
accomplishments, and consequences.
FAA Federal Aviation Administration
Fatwa Religious decree
FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation-The FBI is within the Department
of Justice. It is the principal law enforcement investigative arm of
the US government and the lead agency responsible for
counterterrorism in the United States.
FinCEN Financial Crimes Enforcement Network of the Treasury
Department
Finding A determination made by the President stating that a particular
intelligence operation is important to the national security of the
427

United States, in compliance with Section 503 (50 U.S.C. 413b) of
the National Security Act, as amended.
[Page 448]
Finished Intelligence (1) The product resulting from the collection, processing,
integration, analysis, evaluation, and interpretation of available
information concerning foreign countries or areas. (2) The final
result of the production step of the intelligence cycle; the
intelligence product.
FISA Court Court that reviews, for sufficiency, applications for orders issued
under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
FISA Order Order authorized under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act
to conduct electronic or physical searches within the US for
foreign intelligence purposes.
Foreign intelligence service An organization of a foreign government that engages in
intelligence activities.
Foreign Liaison Efforts to work with foreign government intelligence services,
including law enforcement agencies that gather or carry out
intelligence-related activities. Examples of foreign liaison include
sharing information, joint collection efforts, and the arrest of
suspected terrorists by foreign governments using US-supplied
information. Every major US intelligence agency has some form
of liaison relationship with foreign governments.
[ ]
[ ].
HPSCI House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence- A permanent
select committee of the House of Representatives established by
House Rule XLVIII, whose function is to monitor and provide
oversight for the Intelligence Community and intelligence-related
activities of all other government organizations. The committee is
also responsible for legislation pertaining to intelligence agencies
and activities, including authorizing appropriations for such
activities.
IC Intelligence Community-The aggregate of the following executive
branch organizations and agencies involved in intelligence
activities: the Central Intelligence Agency; the National Security
Agency; the Defense Intelligence agency; offices within the
Department of Defense for the collection of specialized national
foreign intelligence through reconnaissance programs; the Bureau
of Intelligence and Research of the Department of State;
428

intelligence elements of the military services, the Federal Bureau
of Investigation, the Department of Treasury, and the Department
[page 449] of Energy; and staff elements of the Office of the
Director of Central Intelligence.1
IICT Interagency Intelligence Committee on Terrorism
[ ]
Intelligence (1) A body of evidence and the conclusions drawn therefrom
acquired and furnished in response to the known or perceived
requirements of customers; it is often derived from information
that is concealed or not intended to be available for use by the
acquirer. (2) A term used to refer collectively to the functions,
activities, or organizations that are involved in the process of
planning, gathering, and analyzing information of potential value
to decision-makers and to the production of intelligence as defined
above. (3) The product resulting from the collection, collation,
evaluation, analysis, integration, and interpretation of all collected
information.
Intelligence assessment A category of intelligence production that encompasses most
analytical studies dealing with subjects of policy significance,
thorough in its treatment of subject matter - as distinct from
building-block papers, research projects, and reference aids, but
unlike estimative intelligence need not attempt to project future
developments and their implications; usually coordinated within
the producing organization, but may not be coordinated with other
intelligence agencies.
Intelligence report (1) A product of the production step of the intelligence cycle;
(2) Military Usage-A specific report of information, usually on a
single item, made at any level of command in tactical operations
and disseminated as rapidly as possible in keeping with the
timeliness of the information.
Intelligence requirement Any subject, general or specific, upon which there is a need for the
collection of intelligence information or the production of
intelligence.
International terrorism Terrorist acts that transcend national boundaries in their conduct or
purpose, the nationalities of the victims, or the resolution of the
incident. Such an act is usually designed to attract wide publicity
1 Pursuant to Title I, Section 105, of the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2002, the United States Coast
Guard has been included as an element of the Intelligence Community.
429

[page 450] to focus attention on the existence, cause, or demands
of the perpetrators.
IOS FBI's Intelligence Operations Specialists- Specialists conduct case
specific (tactical) research.
IRS FBI's Intelligence Research Specialist- Specialists conduct long
term (strategic) research.
[ ].
JITF-CT DIA's Joint Intelligence Task Force - Combating Terrorism
JSOC Military's Joint Special Operations Command
JTTF FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force
LEGAT FBI's Legal Attaché in foreign countries
Manila (Bojinka) Plot A Ramzi Yousef plot to blow up 12 airliners over the Pacific
Ocean and to crash a plane into the CIA Headquarters (1995)
MI-5 Britain's internal security service (BSS).
[ ]
[ ]
NGO Non-Governmental Organization
NIC National Intelligence Council, comprised of the National
Intelligence Officers (NIOs), their staff, and an analytic group.
The NIOs support the DCI by producing national intelligence
estimates and other interagency assessments and by advising him
on the intelligence needs of policymakers.
NID National Intelligence Daily - An Intelligence Community
produced digest of current intelligence drafted six times a week for
senior government officials. (Replaced by the SEIB)
NIE National Intelligence Estimate: (1) A thorough assessment of a
situation in a foreign environment relevant to the formulation of
foreign, economic, and national security policy, that projects
probable future courses of action and developments, and is
structured to illuminate differences of view within the Intelligence
Community; it is issued by the DCI with the advice of the National
Foreign Intelligence Board; (2) a strategic estimate of capabilities,
430

[page 451] vulnerabilities, produced at the national level as a
composite of the views of the Intelligence Community.
NIMA National Imagery and Mapping Agency, an Intelligence
Community agency.
NIO The senior staff officer of the DCI for an assigned area of
functional or geographic responsibility. The NIO manages
estimative and interagency intelligence production on behalf of the
DCI; he is the principal point of contact between the DCI and
intelligence consumers below the cabinet level and is a primary
source of national-level substantive guidance to intelligence
Community planners, collectors, and resource managers.
NFIP National Foreign Intelligence Program
NRO National Reconnaissance Office, an Intelligence Community
agency.
NSA National Security Agency, the Intelligence Community agency
responsible for centralized coordination, direction, and
performance of highly specialized technical functions in support of
US Government activities to protect US communications and
produce foreign intelligence information. It coordinates, directs,
and performs all cryptologic functions for the US Government;
collects, processes, and disseminates SIGINT information for
DoD, national foreign intelligence, and counterintelligence
purposes; and is the national executive agent for classified
communications and computer security.
NSD National Security Directive
NSC National Security Council
NSLU FBI National Security Law Unit
OIPR Office of Intelligence Policy Review, Department of Justice
OMB Office of Management and Budget
PDB President's Daily Brief (Prepared by CIA for President and very
small number of other senior officials)
PDD Presidential Decision Directive
[Page 452]
431

PENTTBOMB FBI investigation of September 11 WTC & Pentagon attacks
PFIAB President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board-A body
consisting of senior non-government members appointed by, and
reporting directly to, the President, empowered to assess the
quality, quantity, and adequacy of intelligence collection, of
analysis and estimates, or counterintelligence, and other
intelligence activities with a view toward increasing the
effectiveness of the national intelligence effort; specific duties and
responsibilities are outlined in Executive Order 12331.
Phoenix EC Electronic communication of July 2001 from the FBI's Phoenix
field office to FBI Headquarters expressing concern about an
increase in the number of Middle Eastern men enrolled in civil
aviation training (also referred to as the Phoenix Memo).
Raw Intelligence A colloquial term meaning collected intelligence information that
has not yet been converted into finished intelligence.
RFU FBI's Radical Fundamentalist Unit
SA Special Agent
SAC Special Agent in Charge
SEIB Senior Executive Intelligence Brief (CIA intelligence summary for
senior USG officials; replaced the NID, see above.)
SIGINT Signals intelligence-Intelligence information derived from signals
intercept comprising, either individually or in combination, all
communications intelligence, electronic intelligence, and foreign
instrument signals intelligence, however, transmitted.
SIOC FBI's Strategic Information Operations Center
SOIC Senior Officials of the Intelligence Community-The heads of the
organizations comprising the Intelligence Community or their
designated representatives.
SRTD Signals Research and Target Development, a NSA function
SSA Supervisory Special Agent
SSCI Senate Select Committee on Intelligence- A select committee of
the Senate established by Senate Resolution 400, 94th Congress, 2nd
Session (1976), whose function is to monitor and provide oversight
432

[page 453] over the Intelligence Community and intelligencerelated
activities of all other government organizations; the
Committee is also responsible for legislation pertaining to
intelligence agencies and activities, including authorizing
appropriations for such activities.
Strategic intelligence Intelligence required for the formulation of policy and military
plans at national and international levels; it differs primarily from
tactical intelligence in level of use, but may also vary in scope and
detail.
Tactical intelligence Intelligence produced in support of military, intelligence, or other
operations, or that relates to the specific time, date, nature, and
other details of events.
Title III Order Order issued by a court pursuant to the provisions of Title III of the
Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, Public Law
90-351 (June 19, 1968), as amended, authorizing the interception
of oral, wire, and/or electronic communication.
UAV Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
UBLU FBI's Usama bin Ladin Unit
USSID United States Signals Intelligence Directive
Volunteer Persons who, on their own initiative, make contact with a
government representative and volunteer information and/or
request political asylum.
WTC World Trade Center
433

[Page 454]
KEY NAMES
Mohamed Yousef
Mohamed Alqusaidi Marwan al-Shehhi's brother
Muhammed Atif Bin Ladin's lieutenant
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
Usama Bin Ladin Leader of al-Qa'ida and promoter of terrorist attacks against US
Imad Mugniyah Hizbollah Leader
Khalid Shaykh Mohammad Bin Ladin Lieutenant; believed to be the mastermind of the
September 11th attacks (AKA Mukhtar or "the Brain")
Mohamed al-Owhali Passenger in truck bomb that jumped out of the bomb laden
vehicle before it crashed into the American embassy in Kenya
Al-Qa'ida Terrorist organization led by Usama bin Ladin. Translates as "the
Base"
Omar Abd al-Rahman Blind Sheikh
Ahmed Ressam Convicted terrorist who tried to cross into the United States from
Canada with explosives intending to target Los Angeles
International Airport in December 1999
Ramzi Yousef Organizer of the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center
Ayman Zawarhari Bin Ladin lieutenant
Abu Zubaydah Bin Ladin Lieutenant captured in March 2002
434

[Page 455]
SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 HIJACKERS
American Airlines Flight 11 hit the North Tower of the World Trade Center at 8:45 a.m.
Mohamed Atta [Mo-Ha-mahd A-tta] Pilot
Abd Al-Aziz Al-Omari [Abd al-A-ziz Al-OMA-ree]
Satam Al-Suqami [Sa-TOM Ah-Suq-AMI]
Wail Al-Shehri [Wa-EEL Ah-SHEH-ree]
Walid Al-Shehri [Wa-LEED SHEH-ree]
United Airlines Flight 175 hit the South Tower of the World Trade Center at 9:05 a.m.
Marwan Al-Shehhi [Mar-WAHN Ah-SHEH-hee] Pilot
Ahmed Al-Ghamdi [Ah-MED al-GAM-dee]
Hamza Al-Ghamdi [HAM-za al-GAM-dee]
Fayez Ahmed [FA-yez AH-med]
Mohand Al-Shehri [MO-hahnd ah-SHEH-ree]
American Airlines Flight 77 hit the Pentagon at 9:39 a.m.
Hani Hanjour [Ha-NEE HAN-joor] Pilot
Khalid Al-Mihdhar [Kah-LEED al-MID-har]
Majid Moqed [MAH-jid MOE-Ked]
Nawaf Al-Hazmi [Now-Woff al-HAS-me]
Salim Al-Hazmi [Sa-LEEM al-HAS-me]
United Airlines Flight 93 crashed in Pennsylvania at 10:10 a.m.
Ziad Jarrah [Zee-YAHD Jara] Pilot
Ahmad Al-Nami [AH-med Ah-Nah-mee]
Ahmad Al-Haznawi [AH-med al-Has-NOW-wee]
Saled Al-Ghamdi [Sah-EED al-GAM-dee]
435
ADDITIONAL VIEWS
AND
APPENDICES
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Additional Views Of Members
Sen. Richard C. Shelby
Rep. Michael N. Castle
Sen. Mike DeWine
Rep. Jane Harman
Sen. John Kyl & Sen. Pat Roberts
Sen. Carl Levin
Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski
Rep. Tim Roemer
Appendices
Initial Scope Of Joint Inquiry
Supplemental Joint Inquiry Rules
Joint Inquiry Hearings
List of Hearing Witnesses
List of Persons Interviewed
Counterterrorism Organizations Within The Intelligence Community
Evolution Of The Terrorist Threat And The U.S. Response, 1983-2001
Selected Events In The Chronology Of Terrorism, 1982 - 2001
CIA/FBI Failures In Regard To Two September 11 Hijackers, The Phoenix Electronic
Communication, And The Moussaoui Investigation (Adapted From A Chart Presented By
Senator Carl Levin At The October 17, 2002 Joint Inquiry Hearing)
The Phoenix Electronic Communication
Moussaoui Related FBI Field Agent Notes & Field Office/Headquarters E-Mails
General Accounting Office: Analysis Of U.S. Anthrax Attacks
CTC Watchlisting Guidance - December 1999
The Joint Inquiry In Court
Access Limitations Encountered By The Joint Inquiry
ADDITIONAL VIEWS
OF
MEMBERS OF
THE JOINT INQUIRY
On December 10, 2002, the Report of the Joint Inquiry was voted on and
approved by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the
Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. The following additional views were
submitted by individual members of those committees.
September 11 and the Imperative of Reform
in the U.S. Intelligence Community

ADDITIONAL VIEWS OF REPRESENTATIVE MIKE CASTLE (R-DELAWARE)
TO BE APPENDED TO THE REPORT OF THE JOINT INQUIRY
ON THE SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 TERRORIST ATTACKS ON THE UNITED STATES
I fully support the findings and recommendations that were debated and approved by the
Members and Senators serving on the Joint Inquiry on the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks
on the United States. As the outgoing Chairman of HPSCI's Technical and Tactical
Subcommittee, I want to communicate my strong support for Recommendation 10 concerning
the National Security Agency's past performance and future role in the global war on terrorism.
Specifically, the Joint Inquiry's Recommendation 10 mandates a report from the Director of the
National Security Agency to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees no later than June
30, 2003 that will provide the following: (1) a description of solutions for the technological
challenges confronting the NSA in the war on terrorism; (2) a quarterly review of the goals,
products to be delivered, funding levels, and schedules for every NSA technology development
program so as to ensure strict accountability for NSA program expenditures; (3) the
implementation by NSA, CIA and FBI of a strategy to fully integrate these agencies' collection
and analytic capabilities in the war on terrorism; and (4) the development of legislative proposals
to improve NSA's coordination and collaboration with other elements of the U.S. Intelligence
Community.
Although the issue of visa issuances and control was not within the scope and jurisdiction
of the Joint Inquiry's review, we did review some information that gave us a glimpse into this
issue. As a result, I am very concerned that significant reforms need to be implemented
immediately with respect to the management, coordination and oversight of our Nation's visa
program. The visa program has suffered from a lack of accountability, unclear lines of
bureaucratic responsibility between the Departments of State and Justice, and contradictory legal
authorities. The State Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs and the Justice Department's
Immigration and Naturalization Service have joint responsibility for the management of our visa
program, yet this program's administration has been characterized by poor management
practices, uneven enforcement policies, and inadequate coordination between these agencies and
other elements of the U.S. intelligence and law enforcement communities. The majority of the
September 11th hijackers were wrongly admitted to the United States -- in violation of U.S.
immigration laws -- as a result of decisions made and errors committed by responsible State
Department and Justice Department officers. The fact that many of them entered and operated in
true name, further emphasizes the extent to which the current system is broken.
Entry of foreign nationals into the United States is a privilege that demands clear
authorities to determine who may legally enter the United States with a visa, accurate
information on all visa applicants that is fully shared between the relevant agency
decisionmakers, and full accountability to ensure that the requirements of consular and
immigration law are properly enforced.
Equally troubling is our government's inability to properly account for foreign nationals
who overstay the authorized period of their visas. These foreign nationals are in violation of our
immigration laws and should be held legally accountable. Although the recently enacted
Department of Homeland Security bill addresses the need for visa reform, I strongly believe that
significant legislative changes are urgently needed to redirect and reorganize our national visa
policies.
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS
JOINT INQUIRY STAFF REPORT
U.S. SENATOR MIKE DEWINE
DECEMBER 18, 2002
My purpose in providing these additional comments is to express my support for certain
recommendations, my reservations regarding others, and my concerns about key intelligence
areas that simply are not addressed in the report's recommendations. Accordingly I have
identified several areas of this report that merit additional comment.
INCREASE RESOURCES
The tragic September 11th terrorist attacks represent a massive intelligence failure. Congress
and past Administrations, over a period of many years, failed to provide adequate resources to
the Intelligence Community. To avert future attacks and improve the security of this nation, in
the weeks and months and years ahead, we will need to invest a considerable amount of time and
resources in making up for decades of shortfalls in our commitment to intelligence. That will
necessitate an on-going, continuous, sustained effort ultimately aimed at reforming the
Intelligence Community.
FISA CHANGES
FISA is one of the primary weapons we have in our war on terrorism, and it is crucial that the
Intelligence Community be able to use it aggressively and effectively. The recent Court of
Review decision is an important clarification, which should allow the Intelligence Community to
confer and coordinate more effectively with law enforcement officials. Nonetheless, the report
makes a major omission by failing to recommend any further enhancements to the FISA statute.
FISA -- Amend and Make Stronger
1
It is important that we continue to refine and improve the FISA statute, and consequently, I
believe that Congress should adopt the proposed Kyl/Schumer amendment to FISA and the
proposed DeWine amendment to FISA.
The Kyl/Schumer amendment would remove the requirement that the subject suspected of
international terrorism be affiliated with a "group engaged in international terrorism or activities
in preparation therefore." This change would allow the surveillance of individuals who are not
affiliated with any terrorist group and would give the government another weapon to terrorists,
who act alone.
The DeWine amendment would lessen the burden on the government by changing the standard
for showing that a proposed FISA target is "a foreign power or agent of a foreign power."
Rather than the current "probable cause" standard, the amendment applies a "reasonable
suspicion" standard. Both standards require the court to apply a "totality of the circumstances"
test and examine all the various factors to determine if the government has met its burden. But
the reasonable suspicion standard is slightly easier to satisfy, and that is appropriate, because
these cases involve national security interests. Under such dangerous circumstances, it is
appropriate to balance the competing interests in a slightly different way than usual, and make it
a little bit easier for the law enforcement interest to prevail. Such a change would make it a little
more likely that FISA surveillance is permitted and would make it more likely that FISA can
effectively be used in the war on terrorism. For example, in the case of the Moussaoui
investigation, there was some uncertainty about whether the facts were sufficient to find probable
cause, and so the Justice Department did not apply for a FISA warrant (However, under any
legitimate reading of the facts in Moussaoui, the government could have met a reasonable
suspicion standard and most likely would have asked for and received surveillance authority.).
FISA -- Congressional Oversight
In addition to these and other enhancements to FISA, it is important that Congress improve the
quality and quantity of oversight with regard to FISA. There are two separate and distinct
reasons for this. First, as the recent Court of Review opinion made clear, in recent years, the
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FISC has imposed on the Justice Department a set of court-created FISA rules that have
unnecessarily limited the use of the FISA statute.1 More vigorous and informed Congressional
oversight might have prevented those limitations from being imposed.
Furthermore, the Intelligence Committees should hold regularly scheduled hearings to examine
the FISA process and receive testimony from senior officials at OIPR and the FBI. These
hearings should explore the FISA process and provide information as to how FISA is being
implemented. For example, in order to better determine how the Executive Branch is utilizing
FISA, the Committee should examine the number of FISA warrants issued during a given period
of time and the general subject matter or issues those warrants were meant to address.
Furthermore, these hearings should be used to explore a wide range of hypothetical situations --
situations based on actual cases that demonstrate to the Committee how the law would be applied
in certain scenarios. This would allow the Committee to develop a better understanding of how
FISA is being implemented in a practical, day-to-day manner and also alert the Committee to any
instances where the FISC or Justice Department is departing from Congressional intent.
1 As originally drafted in 1978, FISA allowed surveillance when "the purpose" of that surveillance was to obtain
"foreign intelligence information," which is defined, essentially, as information the government needs to protect
against attack, sabotage, clandestine intelligence activities, or international terrorism. Over the years, the FISC
interpreted "the purpose" to mean "the primary purpose," and interpreted "foreign intelligence information" to mean
information that the government needs to protect itself against attack, sabotage, etc., using methods other than law
enforcement. So, the FISC took the view that using a FISA warrant to obtain foreign intelligence information that
was primarily for use as part of an intelligence strategy, (e.g., to flip a spy) was legitimate; using a FISA warrant to
obtain information that was primarily for use as part of a law enforcement strategy (e.g., prosecution) was not
legitimate.
One of the indicia used by the FISC to determine whether the primary purpose was intelligence (legitimate) or law
enforcement (not legitimate) was the degree of involvement by law enforcement agents in the investigation and
FISA application process. Accordingly, the Justice Department, with the approval of the FISC, adopted very
restrictive guidelines to minimize law enforcement contact with intelligence officers.
After the passage of the Patriot Act, the Justice Department litigated the issue of how much contact is allowed
between intelligence agents and law enforcement officials, and on appeal, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance
Court of Review overruled the FISC. The Court of Review held that FISA, as originally drafted, did not contain any
distinction between foreign intelligence information utilized as part of an intelligence strategy and foreign
intelligence information used as part of a law enforcement strategy. Accordingly, the Justice Guidelines strictly
limiting contact between law enforcement agents and intelligence officers have never been necessary. It is
interesting to note that the Court of Review found that the Patriot Act actually created a distinction between law
enforcement use and intelligence use of FISA information. However, because of other modifications in the Patriot
Act, the Justice Department is still free from earlier, FISC-created limitations on contact between intelligence
officers and law enforcement.
3
FISA -- Protecting Civil Liberties
The second reason enhanced Congressional oversight is important is because it would provide
increased protection of the civil liberties of potential FISA surveillance targets. The FISA
process, rightfully so, is highly secretive and not subject to the usual procedural protections built
into most other courtroom proceedings. Accordingly, it is particularly important that the
Intelligence Committee provide oversight to assure that the FISA process is not being abused,
especially now, as we look for ways to enhance and further utilize it in the war against terrorism.
In doing so, the Intelligence Committee should consider whether or not the current FISA process
provides adequate legal representation for the legal position of potential subject of surveillance.
The inherently ex parte nature of the application process raises concerns about civil liberties and
may have the counterintuitive effect of making the FISC and even the prosecutors reluctant to
use FISA to the full extent allowed by law. Congress should consider whether it could be useful
to provide authority to the FISC and to the Court of Review to appoint, on a case-by-case basis,
an advocate for the subject. The advocate could be one of a number of pre-cleared attorneys
with prior FISA experience, who could serve as a defense attorney on a limited number of cases,
where the FISC or Court of Review felt it would be useful.2
EMPOWERING THE HEAD OF THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY
I believe we need to create a cabinet-level intelligence position -- a director of intelligence, who
is ultimately responsible for control of the budgets and operations of the overall Intelligence
Community. While most experts seem to agree that we need to strengthen the head of national
intelligence -- whether that is the DCI or the DNI or some other cabinet-level position -- there is
less agreement as to how we go about doing this. My own view is that there are two critical
things to keep in mind if we empower the head of national intelligence: First, we need to give the
DCI complete budget authority, and second, we need to keep the DCI as the head of the CIA.
2 These advocates would not contact nor inform the subject of the potential surveillance about the proceedings.
Instead, they would act as officers of the court, representing the legal position in opposition to the Justice
Department's application for a FISA warrant.
4
Budget Authority
The DCI already has authority to review and approve budgets, personnel, and resources for
virtually every aspect of the national intelligence program. Yet, despite this authority, the DCI
still actually controls only about 15 to 20 percent of the actual intelligence budget. It is not
surprising that as a result, he has been unable to provide necessary leadership within the
Intelligence Community, as exemplified by DCI's inability to fully mobilize the Intelligence
Community in response to his "declaration of war" on al Qaeda. The DCI has understood the
terrorist danger as much as any human being could; yet he didn't have command of all the troops,
so to speak, to get the job done. That's why the DCI needs the authority both to manage and
oversee the execution of the Intelligence Community budgets.
The DCI as Head of the CIA
The report's recommendation to separate the positions of DCI and head of the CIA is likely to be
counterproductive. A number of experts agree with this proposition. During the open hearings
just completed in the intelligence committee Judge Webster, the former head of the CIA and the
former head of the FBI, said, in reaction to the suggestion to split the DCI from the CIA: "I
would strengthen the DCI. I would not have a head of the national intelligence unless that [head
of] national intelligence was actually running something."
In his written testimony to the Committee, Anthony Lake, former National Security Advisor,
also supported maintaining the CIA under DCI control. Furthermore, the 2001 Hart-Rudman
Commission report took this position, as did the 104th Congress House Intelligence Committee
staff report, which stated: "Indeed, the testimony of former DCIs and other former senior IC
officials all concur that the DCI needs an agency 'of his own' -- i.e., the CIA -- if he is to have
any real power within the IC."
At this stage, the operational authority vested in the head of the CIA comprises a substantial
amount of the power of the DCI. Removal of that authority now would separate him from his
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operational base and significantly dilute the power of the DCI, at a time when it is not clear that
the requisite budgetary authority will, in fact, be conferred upon the office of DCI.
OPEN-SOURCE INFORMATION
In another important area, the Intelligence Community needs to pay more attention to the
collection and analysis of open-source information. This type of information needs to be
examined and needs to be taken more seriously. We must remember that open-source
information was used to warn investigators in 1999 that al-Qaeda terrorists might fly a hijacked
airliner into American buildings. Library of Congress analyst, Rex Hudson, wrote a report for
the National Security Council -- based entirely on unclassified material -- which noted the
possibility of almost exactly the kind of attack that occurred on September 11th. Hudson
concluded: "Suicide bombers belonging to al-Qaeda's Martyrdom Battalion could crash an
aircraft packed with high explosives into the Pentagon, the headquarters of the CIA, or the White
House."
The Intelligence Community is simply not accustomed to assessing the value of open sources nor
is it used to integrating them into their work. In fact, the Intelligence Community is more
inclined to use open-source material as a last resort, not as a primary source, no matter how
compelling the information. This attitude needs to change, and the Community must re-evaluate
how it prioritizes open-source material that ultimately can be of extraordinary value, either by
itself or as a mechanism to refine or evaluate other intelligence.
REPORTS
I am also concerned that the Intelligence Community is not being informed about a number of
important intelligence issues because of delays in the issuance of requested reports. Part of the
problem is that the Senate and House Intelligence Committees are asking for too many
unnecessary reports. Compounding that, the Intelligence Community has been slow in the
production of the reports, themselves, though in the recent past, the Community has started
producing many of these required reports in a more timely fashion. Still a lag remains. To help
6
remedy that, the Intelligence Committees should continue to discuss with the Intelligence
Community the status of the currently requested reports and determine which ones are necessary,
eliminating those report requests that are not absolutely essential and ensuring that the ones
required do, in fact, get generated and issued to the Committees.
MULTI-LEVEL SECURITY CAPABILITY
One of the most significant problems examined during the open hearings was the lack of
information sharing between agencies. In assessing that area of concern, the Intelligence
Community needs to figure out how agencies and intelligence personnel can better share and
disseminate important information, while still protecting that information from getting into the
wrong hands. A relatively simple way to address this would be through the use of a technology
known as "multi-level security" capability. Basically, the use of multi-level security allows
computer users with different levels of security classification to get different levels of access to
information contained and stored in a comprehensive intelligence database. In other words,
database users would be able to access only the information in the database that their security
clearances allow them to view.
This would allow the myriad intelligence agencies to safely combine all of their databases,
including those containing the most sensitive data and make the entire combined database
accessible to a wide range of intelligence and law enforcement personnel, without sacrificing
security for the most highly classified data. For example, a detective in Cincinnati who notices
unusual activity around city hall could do a search of the comprehensive Community-wide
database for "city halls in Ohio" and come up with some non-classified FBI information about
possible attacks on city halls around the state or in other states. He then also would get a
notification from the system that there was more information about that topic, but that it was
classified at a level above his clearance. At that point, he could go to his supervisor and begin
the process of having that information sent to someone within the department who has the
appropriate level of clearance. This would help resolve one of the many information-sharing
problems facing the Intelligence Community.
7
REFORMING HUMAN INTELLIGENCE COLLECTION (HUMINT)
U.S. Human Intelligence collection organizations are unable to penetrate organizations like Al
Qaeda because they are not properly organized for the task and have become too risk averse to
undertake the kind of dangerous operations required for success. A new organization must be
built from the ground up as a small, agile, and adaptive organization with a corporate culture of
taking prudent risks. It would have a limited list of targets: terrorists, proliferators, and "rogue
states." Creating a new organization has the advantage of creating a capability to directly target
organizations like Al Qaeda better than is possible today, yet without undermining the strengths
of the existing HUMINT organizations.
A Broken Corporate Culture
With a few exceptions, the current structure of the HUMINT community remains based on the
official cover system used during the Cold War to fight the largely static Soviet threat. Official
cover is when a clandestine intelligence officer appears to work as an employee of another U.S.
government agency. Many of the Soviet officers and officials we were trying to recruit during
the Cold War associated with U.S. government officials in the course of their normal duties, so it
made sense to put our HUMINT collectors in roles where they were likely to encounter their
targets in the course of their "ordinary" daily work. The problem is that while the foreign threat
has changed since the end of the Cold War, too many U.S. clandestine HUMINT collectors still
work under official cover. The work they do in this capacity is important, but it does not offer
the full range of capabilities to go after targets such as proliferators or terrorist organizations like
Al Qaeda that do not knowingly associate with U.S. government officials. Nobody openly
associated with any element of the U.S. government is going to be able to get close to an
organization like Al Qaeda, so an official cover is of little use against these targets. The best
"platforms" for targeting groups like Al Qaeda are non-official cover operations, or NOC's. A
non-official cover is when a clandestine officer appears to be a private citizen without any U.S.
government affiliation, typically operating under the cover of a legitimate commercial enterprise.
8
Clandestine human intelligence collection operations under non-official cover (NOC) are very
difficult to detect and the U.S. Intelligence Community acknowledges that they are the best
platform for working against targets like Al Qaeda. U.S. intelligence entities like the CIA's
Directorate of Operations (CIA/DO) have been unable, however, to transform their organizations
to employ fully the range of possibilities offered by NOC operations. The primary obstacle is a
corporate culture problem - lighter covers (such as official cover) tend to "crowd out" deep
covers (such as non-official cover). What this means is that in a clandestine human intelligence
collection agency that starts out with a good balance of official and non-official covers, the
agency will eventually phase out most of its NOC's in lieu of official cover operations.3 The
reason this happens is two fold: First, many clandestine officers prefer the lifestyle offered by the
official cover assignments over NOC assignments, and second, supervisors prefer subordinates
who are under official cover where they can be more easily managed.
Clandestine officers prefer official cover assignments because working as a NOC officer is a
difficult life-style. NOC's are paid the same government salary as their colleagues under official
cover, but they get few of the comforts available to those under official cover and none of the
legal protections. NOC's have to spend most of their time abroad, and will not be able to meet
and network with most of their colleagues in the Agency. Meanwhile, their peers under official
cover can interact and network with other agency colleagues, leading to steady promotions and
better assignments. Relative to official cover, non-official cover assignments also offer less
prestige, safety and comfort, and involve a less family-friendly lifestyle.4
Not only do clandestine officers generally not want to serve as NOC's, but their managers do not
want to use them because officers under official cover are much easier to manage than a NOC.
A NOC requires much more elaborate and difficult operational security measures (also known as
tradecraft). Another big reason managers do not like using officers under non-official cover is
risk aversion: NOC officers are not protected by diplomatic immunity. It is one thing to have an
official cover employee declared persona non grata and expelled from the country; it's quite
another to have him arrested and shot. Official cover operations are too deeply entrenched in the
3 Bruce Berkowitz, "Deep Cover," Hoover Digest, Fall, 2002.
4 Bruce Berkowitz, "Deep Cover, " Hoover Digest, Fall, 2002
9
organizational structure, personnel system, and tradecraft of intelligence entities like CIA, and
their organizations have developed incentives and procedures that make it hard to adopt NOC
operations on a larger scale.
A Broken Cover System
The Central Intelligence Agency's Directorate of Operations' (CIA/DO) official cover system
has been well known, both in and out of the agency, as a significant operational vulnerability for
many years. Foreign intelligence services are all too familiar with the CIA's official cover
system, which suffers from the fact that it is not difficult for sophisticated observers to
distinguish CIA officers from actual officers of other U.S. government agencies. The current
system of official cover largely amounts to little more than a non-attribution system similar to
that used by journalists in Washington, D.C.: it is clear who the intelligence officers are, but
diplomatic manners usually preclude saying so. This system works for the bulk of CIA
operations, which involve liaison contacts with foreign intelligence services and working with
"walk-in" sources (in which the source approaches the agency, not vice versa). In both types of
work, the CIA's sources know who they are dealing with and need to know where to go to find
them, which makes official cover an excellent fit. This does not work, however, when trying to
recruit hard targets such as members of Al Qaeda's inner circle, who do not associate with U.S.
government officials.
The state of our non-official cover (NOC) system is no better. U.S. intelligence's NOC
programs have been damaged by half-hearted execution of operational security measures and
under-utilization by managers. The U.S. Intelligence Community is well aware of these
significant problems but takes little action to fix them because effective cover is not critical to
the way our HUMINT agencies currently do business. Too often content to work with foreign
liaison intelligence services and accept walk-ins, HUMINT managers generally do not go after
difficult targets, and thus feel they do not need the tools that an effective cover provides.
Even beyond the limitations imposed by a system made up of mostly official cover assignments,
the existing HUMINT agencies are further limited by a corporate culture that has become
10
excessively risk-averse. For example, despite all the advantages of a career under official cover
as compared to non-official cover, the average CIA/DO employee still doesn't spend a
significant amount of time overseas. Only about 35 percent of CIA/DO employees have spent
more than 3 out of the last 10 years overseas. This low ratio indicates that the wrong mindset
now dominates what is supposed to be an overseas clandestine service.
The Solution - A New OSS
The answer to the problems described above is to create an environment in which the aggressive
non-official cover operations we need to be conducting are not "crowded out" by official cover
operations. A small agile and adaptive organization should be built, along the lines of the Office
of Strategic Services (OSS) in World War II, chartered with a corporate culture of taking prudent
risks, and operating exclusively from non-official cover (NOC) platforms. This would be a small
organization that would augment the existing HUMINT agencies and work against a limited list
of targets: terrorists, proliferators and "rogue states." This organization could be created within
an existing HUMINT agency like the CIA or the Defense HUMINT Service (DHS), but creating
it as an independent agency would help avoid the possibility that its aggressive non-official cover
operations would be "crowded out" by the official cover operations being conducted in these
agencies. Creating an independent agency would also avoid the possibility that it would be held
back by the culture of risk aversion that exists in agencies like the CIA and the DHS. Another
possibility is to create the organization as an independent agency of the Department of Defense.
o Creating a new organization has the advantage of creating a capability to directly target
organizations like Al Qaeda without undermining the strengths of the existing HUMINT
organizations. For example, two of CIA/DO's strengths are their work with foreign
liaison intelligence services and taking "walk in" sources. These are important missions
that would not be compatible with a new organization operating exclusively under nonofficial
covers. Thus, there is both room for, and a need for, both CIA/DO and a new
organization that operates exclusively from non-official cover collection platforms.
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o This new organization should use bolder, more innovative non-official covers than have
been typically employed by entities like CIA/DO, which typically operates under the
cover of a commercial enterprise.
o To be successful, during its initial build-up this organization may have to have full access
to CIA, the Defense HUMINT Service (DHS) and FBI data about both their employees
and sources to select candidates to work in and for the new agency, and the authority to
"grab" sources and interview employees for this new high priority program. In terms of
the terrorism target, FBI's many low level sources and contacts in the U.S. and
international Islamic community may be most productive.
o The new agency would also need to have a significant level of independence in order to
avoid being strangled at birth. The agency would have to keep selected personnel in the
other HUMINT agencies informed of its activities but it would have primacy in matters
concerning terrorism, proliferation or rogue states and would not need to seek CIA
approval to recruit new sources.
o Operating under a corporate culture of taking prudent risks, particularly when working
under non-official cover could subject employees to significant danger. This is,
however, a necessary risk in light of the clear and present threat posed by terrorism and
proliferation. Our elite military special-forces units, such as the U.S. Navy Seals, sustain
injuries and deaths every year as a result of training alone, not to mention casualties
sustained in combat. These injuries and deaths aren't the result of reckless behavior - our
special forces are the best in the world because they train like they fight. These casualties
are the result of prudent risks that were willingly accepted and clearly understood by
everyone involved, in order to produce the best special-forces that will be well trained
when we need them. The work of this new HUMINT agency would be no less important
and we should be willing to accept a similar level of risk.
o This new organization should be chartered and resourced to leverage advanced
technologies to aid all aspects of their work. Advanced equipment and software can
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allow officers to covertly communicate no matter where their work takes them and
support their non-official covers over decades. Such technology can also be used to
ensure more timely delivery of intelligence to consumers such as military commanders.
Finally, the new organization should work closely with the National Security Agency and
other organizations to use advanced technology to conduct technical penetrations of
targets like Al Qaeda.
o This new agency should endeavor to learn from both the successes and failures of Israeli
HUMINT efforts. Their aggressive tactics and inventive use of non-official covers may
serve as a useful guide for this new agency. The Israelis have had notable successes in
penetrating terrorist organizations and we should learn from their efforts. The new
agency may also want to consider some level of partnership with the Israeli HUMINT
services, in light of the amount of overlap in the terrorism and proliferation threats to
both our national interests.
o It should be acknowledged at the outset that the kind of aggressive, non-official cover
operations described above would take a toll on the officers who conduct them and that
many of them could experience "burn out" in as few as five to ten years. The agency
should be structured from the outset to accommodate this high turnover rate and provide
pension, disability and placement services for officers who leave the service before
reaching civil service retirement age. It may be appropriate in some cases to place some
of these officers under "lighter" cover at agencies like CIA/DO.
A Longer Term Approach
The current HUMINT system is handicapped by a need to conduct operations that can deliver
results within the span of an officer's three year tour in order to benefit the careers of both the
HUMINT collector and his or her chain of command. We must create in our Intelligence
Community a culture and capability that allows the longer-term, unorthodox approaches to
human intelligence collection required to combat organizations like Al Qaeda. Rather than the
current HUMINT system's typical three-year assignment under official cover and focused on a
13
geographical location, officers would be allowed to spend much longer periods of time moving
from country to country at their own discretion to build up and reinforce their bone fides to
support a non-official cover.
o A new HUMINT organization, like the above-proposed organization, could give its
officers the autonomy to invest the years required and take the necessary risks to infiltrate
organizations like Al Qaeda. For example, an officer operating under non-official cover
would be allowed to attend a radical mosque in the United States and over a period of
months and years develop the range of contacts that would allow him to travel abroad,
receive training in a radical Islamic terrorist training camp and infiltrate organizations
like Al Qaeda. Such an assignment would be undertaken with the understanding that it
would not yield results for months or even years. The current HUMINT system is averse
to such an assignment that would involve allowing an officer to be out of contact with his
chain of command for weeks and months at a time, and leave him continually exposed to
grave danger in the course of the assignment.
U.S. clandestine human intelligence entities like the Central Intelligence Agency's Directorate of
Operations (CIA/DO) themselves admit that they are not able to penetrate organizations like Al
Qaeda. This failure results from their reliance on an official cover system, which does not allow
them to get close to Al Qaeda operatives. Even if entities like the CIA/DO were able to build a
substantial non-official cover capability, it would soon be "crowded out" by lighter cover
operations, like official cover operations, because the corporate culture of these agencies has
grown comfortable with the advantages of life under official cover. A new independent
organization, like the one proposed above, must be built from scratch in order to create a culture
in which aggressive, non-official cover operations can flourish and not be "crowded out." With
this new organization focusing on aggressive non-official cover operations, the work that can be
done from official cover, like liaison with foreign intelligence services and handling "walk-ins",
would be left to existing entities like the CIA/DO that have expertise in this kind of work.
Such a new NOC organization, if created independent of existing HUMINT collection agencies
like the CIA and operating in the "black" world, may also benefit from being removed from the
14
media spotlight and the politics that consume agencies like the CIA on a daily basis. A bold
venture like the new organization proposed above will require the latitude to learn by trial and
error as it proceeds into largely uncharted territory. The message must be delivered loud and
clear that it is acceptable to fail on the way to success. Oversight of this new entity by Congress
and the Executive Branch, while ensuring that the agency operates within the law, also will need
to focus on making sure that the agency remains aggressive and does not shy from taking prudent
risks in order to ensure that a culture of risk aversion does not develop. A new independent
clandestine HUMINT agency may be the fresh start we need to break the pattern of failure that
has prevented us penetrating groups like Al Qaeda.
CONCLUSION
In conclusion, I thank the Chairs of the Joint Committee for their leadership and work over the
past several months, as we have reviewed and studied vast amounts of information regarding the
September 11th terrorist attacks and the state of the Intelligence Community. I also want to thank
my fellow Senate and House Intelligence Committee colleagues and staffs, and the Joint
Investigative staff for the countless hours spent on this inquiry.
Our nation's security -- the safety and protection of our loved ones -- is directly linked to the
quality of the intelligence gathered and analyzed by the Community. Good intelligence is what
allows us to find the terrorists before they find us. That's what good intelligence can do -- and
reforming our methods of collecting, analyzing, and disseminating good intelligence is our aim is
in these recommendations and this report.
We must realize, though, that as this joint inquiry ends, our real work, as members of the House
and Senate Intelligence Committees, just begins. There are many unresolved issues and areas
which time did not permit the Joint Committee to fully and thoroughly investigate. Furthermore,
it is incumbent upon us, as Intelligence Committee members, and it is incumbent upon the entire
Congress and the President to act on the report's recommendations. We must not let this report
sit idle. We need to continue this critical national debate, even as the next commission begins its
work. We need to continue to hold hearings. We need to introduce legislation that can help
15
remedy the shortfalls we have identified throughout this investigative process. We need to be
committed to an on-going, continuous, sustained effort to reform and fully fund the Intelligence
Community. As such, the issuance of this report must be viewed as a beginning -- not an end.
16
Joint Inquiry Report
ADDITIONAL VIEWS
The Honorable Jane Harman
The Joint Inquiry report is a strong product from a strong staff and unprecedented Congressional
collaboration. I strongly support this report. It provides the most complete and comprehensive
assessment of the plot behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks. It identifies systemic and structural
problems within the U.S. Intelligence Community that hampered the prevention of these attacks.
And, most important, it looks forward: it applies lessons learned to make recommendations
critical to prevent further attacks. Using the information in this report, the 108th Congress has a
base on which to oversee, fund, reshape, and reform the intelligence functions of the federal
government.
The additional views below supplement the report's findings and recommendations.
Director of National Intelligence
To date, the term "Intelligence Community" (IC) has been an oxymoron. The community is
really a collection of stovepipes working separately - often in conflicting or self-interested ways.
Creating a real Community requires a coherent approach across agencies and overarching
leadership. The recommendation aims to empower a Director of National Intelligence (DNI) to
lead the community by pairing authority with responsibility. The Director of Central Intelligence
currently lacks the statutory authority to do this.
The DNI would also have the responsibility and accountability for bringing unity to the different
intelligence collection and analysis functions. The Director would allocate budget resources to
provide people and technology where they are needed most, regardless of which federal
department houses the agency.
All agree that the Administration, Congress, and the IC leadership must act together to foster a
more innovative and less risk-averse intelligence culture. The employees in intelligence
agencies today are hard-working, capable, and dedicated, but often lack the resources and tools
they need to gather, process, analyze, and use information in today's digital environment. In my
view, these workers deserve the trust and appreciation of Congress and the nation, and should be
encouraged and empowered to be imaginative, innovative, and collaborative in order to protect
us from future attacks.
Information Sharing
The investigation revealed that significant intelligence leads about some of the hijackers were
available but did not get widely shared. This was less a willful refusal to share information than
it was a failure to grasp its significance. For example, the CIA and NSA had collected
information on hijackers al Hazmi and al Mihdhar that connected them to bin Laden, the East
Africa Embassy bombings, and the attack on the USS Cole. The agencies also had information
indicating that both men were in the United States. The al Hazmi and al Mihdhar story shows
what many analysts had claimed for years-the raw databases of CIA and NSA contain
extremely valuable information that does not get noticed, shared, integrated, or acted upon.
Entities within the agencies that collect signals and human intelligence guard their "raw" data;
few outside analysts are allowed access. The NSA and CIA's Directorate of Operations typically
insist that they alone, not even all-source intelligence analysts or other sophisticated consumers,
possess the special expertise required to evaluate human or signals intelligence data. Before
sharing information, these entities go through an internal analysis process that "filters" out
everything that does not seem to the analyst sufficiently important or reliable to report. But as
the al Hazmi and al Mihdhar cases demonstrate, analysts can fail to appreciate what might be
important to potential consumers, who bring different perspectives and other sources of
information.
There are powerful reasons why the entities within the CIA, NSA, and FBI that collect the raw
data are so unwilling to allow access to outside analysts - even those within their parent agency.
Compartmentation of classified information is sometimes needed to protect sensitive sources and
methods. There is also a need to protect constitutionally-protected privacy rights. For example,
NSA personnel are trained in "minimization" procedures to cordon off and protect the
communications the agency intercepts. The FBI, historically, has been very concerned to protect
the integrity of actual or potential legal proceedings, causing its field offices to restrict access to
its unreported information.
These obstacles to full exploitation of intelligence information hinder our national security, and
must be overcome. It should be feasible to clear all-source counterterrorism analysts to the same
standards demanded of the human and signals intelligence collectors and train them in
"minimization" procedures to protect the privacy of U.S. persons.
As intelligence agencies increasingly focus on homeland security, they must share information
with state and local governments, first responder groups, private companies, and the American
public. To the extent possible, the intelligence community should create unclassified products
that provide guidance for the appropriate responder groups to prevent or prepare for terrorist
threats. The IC must work with the Department of Homeland Security to match threat
information with vulnerability assessments, and provide the new Department with the
intelligence it needs to communicate to first responders what they should look for.
Domestic Intelligence Collection
The findings reflect problems in gathering and processing actionable intelligence about foreign
terrorists on American soil. Problems also exist for gathering and handling intelligence on
Americans who assist foreign terrorists or plan terrorist plots. The nature of the terrorist threat
does not allow us the luxury of focusing abroad to learn of terrorist activity; we must recognize
the existence of terrorist organizations within the United States and develop the capacity to
uncover, infiltrate, and disrupt them while respecting the privacy and Constitutional rights of law
abiding Americans.
The FBI is currently responsible for gathering intelligence within the United States, but is not
adequately organized nor resourced to successfully meet this mission. Notwithstanding efforts
by FBI Director Mueller, the FBI does not have a robust counterterrorism capability, and there
are serious policy and legal questions in co-locating within one agency responsibility for
domestic intelligence with law enforcement. Intelligence is fundamentally predictive, based on
assumptions, hypotheses, analyses, and forecasts; law enforcement is responsive, based on
credible evidence. These functions use different approaches and operating procedures and there
is great risk that marrying the two will sacrifice one or both.
The report recommends further study and debate of a separate domestic intelligence agency,
without law enforcement responsibility or authorization. Such an entity would be modeled on
Britain's MI-5, but would be tailored to reflect the U.S. federal system and civil rights laws.
Establishing a new agency is not a panacea; Congress must vest any new entity with authorities
and safeguards following a national debate over the appropriate scope of domestic intelligence
collection.
Privacy and Civil Liberties
Collecting information on U.S. citizens and foreign visitors in the United States raises serious
civil liberty and privacy implications, and it is critical that Congress defend the freedoms and
rights of Americans and others. The report recommends continuing Congressional oversight of
domestic intelligence authorities, including a review of the implementation of the Foreign
Intelligence Surveillance Act and USA Patriot Act.
Within the Executive Branch, it is important that the position of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties
Officer in the Department of Homeland Security be filled promptly by a senior and wellrespected
official so that protection of civil liberties is an integral part of homeland security
planning and strategy, and not as an afterthought.
Leaks
Throughout the Joint Inquiry, I have expressed concern with what appear to be frequent leaks of
classified intelligence information. The public disclosure of sensitive intelligence information
can have devastating effects on intelligence sources and methods needed to fight terrorism. The
report recommends the President and agency heads take specific steps to prevent and
appropriately punish the unauthorized disclosure of properly classified intelligence. The 108th
Congress should demand updates on the measures recommended by the Attorney General in a
report to the Congress in fall 2002.
Conclusion
Intelligence remains the key to preventing terrorist attacks. The IC has had many successes in
uncovering and preventing attacks that, by necessity, go unreported and publicly unappreciated.
But terrorists need to be successful only once to kill Americans and demonstrate the inherent
vulnerabilities we face.
We have learned that despite considerable attention and significant efforts across and throughout
the intelligence agencies in the summer of 2001, crucial information was not exploited, and
organizational barriers in the IC blocked preventive action. Solutions to these problems involve
forging a true "digital" community of intelligence agencies with strong leadership, overcoming
entrenched bureaucratic and risk-averse cultures, and empowering our intelligence employees.
This report and these additional views are a basis for action in the 108th Congress. It will be my
priority to see these improvements made.
JOINT INQUIRY STAFF REPORT
ADDITIONAL VIEWS
SENATOR JON KYL, SENATOR PAT ROBERTS
I. The Need for Additional Views
The Report is a product of the Joint Inquiry Staff (JIS), not the Senators and
Representatives who sit, respectively, on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI)
and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI). The Chairman and Vice
Chairman of the SSCI and the Chairman and Ranking Member of the HPSCI (the "Big Four")
made most decisions and supervised the JIS. The JIS should be commended for putting together
the first official account of the events leading up to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
It is difficult, however, for rank-and-file Members of the two committees to know how
thorough or accurate the Report is because of the way the JIS and the "Big Four" conducted the
inquiry, withholding information and decisions from the Members and SSCI and HPSCI staff
throughout the process. While the Report should be a useful historical document on which to
base further inquiries, we cannot vouch for its contents.
Beyond that, the investigation was deficient for what it did not include. While
intelligence community failures were identified, they were presented frequently in a mode of
"mistakes were made" rather than as the beginning of an inquiry as to why they were made.
After prodding by several Senators, some underlying causes of these failures were
identified, but even then, they were not further probed to determine what might have been done
differently. And the fact that the prodding was necessary illustrates our concern that the JIS
either ran out of time or did not have the inclination or instruction to examine, for instance, why
U.S. government agencies were risk-averse, who is responsible for the inadequate resources
devoted to counter-terrorism efforts, why legal authorities were so confusing, and why
leadership was so lacking. Without this examination, the Report will be of limited value in
determining "lessons learned."
The record should also reflect some of the differences in opinion among Members on
how the Report was (or should have been) prepared. The inquiry was conducted and overseen in
1
a way that left rank-and-file Members at a distinct disadvantage, and left insufficient time to
examine many relevant issues. The final draft of the Report -- which is several hundred pages
long and highly classified -- was delivered to Members four days before the one and only
meeting scheduled for its consideration, when most Members were out of town. There was no
debate about the Report, only about the Recommendations. But there was little basis for debate
since the product was strictly the work of the JIS -- more like an Inspector General's report than
a typical congressional committee report. Throughout the process, rank-and-file Members
complained about irregularities. Specific examples include:
· Upon instructions from the Chairmen -- and in violation of SSCI rules -- the JIS often
failed to tell Members and staff of important non-compartmented information it
discovered in a timely manner.
· Information relating to open hearings -- such as the JIS staff statement and witness
statements -- were routinely provided only late on the night before the hearing.
· Committee staff, and sometimes even the staff directors, were often excluded from
meetings of the "Big Four," whose decisions were often made without consultation.
Members' liaison staff, and, therefore, the Members themselves, were in the dark about
these decisions.
· Despite repeated requests, records of JIS interviews with key witnesses conducted in the
spring were not made available to committee staff for review until fall, when the final
draft report was already in the late drafting stages.
· Over the strong objections of several Members, and key officials of the intelligence
community, the "Big Four" scheduled a series of open hearings that sidetracked the
ongoing investigation from mid-July to late October.
Here is a representative example of the lack of meaningful rank-and-file input into "Big
2
Four" decisions: During the JIS hearing of September 24, 2002 on "U.S. Government
Counter-Terrorism Organizations and the Evolution of the Terrorist Threat," Chairman Goss
asked unanimous consent to include in the record several documents relating to that day's
hearing. However, among these documents were requests to the administration regarding its
decision not to declassify certain information. These requests from the "Big Four" were made
without consultation with the rank-and-file Members -- a fact that Senator Kyl noted for the
record at that time. He stated: "Mr. Chairman, I have no objection, but I would like the record to
note that the matter that the four of you spoke to is not a matter that has been discussed by the
full membership of the committee. Therefore, at least I for one am in no position to judge
whether the requests that you have made are warranted or not."
The holding of open hearings was particularly frustrating. The decision to hold them was
apparently made by the "Big Four" despite the concerns of the JIS and the objections of other
Senators. The JIS was forced to focus on them for three months, and from there had to go right
into drafting the Report in order to meet the year-end deadline.
Several Members voiced their opposition to holding open hearings before the
investigative work was completed and the Report written (and, we had supposed, agreed to). We
objected, mostly in closed committee business meetings, that it was premature to convene open
hearings before the investigation was complete. And indeed, at the point when the JIS began
preparing for them (July, 2002), its investigations into the causes of 9/11 largely ground to a halt.
Due to dramatic media leaks and the potential for further compromise, intelligence agencies
"pushed back" against open hearings, causing further friction with the JIS investigation.
The hearings distracted these agencies, our "front line troops" on the war on terrorism,
and they distracted Members and congressional staff from our traditional oversight
responsibilities. They also, in our view and the view of Vice Chairman Shelby, publicly revealed
a lot of sensitive information from which our enemies could profit. Most of the information
presented had already been revealed in closed hearings, which were far more productive because
those who participated could delve freely into classified information.
Key figures in our counter-terrorism efforts were unnecessarily compromised by these
public hearings. A case in point is the Arizona resident whose identity came out in the media.
3
His name and face were even broadcast on Al-Jazeera. His family was harassed and was
potentially in danger from extremists. Our hard-working people deserve better treatment than
that. We should have been more circumspect about publicly releasing results before the
investigation was complete and the two intelligence committees had had a chance to adequately
review the final Report.
II. Deficiencies in the Report
These inadequacies in the process resulted in a Report that falls well short of addressing
the core problems that led to 9/11. Because the fundamental problems that led to 9/11 are almost
certainly rooted in poor policy and inadequate leadership, the investigation should have delved
more deeply into conflicting interpretations of legal authorities (including presidential
directives), budget allocations, institutional attitudes, and other key areas. Only penetrating these
areas will tell us how policymakers, including Congress, contributed to the failures the Report
identifies. In other words, only such a thorough exercise will help us to make sure the failures
are not repeated.
What best shows the tendency of the JIS investigation to go to the water's edge but no
farther is that, in the Report, there is a pronounced tendency to identify problems as "facts," or
"realities," rather than as matters to be plumbed for underlying causes. For instance, we have the
following JIS testimony to the joint committees: "The 1996 Khobar Towers attack, the 1998
African embassies attacks, and the 2000 USS Cole attack led the Departments of State and
Defense to focus heavily on force protection, but not on meeting the challenge of Afghanistan,
even though they recognized the dangers emanating from terrorist camps there."1 So, the problem
of Afghanistan as a haven for terrorists was widely recognized. But the CIA and FBI lacked the
means, and also lacked a plan, to go after training camps in Afghanistan in a comprehensive
manner. It would be reasonable to wonder at this point: What efforts were made to penetrate
various groups in Afghanistan (or if there were efforts, why were they not successful), and why
1Emphasis added. Written statement of Eleanor Hill, in testimony before a hearing of the
House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the Senate Select Committee on
Intelligence (hereafter "the joint committees"), October 8, 2002.
4
was there no attempt to beef up the military for a comprehensive response? The record shows that
little effort was made to effectively utilize the military even after President Clinton's
post-embassy bombing declaration in 1998 that "there will be no sanctuary for terrorists." Again,
it is reasonable to ask why actions did not match words. These are questions we believe have not
been asked, or at best have been asked superficially, by the JIS.
Other areas were treated similarly:
Risk Aversion
The JIS did not examine risk aversion as a distinct and separate issue, despite the fact that
several witnesses and interviewees told the staff that it was a big problem. Indeed, no intelligence
or law-enforcement agency escaped being described by its own officials as hampered by an
aversion to taking risks of one sort or another.
For instance, at the September 24, 2002 JIS open hearing, a cloaked "Minneapolis FBI
Agent" testified about risk aversion in the FBI. He was asked if he thought previous disciplinary
actions involving agents making erroneous applications to the Foreign Intelligence Court of
Review (the court set up under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA) had made
agents reluctant to file FISA applications. He responded that these did indeed have a chilling
effect.2
FBI fears of being seen as committing racial or religious profiling were acknowledged by
a Phoenix special agent who attempted to alert FBI headquarters about suspicious individuals
seeking pilot training. The special agent's now-famous electronic communication to headquarters
recommended that it consider seeking authority to obtain visa information from the State
Department on individuals who got visas to attend flight school. The intelligence operations
specialists at FBI headquarters who reviewed the "Phoenix Memorandum" told the JIS that they
had decided among themselves that seeking that authority raised profiling concerns. FBI qualms
in this regard were stimulated by public allegations of racial profiling that were made against FBI
agents who questioned two Middle Eastern men who had acted suspiciously on an Air West flight
2 Statements of a Minneapolis FBI Agent before the joint committees, September 24,
2002.
5
from Phoenix to Washington, D.C. in 1999.
JIS director Eleanor Hill described the latter incident at the September 24, 2002 hearing:
"During a physical surveillance of the subject of the Phoenix [electronic communication], the
agent determined that he was using a vehicle registered to another individual. In 1999, the owner
of the car and an associate of his were detained for trying to gain access to the cockpit of a
commercial airliner on a domestic flight. They told the FBI that they thought the cockpit was the
bathroom and they accused the FBI of racism."3
During the same hearing, Senator Hatch pressed the FBI witnesses on problems brought
on by perceived racial profiling. Michael Rolince of the FBI remarked on his colleagues'
interactions as they pursued leads on possible terrorist attacks during Y2K celebrations around the
world: "I think you only need to go back to the millennium . . . There was a proposal on the table
to interview every subject of every full and every preliminary inquiry investigation [regarding
Osama Bin Laden] . . . and we were concerned about follow-on events for the Y2K. That met
with overwhelming resistance by the [Special Agents in Charge] in the field for a lot of different
reasons, one of which is we would be hounded unmercifully over the profiling issue."4
3Written statement of Eleanor Hill, in testimony before the joint committees, September
24, 2002.
4 Michael Rolince, testimony before the joint committees, September 24, 2002.
6
The head of the National Security Agency, Lieutenant General Michael Hayden, told the
JIS that, in 2000, his agency found itself having to fend off -- in an unusual public hearing --
Representative Robert Barr's public criticisms. Representative Barr had criticized the National
Security Agency for what he believed were inappropriate collection activities.5
Many comments on risk aversion alluded to congressional oversight and/or investigations
dating back to the Church and Pike investigations of the 1970s. In the 1980s, congressional
investigation and litigation involving the FBI's investigation of the Committees in Solidarity with
the People of El Salvador led indirectly to newer agents being "warned to be careful that they do
not violate religious groups' First Amendment rights."6 It is quite possible -- though this theme
was not fully explored by the JIS -- that a legacy of caution left by these historical episodes
contributed to timidity in tackling the Al Qaeda problem before Al Qaeda struck on 9/11.
5 Joint Inquiry Staff, Memorandum from the Joint Inquiry Staff to Eleanor Hill, dated
November 6, 2002, Subject: "October 31, 2002, Questions from Senators Kyl and Roberts."
6Joint Inquiry Staff, Memorandum from the Joint Inquiry Staff to Eleanor Hill, dated
November 6, 2002, Subject: "October 31, 2002, Questions from Senators Kyl and Roberts."
7
A good example of comments that gave prominence to this subject is that of Richard
Clarke, the National Security Council counter-terrorism coordinator from 1993 to October, 2001,
who discussed in a JIS briefing on June 11, 2002 the atmosphere he would like to see engendered
within our intelligence agencies. Mr. Clarke said the ethos should be: "Don't be afraid to make
mistakes. Encourage a climate in the military and in the law-enforcement communities and in the
CIA that says, perfection is not the goal here; and if you have good intentions and you mess up
along the way, you will not be punished as an organization or as an individual. Get away from
this risk-averse culture, where one mistake and you are out." He added that "we need a thousand
more Colleen Rowleys, and you are never going to get them until you provide them with some
encouragement, both from the Director of the FBI, from the President of the United States and,
most importantly, from the Congress. . . . [B]elieve it or not, a lot of people in the executive
branch are scared stiff about being up in front of a congressional committee."7
Changing the culture of risk aversion in these agencies is a major undertaking. It should
be a central focus of any corrective actions we may attempt following this investigation. Yet the
Report seems only to document the "fact" of risk aversion, rather than get at why it existed.
Without knowing the causes, how can we be certain the conditions that led to it in the 1990s have
been corrected? The two congressional intelligence committees should be very careful when it
comes to recommending that individuals who were "to blame" for 9/11-related failures be
aggressively punished, lest we promote the scapegoating of junior government employees by
those who actually bore more responsibility. (See Recommendation #16.)
Insufficient Resources
Throughout this investigation, top intelligence officials cited a lack of money and people,
in the years before the 9/11 attacks. One CIA witness described intelligence resources fighting
terrorism as "a platoon in a brigade-sized field and doing the best they can."8 This was known, yet
little was done to correct it.
7 Richard Clarke, testimony before the joint committees, June 11, 2002.
8 Statements of a CIA witness before the joint committees, September 20, 2002.
8
During the 1990s, intelligence community budgets stayed roughly even in constant
dollars, or slightly declined. Overall capabilities declined. Primarily by taking from other budgets,
counter-terrorism funds doubled. The Report states that, "in spite of increased counter-terrorism
resources, the overall decreases in Intelligence Community resources made it difficult to expand
the counter-terrorism effort significantly to meet the growing threat. . . .The number of people
working on terrorism rose steadily, despite overall decreases in Intelligence Community staffing.
Nonetheless, the number of people in counter-terrorism remained small."9
One notices a lack of clarity here. The Report spends many pages cataloging why it is
difficult to pinpoint how much money was expended on counter-terrorism; yet the document does
not really grapple with the contradiction between the high-ranking officials' complaints about
inadequate resources and the fact that, according to the Office of Management and Budget, the
intelligence agencies usually got what they asked for. Some excerpts describing this disconnect
follow:
· "DCI Tenet testified that the CIA regularly asked OMB for more money, but had little
success."10
· "Agency leaders testified that their requests for resources were sometimes not satisfied,
even though Congress appropriated as much or more than the President requested. This is
because OMB often reduces agency requests before sending them to Congress."11
· "In general, CIA appropriations for counter-terrorism met or exceeded the requests that
were submitted by the President to Congress."12
· "[National Security Agency] appropriations consistently met or exceeded Presidential
9 Final JIS Report, Tab E, pp. 2-3.
10Final JIS Report, Tab E, p. 7.
11Final JIS Report, Tab E, p. 9.
12Final JIS Report, Tab E, p. 10.
9
requests to Congress."13
· "The FBI usually received more -- at times far more -- than the amounts the President
initially requested from Congress."14
13Final JIS Report, Tab E, p. 12.
14Final JIS report, Tab E, p. 11.
10
· "Budget requests specifically tied to counter-terrorism were generally approved,
according to OMB officials."15
Yet officials from the intelligence agencies contended after the fact that the enhanced
resources they received were not sufficient to meet the growing threat. One officer of the
Counter-Terrorism Center claimed she was told when appeals for more resources were rejected:
"People [will] have to die for them to get resources."16
Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet is in a rare and privileged position of having
a personal audience with the President on a near-daily basis. When the Director of Central
Intelligence declares war on Al Qaeda, as George Tenet did in 1998, we should see a dramatic
effect. Did he press his case with President Clinton that he did not have enough people or
resources? What he said in written testimony before the joint committees on October 17, 2002 is
that the CIA prepared a policy-and-objectives statement in early 1997 that reflected a
determination to go on the offensive against terrorism. Director Tenet:
"The submission outlined our Counter-Terrorism Center's offensive operations, listing as
their goals to 'render the masterminds, disrupt terrorist infrastructure, infiltrate terrorist groups,
and work with foreign partners.' . . . It highlighted efforts to work with the FBI in a bold bid to
destroy the infrastructure of major terrorist groups worldwide.
15Final JIS Report, Tab E, p. 19.
16Final JIS Report, Tab E, p. 14.
11
". . . The FY99 submission -- prepared in early 1998 -- continued the trend in requesting a
substantial funding increase for offensive operations against terrorism. . . . The FY 2000 budget
submission prepared in early 1999 described Bin Laden as 'the most significant individual
sponsor of Sunni Islamic extremism and terrorism activity in the world today.' Our FY 2000
submission noted our use of a wide range of operational techniques, joint operations with foreign
partners, and the recruitment of well-placed agents."17
Director Tenet continued: "Despite these clear intentions and the daring activities that
went with them, I was not satisfied that we were doing all we could against this target. In 1998, I
told key leaders at CIA and across the intelligence community that we should consider ourselves
'at war' with UBL. I ordered that no effort or resource be spared in prosecuting this war. In early
1999, I ordered a baseline review of CIA's operational strategy against Bin Laden."18
In spite of Director Tenet's claims of "daring activities" and not being satisfied that the
CIA was doing all it could against terrorists, the JIS found that "There was a reluctance to take
risks in which CIA officers might die."19
But, back to the question of resources: What did Tenet do to follow up? Did he request
more? Were the requests rejected? By whom? Why? If requests for money had been granted,
would that have made any difference? And finally, how much has changed since 9/11?
17George Tenet, testimony before the joint committees, October 17, 2002.
18Ibid.
19Joint Inquiry Staff, Memorandum from the Joint Inquiry Staff to Eleanor Hill, dated
November 6, 2002, Subject, "October 31, 2002, Questions from Senators Kyl and Roberts."
12
The JIS was able to get the personnel and fiscal counter-terrorism requests of the FBI
dating to the early 1990s. These contained the total number of additional positions or monies
requested by the FBI of the Department of Justice, requested by the Department of Justice of the
Office of Management and Budget, requested by the OMB of Congress, and enacted by Congress.
Within these data are indications of irrational, ad hoc budgeting and funding decisions.20 The
positions approved by each entity in turn, as the requests wended their way from the FBI to
Congress, sometimes showed wild disparities and inconsistencies. Yet the root causes for this
remain unexplored. Without this information, the JIS contended it could not determine the
"failure mechanisms" in the budgeting process. What was the impact on counter-terrorism as a
result of the administration's budget requests and congressional responses, and what changes
would be required to rectify the problems? The JIS Report does not provide answers.
A Flawed Legal/Institutional Framework
It is also evident that some of the pre-9/11 failings were caused by government officials
operating under unclear authorities. The joint committees heard testimony from a number of
senior officers from the intelligence agencies, the National Security Council, and the Pentagon.
The committees were presented with divergent perspectives on exactly what authorities existed in
our efforts to take the war to the terrorists.
20Final JIS Report, Chart 1.5 ("FBI Resource Requests"); Joint Inquiry Staff briefing to
the joint committees, "An Overview of Counter-Terrorism Resources," Slide #6 ("FBI Requests
for Additional Counter-Terrorism Resources and the DOJ, OMB, and Congressional Response").
13
National Security Council officials said they provided all the tools, both physical and
legal, to do the job; intelligence agency officials said the National Security Council provided
neither. Stated former National Security Advisor Anthony Lake: "In June, 1995, Presidential
Decision Directive 39 mandated increased efforts to capture terrorists abroad."21 His successor as
National Security Advisor, Sandy Berger, said in response to our questions for the record:
"President Clinton approved every strike or other action against bin Laden proposed by his
intelligence, military, and national security advisors."22
On the other side of this divide, Members heard from intelligence officials, such as Cofer
Black, former chief of the Counter-Terrorism Center, comments about being hampered by a lack
of operational flexibility. Mr. Black: "I want to make this very clear. I do not feel that I had
sufficient authorities to do the best job that we could."23 He underlined this point at a later
hearing: "All I want to say is that there was before 9/11 and after 9/11. After 9/11 the gloves came
off."24
While the details of this debate remain classified, the JIS Report, as it does in so many
other respects, documents the fact that there were discordant views without digging to find the
point of failure that allowed this confusion to persist.
21Written statement of Anthony Lake, in testimony before the joint committees,
September 19, 2002.
22Memorandum from Sandy Berger to Senator Graham dated November 4, 2002, Subject:
"Reply to Additional Joint Inquiry Questions."
23Cofer Black, statements before the joint committees, September 12, 2002.
24Written statement of Cofer Black, in testimony before the joint committees, September
26, 2002.
14
Uncertainty about a particular legal authority is shown in the FBI's decision-making
surrounding the search of Zaccarias Moussaoui's computer. Minneapolis agent Rowley thought a
FISA warrant could be obtained. Headquarters personnel thought not, because it was not clear
Moussaoui was acting on behalf of an international terrorist organization.25 More in-depth
analysis of this issue might have resulted in a recommendation by our committees to revisit the
legal definition, under FISA, of a "foreign power"-- a term that currently only includes foreign
governments or international terrorist organizations. A warrant for surveillance of an individual is
only granted under FISA if a court finds probable cause to believe the target of the warrant is
linked either to a foreign government or an established organization. This may have made sense
when the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act was enacted during the Cold War, but apparently,
as noted, U.S. authorities did not try to obtain a FISA warrant to search Moussaoui in the summer
of 2001 because the FBI could not prove he was linked to a specific terrorist group. Senator Kyl
has offered a three-word change to the statute that would permit a FISA warrant to be obtained if
the person suspected of terrorist activity is a foreign person. This change is supported by the
Department of Justice.
Another change in the law that could improve the institutional framework would be
further congressional legislation to enable the U.S. Government to deter and punish unauthorized
disclosure of security-related information.
Leadership Failures
Al Qaeda's attack on Washington and New York occurred after a long period of poor
leadership at the highest levels of the U.S. Government regarding terrorism. Despite repeated
assaults on the United States and its interests -- the 1993 World Trade Center attack, the bombing
of the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, the attack on the USS Cole in 2000, to
name a few -- the U.S. Government was still unwilling to treat terrorism as a true national
security issue until 9/11. Indeed, the previous administration strove mightily to treat terrorism
strictly as a law-enforcement issue, often thinking in terms of what evidence could be gathered on
25 "F.B.I. Denial of Search Warrant for Suspect's Belongings Is at Center of Inquiries,"
Philip Shenon, New York Times, June 7, 2002.
15
terrorists that would hold up in a court of law. Even when we did respond with military force -
sending cruise missiles into Afghanistan and Sudan after the 1998 embassy attacks, for instance -
it smacked of doing something for show, rather than a real attempt to treat the terrorist threat for
what it is -- a war.
But these leadership failures at the political level do not absolve the decision-makers at
the intelligence agencies of their own failures. The problem of inadequate allocation of resources,
for example, appears to be a result of confused leadership in the intelligence community. Just
about every person interviewed indicated that, before 9/11, he or she was overtasked and
undermanned. Yet the Counter-Terrorism "Center" evidently did not fully use the resources
already in the community. Analysts from agencies outside the CIA indicated to the JIS that they
were not being tapped to assist counter-terrorism work inside the Counter-Terrorism Center. JIS
information indicates that the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Federal Aviation
Administration offered analytic support to the chief of the Counter-Terrorism Center, but both
offers were rebuffed.26 So, in spite of a 1998 DCI declaration of war on Al Qaeda, two key
organizations were not allowed to fully throw their support behind the anti-terror effort. In this
connection, Director Tenet stated before our committee - apparently with pride -- that, by 2001,
the Counter-Terrorism Center "had 30 officers from more than a dozen agencies on board,
[constituting] ten percent of its staff complement at that time."27 This means the CIA accounted
for 90 percent of the personnel at the Counter-Terrorism Center, and the "more than a dozen"
other agencies were only allotted the remaining 10 percent of the billets. Clearly, the Counter-
Terrorism Center, created as an intelligence community entity to fuse information and analysis,
did not fully leverage the assets resident throughout the law-enforcement and intelligence
communities.
Instead we had fragmented counter-terrorism analytic centers at CIA headquarters, at the
Pentagon, and at various FBI locations. The failure to concert the community's activities had
26 Joint Inquiry Staff, Memorandum from the Joint Inquiry Staff to Eleanor Hill, dated
November 6, 2002, Subject: "October 31, 2002, Questions from Senators Kyl and Roberts."
27Written statement of George Tenet, in testimony before the joint committees, October
17, 2002.
16
severe consequences. Did the intelligence community fail the Director of Central Intelligence by
not offering more support to the Counter-Terrorism Center, or did the Director of Central
Intelligence fail the Counter-Terrorism Center by not bringing in more government-wide talent
and skills?
Only after 9/11 did the various intelligence and law-enforcement entities begin to put
aside their parochialism and work together in a more productive manner. With better leadership
of the intelligence community, this condition would not have been prevalent before 9/11. It would
not have taken that monumental disaster for our nation to get the members of the community to
cooperate with one another.
One of the purposes of the Joint Inquiry, as stated in the preamble to the House and Senate
committees' "Initial Scope" document, was to "lay the basis for assessing the accountability of
institutions and officials of government." The JIS Report, however, apparently fails to identify
which officials within the intelligence community had responsibility, before 9/11, for strategic
and tactical warning of terrorist activity. Instead, Recommendation #16 suggests that discovering
who is accountable should be the job of the Inspectors General of the various agencies.
Inadequate Scope
The failures that led to 9/11 occurred not only in the intelligence community. The JIS was
selective about what threads of inquiry it was willing to follow beyond the intelligence
community. Failure to examine the State Department's visa-issuance process must rank as the
most glaring of these omissions because the answer to the question - could 9/11 have been
prevented -- is yes, if State Department personnel had merely followed the law and not granted
non-immigrant visas to 15 of the 19 hijackers in Saudi Arabia.
We repeat: If our own laws regarding the issuance of visas had been followed by the State
Department, most of the hijackers would not have been able to obtain visas, and 9/11 would not
have happened. Because the entire culture of the State Department is geared toward facilitating
smooth relations with foreign governments, State Department personnel have tended to ignore the
potential effect of their practices on national security.
An October, 2002 report of the General Accounting Office found that, before 9/11, there
was among U.S. consular officers abroad a wide divergence of opinions and practices regarding
17
"the authority of consular officers to deny questionable applicants a visa; the role of the visa
process in ensuring national security; and the types of changes . . . appropriate given the need for
heightened border security."28
Section 214(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act essentially creates a presumption
against the issuance of visas to single young men without visible means of support. Consular
officers are empowered with broad authority to deny visas in cases where the applicant fails to
overcome this presumption. Section 214(b), which pertains to non-immigrant visas, specifically
provides that applicants for such visas must demonstrate that they: 1) have a residence abroad and
strong ties to a country that they have no intention of abandoning; 2) intend to leave the United
States in a timely manner; and 3) intend to engage in legitimate activities related to the
non-immigrant category.
28 "Border Security: Visa Process Should Be Strengthened as an Antiterrorism Tool,"
General Accounting Office, October, 2002, p. 3.
18
The failure of several of the terrorist hijackers, including the ringleader, Mohammed Atta,
to completely fill out their applications provided ample reason for denying the visas. Only one of
the 15 terrorists who were from Saudi Arabia provided an actual address; the rest listed only
general locations, such as "California," "New York," "Hotel D.C." and "Hotel."29 Only three of
the 15 provided the name and street address of present employer or school as required on the
application. Only one of these applications had additional documentation or explanatory notes
provided by a consular officer that addressed any discrepancy or problem with the original
application.
It was the official position of the State Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs for over a
year, that 13 of the 15 terrorists from Saudi Arabia had been personally interviewed and that there
was nothing in their visa applications or in the interviews that should have prevented issuance of
their visas. According to the GAO, however, only two of the Saudi applicants were actually
interviewed, and all 19 hijackers had substantial omissions and inconsistencies on their visa
applications that should have raised concerns about why they wanted visas.
29 "Visas for Terrorists," Joel Mowbray, National Review, October 28, 2002.
19
The GAO reported that these applicants were presumed to be eligible based upon pre-9/11
internal State Department policies that stressed that all applicants from Saudi Arabia and the
United Arab Emirates were to be considered "good cases" and, therefore, exempt from
interviews. Moreover, the GAO noted that applicants from these two countries were not required
to "complete their applications or [provide] supporting documentation."30 Why was this so? The
pervasiveness in Saudi Arabia of Wahhabism, a radical, anti-American variant of Islam, was
well-known before 9/11. The JIS should have inquired why the country of Saudi Arabia was
given such preferential treatment by the State Department and whether the intelligence agencies
were complicit in the policy.
III. Comments on Recommendations
When there is a crisis, there is a tendency to look for easy solutions. A case in point is the
first and most publicized Recommendation to come out of this investigation: the creation of a new
"Director of National Intelligence." Good policies, good leadership, adequate resources, and will
can better protect the American people from terrorism than simply creating new offices and
rearranging organizational charts. And, as we have attempted to show, policy, resources, and
leadership were issues that were not treated in sufficient depth by the JIS. It is not at all clear that
a new intelligence "czar" could succeed where the Director of Central Intelligence has not. For
that matter, the Report does not even conclude that DCI Tenet or any predecessor DCI did fail.
The disconnect between the JIS' investigative efforts and the Recommendation supposedly based
on them is remarkable.
On the merits of the "Director of National Intelligence" idea itself, we would concur with
some of the points made by Vice Chairman Shelby in his Statement of Additional Views.
Separating the job of the head of the intelligence community from the directorship of the CIA is
an idea of some value. It has been endorsed by a number of post-Cold War studies of intelligencecommunity
reform. However, we in the House and Senate intelligence committees have not yet
deliberated enough on this question to draw any conclusions.
30GAO report, p. 17.
20
As indicated above, we are particularly troubled by the JIS Report's Recommendation
#16, calling for lower-level personnel to be held accountable by the various agencies' Inspectors
General. It is doubtful whether this would improve the functioning of the intelligence agencies.
Accountability of this kind would, in our view, have a troubling result: exacerbating what so
many people quoted herein cited as a pervasive problem, namely, aversion to risk. Accountability
of those at the very top is what is needed; it alone produces accountability at the intervening
levels, and among officers in the field who run down the leads to find terrorists.
It would be expecting too much to think that U.S. authorities should have predicted that
the attack of 9/11 would come. But the level of dysfunction in the security and intelligence
agencies comes as a shock to Americans, who had faith in the expertise of the intelligence
community. To restore that faith it must improve its performance, and in this regard, the
proposition "First things first" is only common sense. Our duty to understand precedes our ability
to improve. The JIS Report, in not fully coming to terms with what produced the intelligence
failures it identified, left that duty unfulfilled. These Additional Views are offered not to criticize
those who worked very hard under difficult circumstances to file a Report by the end of the 107th
Congress, but to provide a more complete perspective for those who are charged to further
investigate the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
21
LAW ENFORCEMENT SENSITIVE
Additional Views of Senator Carl Levin
A fair reading of the facts contained in the Joint Inquiry report has led me to a deeply
troubling conclusion:
Prior to September 11th, United States intelligence officials possessed terrorist
information that if properly handled could have disrupted, limited, or possibly prevented the
terrorist attacks against the World Trade Center Towers, the Pentagon, and United Airlines
Flight 93. At crucial points in the twenty-one months leading up to September 11th, this
intelligence information was either not shared or was not acted upon, and, as a result,
opportunities to thwart the terrorist plot were squandered.
While the Joint Inquiry did not uncover a "smoking gun" leading up to September 11th, a
number of "lit fuses" were known to counter-terrorism officials during a period of time when our
Intelligence Community was at a heightened state of alert over imminent attacks from al-Qaeda.
The report details how in the months leading up to September 11th these fuses were allowed to
burn and how attempts to extinguish them were shockingly frustrated.
Two of the terrorists hijackers - al-Mihdhar and al-Hazmi - were allowed to enter the
United States in January 2000 because the CIA, who knew the two to be linked with al-Qaeda
and the 1998 East African embassy bombings, failed repeatedly to place them on a entry
watchlist. One of the two - al Mihdhar - was able to leave and re-enter the United States in 2001
and, according to the FBI, may have spent his time abroad organizing the travel of the twelve
terrorists who constituted the hijacking "muscle" into the United States.
On June 11, 2001, at a meeting of FBI and CIA officials, FBI field agents from New
York investigating al-Qaeda's responsibility for the deadly U.S.S. Cole bombing, pressed for
information regarding the CIA's interest in al-Mihdhar and al-Hazmi and their attendance at the
LAW ENFORCEMENT SENSITIVE
LAW ENFORCEMENT SENSITIVE
January 2000 Malaysia meeting of al-Qaeda terrorists, which included the person responsible for
planning the U.S.S. Cole attack. The CIA official at the meeting denied the FBI agent's request
and withheld basic and relevant information about the suspected terrorists because he did not
believe he had the authority to share the information.
Two and half months after this June 11, 2001, meeting, and after the two terrorists had
been determined to have entered the country and were watchlisted, a FBI New York agent
pressed FBI headquarters to use full criminal resources to find these at-large members of al-
Qaeda. The agent's request was denied by the FBI's National Security Law Unit which cited a
"wall" that prevented the sharing of intelligence information with criminal case agents. Invoking
this so-called "wall" was erroneous however, and, as a result, the FBI's search for the terrorists
in the two weeks leading up to the attacks was unnecessarily hamstrung.
(LES) The FBI's Minneapolis field office opened an international terrorism investigation
of Zacarias Moussaoui and soon after arrested him on August 16, 2001. After the arrest, the CIA
urgently solicited its stations around the world for additional information on Moussaoui, who it
characterized as a "suspect airline suicide attacker" who might be "involved in a larger plot to
target airlines traveling from Europe to the U.S." And yet, over the next three weeks FBI
Minneapolis officials were frustrated in their efforts to obtain a FISA search warrant of
Moussaoui's belongings by legal officials at FBI headquarters based on an incorrect reading of
the search warrant requirements, a mistake now acknowledged by the FBI. After September
11th, Moussaoui's belongings revealed links to al-Qaeda officials which connected him to the
planners of the terrorist plot.
Finally, while the Joint Inquiry report addresses at length the FBI's mishandling of the
July 10, 2001, Phoenix Electronic Communication, it fails to note that many of the individuals
identified by the FBI Phoenix agent as being part of a suspected al-Qaeda cell infiltrating the
American civil aviation industry were the subject of "UBL-related investigations" by the FBI
LAW ENFORCEMENT SENSITIVE
LAW ENFORCEMENT SENSITIVE
after the terrorist attacks. The warnings contained in the Phoenix Electronic Communication
were largely ignored before September 11th. But surprisingly, despite all the subsequent
attention given to the Phoenix document, the FBI Director, in the year after the terrorists attacks,
was unable to inform the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the Joint Inquiry how
many of the suspects identified by the Phoenix agent were linked to al-Qaeda and of the status of
the investigation.
LAW ENFORCEMENT SENSITIVE
Senator Barbara A. Mikulski
As a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, I voted in support of the recommendations
of the Joint Intelligence Inquiry.
Protecting the American people is the most important responsibility I have as a United States
Senator. We owe it to the victims of the September 11th and anthrax attacks, their families, and
the nation to find answers. Who knew what and when before the September 11th attacks? And if
they didn't know, why? The purpose of the joint inquiry was to ask the tough questions and use
the answers to detect, deter and disrupt future attacks.
We must put in place an intelligence framework to meet the threats of the twenty-first century.
We need a national debate and national consensus on the best way to prevent terrorism, protect
the nation and preserve the Constitution and civil liberties.
A new framework demands reform. Our intelligence agencies must change. They must change
their culture and how they operate. Congress and the Administration must make sure these
agencies have the right resources to do their jobs. That means new technology, better training,
and increased funding. The time for status quo is over. The threats to America are real and
potentially devastating. We must be rigorous and unflinching in pursuit of reform.
While we protect America, we must also protect our Constitution and civil liberties.
There must be a vigorous national debate about the need for a domestic intelligence agency. The
American people have a right to know, a right to be heard and a right to be included. The debate
must be conducted in the sunshine. Congress should review any proposals through the
committee process. Public comment should be encouraged through hearings, town halls meetings
and other forums.
The American people must be informed and involved. Reform cannot be achieved in secret or
by executive fiat. A decision on a new intelligence agency should be based on a national debate
and national consensus, not partisan politics.
This debate must take place, and it must happen soon. I have no doubt that if America goes to
war against Iraq, terrorists will go to war against America - on American soil. America will be
part of the battlefield. We must be prepared.
That is why I support the important concrete changes recommended by the Joint Inquiry
Committee to revamp, reform and reinvigorate the Intelligence Community.
o Creating a Cabinet-level Director of National Intelligence position. This gives one
person responsibility and authority over every element of the Intelligence Community -
to set priorities, assign personnel, and manage a unified budget. Breaking down silos and
ending turf battles must be top priority. Putting a single person in charge is a solid first
step to real reform.
o Creation of a national watchlist center. Four of the terrorists involved in the
September 11th attacks were stopped by local law enforcement for speeding or for not
having a driver's license. When the police officers did the checks, there were no flashing
yellow lights about these men. Today local law enforcement knows more about deadbeat
dads than death threat terrorists. Something is really wrong here. We need to fix it.
Creating a national watchlist center will ensure that information about potential terrorists
is available to those who need it - from Customs inspectors to local cops on the beat.
o Creating better technologies for intelligence. Our intelligence community must stay
ahead of the curve on developing and using new technologies. We need to make sure our
ears on the world don't go deaf because of commercial encryption or huge volumes of
data.
o Reforming the FBI. The FBI must be more effective and efficient in both law
enforcement and preventing terrorism. That means better analysis and training,
modernizing computer systems to share information, and cooperation with other
intelligence agencies.
ADDITIONAL VIEWS
Congressman Tim Roemer
I want to begin by congratulating the leadership of the Joint Inquiry for their
bipartisanship, productivity, and helpful recommendations. In the history of Congress, very few
joint inquiries have been created, let alone been successful. Congress, as an institution, can look
at this bicameral and bipartisan accomplishment with pride.
Although I generally embrace the findings and recommendations of the report, there are
several areas where further emphasis is needed and additional improvements must be made.
One of my great frustrations during my service on the Permanent Select
Committee on Intelligence has been the degree to which access to information is restricted, either
from the committee or within the committee, often for reasons that have little or no correlation to
national security. Many times, these restrictions have the effect of impairing the ability of
members of the committee to make fully informed decisions on important budgetary or policy
matters. For example, during the Joint Inquiry, it became clear that individual government
officials had been briefed about certain terrorist related information before September 11. The
substance of these briefings was declassified and made public. The dates that these briefings
took place were declassified. Thus, sensitive information that might reveal sources, methods, or
expose national security concerns, is not part of the equation here. But the identity of the
participants in the briefings, even by reference to the title of the offices they held, was not
declassified. In other words, a judgment was made that national security would not be
endangered if the American people knew the specifics about information their government
possessed about terrorism, but would be threatened if they knew who in their government knew
that information. There are few things more destructive, in my judgment, to the bond of trust
between the people and their government than refusing to declassify information which might be
politically uncomfortable or embarrassing. Classification should be for important national
security reasons, and references to title and positions should not be classified or asserted as
covered under the doctrine of executive privilege.
12-17-02, 11:45 am
The executive branch suffers from a tendency toward over classification which,
especially in the area of intelligence, diminishes Congress' ability to effectively oversee budget
and policy decisions. I hope that the procedures through which information is classified will be
streamlined. Additionally, we must accelerate the pace of review for declassification of
information already classified. As part of these efforts, I strongly encourage the administration
to reconsider its decision to maintain the classification of titles and positions in the matter of
concern to the Joint Inquiry.
The Joint Inquiry focused almost totally, given the jurisdiction of the two committees, on
the September 11-related activities of the intelligence agencies. Although these agencies have
significant responsibilities on security issues, and terrorism issues specifically, those
responsibilities are not exclusive in either area. To understand fully how the September 11
attacks were successfully conducted requires a look well beyond the borders of the intelligence
community. Issues like the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and airline security; the
manner in which visa applications are reviewed; the procedures used to grant entry into the
United States at points of entry, as well as those used to monitor our borders; and issues related
to the security of our ports, particularly our ability to track the movement of cargo, all need to be
scrutinized. A more thorough and comprehensive look at the September 11 attacks, and ways to
prevent attacks in the future, needs to be done. I am hopeful that the recently established
national commission will complete that job.
The Joint Inquiry would have benefited greatly, in my judgment, had it been able to hear
directly from the most senior national security officials in the current administration. For various
reasons, the Secretaries of State and Defense, the Attorney General, and the National Security
Advisor were not questioned directly about issues related to the September 11 attacks. I do not
believe that the record of the national commission will be complete unless this shortcoming is
addressed.
I agree with those who urge a more exhaustive investigation of the means through which
the September 11 hijackers were supported financially while they were planning and training for
the attacks. Money combines with ideology to form the lifeblood of terrorism. Shutting off the
2 12-17-02, 11:45 am
flow of funds, whatever their source, is critical to winning the war against terrorism. Of
particular concern is whether other nations, either wittingly or as a result of less than aggressive
efforts to monitor financial transactions within their own borders, may have provided support to
the September 11 hijackers, or may be providing support to other terrorists who would do harm
to the United States. I believe it is imperative that every effort be made to fully investigate all
financial relationships between terrorist groups and members of the international community.
Our Joint Inquiry has scratched the surface of this critical issue; other investigations, including
the national commission, must complete this effort.
We also recommended that a Cabinet-level Director of National Intelligence (DNI) be
appointed to lead the intelligence community. This grows out of our concern that the current
structure is not conducive to the management of the intelligence community as a coherent whole.
The intelligence community encompasses more than a dozen agencies and tens of thousands of
employees. These entities are diverse in their focus and composition. We found that there were
serious difficulties in setting budget and policy priorities across the intelligence community and
ensuring their implementation. Thus, the intelligence community is ill equipped to meet the new
challenge of global terrorists focused on targets within the United States.
Leadership of the intelligence community should be strengthened through the creation of
a new position with sufficient authority, resources, and staff to manage intelligence agencies as a
cohesive entity. We believe this Director of National Intelligence should be sufficiently
empowered that he or she can exercise the full range of management, budgetary and personnel
responsibilities. Making this position a reality, however, will raise a host of practical issues that
will require careful consideration by the Congress, not least of which is the question of what
authority over the intelligence agencies should remain with the heads of the departments in
which these entities reside.
The Joint Inquiry recommends that the new Director of National Intelligence not be
permitted to serve as the head of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) or any other individual
intelligence agency. The intent of this provision is to ensure that leadership of the intelligence
community remains focused and consistent across all agencies of the community. However, an
3 12-17-02, 11:45 am
argument can be made that a DNI would be more effective if he or she also served as the head of
an agency. I would strongly recommend that the Congress and commission study this issue more
carefully, and I will remain open to the debate.
The Joint Inquiry recommendations recognized that the workforce of the intelligence
community is its greatest resource. All Americans should be thankful for the thousands of
individuals employed by U.S. intelligence agencies who make countless sacrifices for our
collective security. Yet we have found that these individuals are not as well equipped and well
trained as they should be. The Joint Inquiry makes numerous recommendations on measures that
should be implemented to enhance the development of the workforce with the skills and
expertise, and intelligence tools, needed for success in counterterrorist efforts. First among these
is better expertise, especially in languages. Language readiness is woefully inadequate across
the intelligence community, and the Congress has repeatedly stressed the need for a strategic
plan to remedy the problem with multi-faceted, sustained and creative approaches.
On another personnel matter, the importance of strategic analysis cannot be overstated.
This topic is well developed in sections of the report, but I wish to further emphasize that already
existing information technology can assist in the development of better analytic products, if fully
utilized. The collection agencies disseminate intelligence reports to large numbers of users
through cables, whose formats were defined many years ago. These cables tend to provide very
little context, so if the recipient is not familiar with the details of the particular topic the
importance of the intelligence could be likely missed. This could have contributed to the failure
of the CIA to watchlist Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khaled al-Mihdhar. Intelligence reporting formats
should be modernized and analytic tools more widely utilized to facilitate the discovery of links
between new and previously acquired information. These efforts can contribute to a greater
depth and quality of analysis.
Finally, the importance of all collected information is not always well understood by the
reports officers who act as collection filters when they create the cables that are disseminated to
the all-source analysts. The Joint Inquiry uncovered instances where information was not
disseminated, because intelligence thresholds were not met, that in hindsight, would have
4 12-17-02, 11:45 am
revealed important information about some of the September 11th hijackers. The Joint Inquiry
recommendations and the conference report on the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year
2003 both address this issue concerning access to "raw" intelligence. Since seemingly
insignificant information given to the right analyst, or appropriately data-mined and correlated
by an analytic tool, could help uncover the next plot, such information must be made available to
a limited number of analysts for domestic security and force protection purposes.
5 12-17-02, 11:45 am
APPENDICES
APPENDIX
THE SENATE SELECT COMMITTEE
ON
INTELLIGENCE
AND
HOUSE PERMANENT SELECT COMMITTEE
ON
INTELLIGENCE
INITIAL SCOPE OF JOINT INQUIRY
(148 Cong. Rec. H3493 (daily ed. Jun 5, 2002))
APPENDIX
THE SENATE SELECT COMMITTEE
ON
INTELLIGENCE
AND
HOUSE PERMANENT SELECT COMMITTEE
ON
INTELLIGENCE
SUPPLEMENTAL JOINT INQUIRY RULES
148 Cong. Rec. S5032 (daily ed. Jun 5, 2002)
148 Cong. Rec. H3493 (daily ed. Jun 12, 2002)
APPENDIX
JOINT INQUIRY HEARINGS
JOINT INQUIRY HEARINGS
Date Subject/Substance Status
Jun 4, 2002 Business Meeting Closed
Jun 5 Evolution Of The Threat Closed
Jun 6 Evolution of The Threat Closed
Jun 11 Richard Clarke Closed
Former National Coordinator for
Security, Infrastructure, and Counterterrorism
Jun 12 The Intelligence Community Before September 11 Closed
Airplanes As Weapons
Jun 18 Lt. General Michael Hayden Closed
Director, National Security Agency
Robert Mueller
Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation
George Tenet
Director of Central Intelligence
Jun 19 Lt. General Michael Hayden Closed
Director, National Security Agency
George Tenet
Director of Central Intelligence
Robert Mueller
Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation
Jul 16 Technical Collection Closed
Jul 18 Technical Collection Closed
Jul 23 Financial Campaign Closed
1
Jul 25 Analysis & Language Closed
Sep 12 Covert Action Closed
Sep 18 Representatives Of September 11 Victims' Families Open
Sep 19 Richard Armitage Open
Deputy Secretary Of State
Samuel Berger
Former National Security Advisor To
The President
Brent Scowcroft
Former National Security Advisor To
The President
Paul Wolfowitz
Deputy Secretary Of Defense
Sep 20 The Hijackers Open
Sep 24 Moussaoui & The Phoenix Electronic Communication Open
Sep 26 Moussaoui & The Phoenix Electronic Communication Closed
Sep 26 Response To The Terrorist Threat Open
Oct 1 Information Sharing Open
Oct 3 Proposed Reorganization Of The Intelligence Community Open
Oct 8 Lessons Learned Open
Oct 9 FBI/CIA Issues Closed
Oct 10 FBI/CIA Issues Closed
Robert Mueller
Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation
George Tenet
Director of Central Intelligence
2
Oct 17 Lt. General Michael Hayden Open
Director, National Security Agency
Robert Mueller
Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation
George Tenet
Director of Central Intelligence
Dec 10 Business Meeting Closed
3
APPENDIX
LIST OF HEARING WITNESSES
List of Hearing Witnesses
The following is a list of witnesses who appeared before Joint Inquiry hearings conducted
by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the Senate Select Committee on
Intelligence in open or closed session. Affiliations listed are as of the date of appearance.
June 4, 2002 Business Meeting (No Witnesses)
June 5, 2002 Alonzo Robertson, Joint Inquiry Staff
John Keefe, Joint Inquiry Staff
June 6, 2002 Eleanor Hill, Director, Joint Inquiry Staff
Alonzo Robertson, Joint Inquiry Staff
John Keefe, Joint Inquiry Staff
June 11, 2002 Richard Clarke, Special Advisor to the President for Cyberspace Security,
Executive Office of the President, former Coordinator for Security,
Infrastructure, and Counterterrorism, National Security Council, 1993 -
2001.
June 12, 2002 Miles Kara, Joint Inquiry Staff
Patti Litman, Joint Inquiry Staff
Michael Jacobson, Joint Inquiry Staff
June 18, 2002 George Tenet, Director of Central Intelligence
Robert Mueller, Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Lieutenant General Michael Hayden, USAF, Director, National Security
Agency
June 19, 2002 George Tenet, Director of Central Intelligence
Robert Mueller, Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Lieutenant General Michael Hayden, USAF, Director, National Security
Agency
July 16, 2002 Robert Rosenwald, Joint Inquiry Staff
1
Patti Litman, Joint Inquiry Staff
July 18, 2002 Lieutenant General Michael Hayden, USAF, Director, National Security
Agency
Dr. Donald Kerr, Deputy Director of Central Intelligence for Science and
Technology
James Caruso, Deputy Assistant Director for Counterterrorism and
Counterintelligence, Federal Bureau of Investigation
July 23, 2002 David Aufhauser, General Counsel, Department of Treasury
James Sloan, Director, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network
Richard Newcomb, Office of Foreign Assets Control
Dennis Lormel, Section Chief, Financial Review Group, Federal Bureau of
Investigation
July 25, 2002 Central Intelligence Agency Officer
Defense Intelligence Agency Officer
National Security Agency Officer
Federal Bureau of Investigation Supervisor
Central Intelligence Agency Officer
Sept. 12, 2002 Counterterrorist Center Officers, Central Intelligence Agency
Cofer Black, Former Chief, Counterterrorist Center, Central Intelligence
Agency
Sept. 18, 2002 Eleanor Hill, Director, Joint Inquiry Staff
Kristin Breitweiser, Co-Founder of September 11th Advocates
Stephen Push, Co-Founder and Treasurer of Families of September 11th
Sept. 19, 2002 Richard Armitage, Deputy Secretary of State
Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy Secretary of Defense
General Brent Scowcroft, USAF (Ret.) National Security Advisor, Ford
Administration and George H.W. Bush Administration
Samuel Berger, National Security Advisor, Clinton Administration, Second
Term
Sept. 20, 2002 Eleanor Hill, Director, Joint Inquiry Staff
CIA Officer
FBI Special Agent
Michael Rolince, Special Agent-in-Charge, Washington Field Office,
Federal Bureau of Investigation
2
Christopher Kojm, Deputy for Intelligence Policy and Coordination, Bureau
of intelligence and Research, Department of State
Sept. 24, 2002 Eleanor Hill, Director, Joint Inquiry Staff
FBI Special Agent, Minneapolis Field Office
FBI Special Agent, Phoenix Field Office
FBI Supervisor, FBI Headquarters
Sept. 26, 2002 Cofer Black, Former Chief, Counterterrorist Center, Central Intelligence
Agency
Dale Watson, Former Executive Director, Counterintelligence and
Counterterrorism Division, Federal Bureau of Investigation
FBI Special Agent, Minneapolis Field Office
FBI Special Agent, Phoenix Field Office
FBI Supervisor, FBI Headquarters
Michael Rolince, Special Agent-in-Charge, Washington Field Office,
Federal Bureau of Investigation
M. E. Bowman, Deputy General Counsel, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Oct 1, 2002 Eleanor Hill, Director, Joint Inquiry Staff
James S. Gilmore, III, Former Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia
and Chairman, Advisory Panel to Assess Capabilities for Domestic Response
to Terrorism
Amb. Francis X. Taylor, Counterterrorism Coordinator, Department of
State
Claudio Manno, Acting Associate Under Secretary for Intelligence,
Transportation Security Agency
Joseph B. Greene, Assistant Commissioner for Investigations, U.S.
Immigration and Naturalization Service
Louis E. Andre, Special Assistant to the Director for Intelligence, J-2,
Defense Intelligence Agency
Edward T. Norris, Police Commissioner, City of Baltimore, MD
Oct 3, 2002 Eleanor Hill, Director, Joint Inquiry Staff
Lee Hamilton, Former Chairman, House Permanent Select Committee on
Intelligence, Director, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
Judge William Webster, Former Director of Central Intelligence and
Former Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Lieutenant General William Odom, USA (Ret.), Former Director, National
Security Agency
Frederick Hitz, Former Inspector General, Central Intelligence Agency
Oct 8, 2002 Eleanor Hill, Director, Joint Inquiry Staff
Warren Rudman, Former U.S. Senator
3
Judge Louis Freeh, Former Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Mary Jo White, Former U.S. Attorney, Southern District of New York
Paul Pillar, National Intelligence Officer for Near East/South Africa, Central
Intelligence Agency
Oct 9, 2002 Pasquale D'Amuro, FBI Executive Assistant Director
CIA Official
FBI Special Agent
Oct 10, 2002 George Tenet, Director of Central Intelligence
Robert Mueller, Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Oct 17, 2002 Eleanor Hill, Director, Joint Inquiry Staff
George Tenet, Director of Central Intelligence
Robert Mueller, Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Lieutenant General Michael Hayden, USAF, Director, National Security
Agency
4
APPENDIX
INTERVIEWS CONDUCTED
IN THE COURSE
OF
THE JOINT INQUIRY
SECRET
INTERVIEWS CONDUCTED
IN THE
COURSE OF
THE JOINT INQUIRY *
[ ], Assistant Legal Attache, Paris, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Program Manager, Counterterrorist Center, Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], Inspection Division, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Assistant General Counsel, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Directorate of Science and Technology, Central Intelligence Agency
Maj. Gen. Keith Alexander, Intelligence and Security Command, Land Information Warfare Agency
[ ], Counterterrorist Center, Central Intelligence Agency
Charles E. Allen, Associate Director of Central Intelligence for Collection
[ ], Special Agent, Newark Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Special Agent, Washington Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Associate Director for Intelligence, Joint Chiefs of Staff
[ ], New York Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], New York Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Headquarters, Defense Intelligence Agency
* Note: This is only a partial list of persons from whom the Joint Inquiry acquired information. It includes
persons who were present for group discussions, as well as those who were interviewed individually.
Foreign government officials are not included. Interviewee affiliations are as of the date of interview.
Names have been redacted for both national security and privacy reasons.
1
SECRET
SECRET
John Arriza, Director, TIPOFF Watchlist Program, Department of State
[ ], National Security Agency Representative to Counterterrorist Center
Maureen Baginski, Director, Signals Intelligence Directorate, National Security Agency
James Baker, Counsel for Intelligence Policy, Department of Justice
[ ], New York Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Assistant Legal Attache, Singapore, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], New York Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Defense Attaché, U.S. Army, Tel Aviv, Israel
[ ], Counterterrorist Center, Central Intelligence Agency
Samuel "Sandy" Berger, Former Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
Richard Betts, Professor, Columbia University
[ ], Counterterrorist Center, Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], Special Agent, Oklahoma City Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Joe Billy, Special Agent In-Charge, New York Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Counterterrorist Center, Central Intelligence Agency
Cofer Black, Former Chief, Counterterrorist Center, Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], Counterterrorist Center, Central Intelligence Agency
William Black, Deputy Director, National Security Agency
[ ], Defense Intelligence Agency
[ ], [ ], [ ], Central Intelligence Agency
2
SECRET
SECRET
[ ], Counterterrorist Center, Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], Foreign Broadcast Information Service, Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], Section Chief, Counterintelligence Division, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Special Agent, New York Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Office of General Counsel, Counterterrorist Center, Central Intelligence Agency
Marion E. (Spike) Bowman, Deputy General Counsel for National Security Affairs, Federal Bureau
of Investigation
[ ], Former NSA Detailee to Counterterrorist Center, Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], Directorate of Operations, Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], Chief of Language School, Central Intelligence Agency
John Brennan, Executive Director, Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], [ ], [ ], Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], Private Citizen
[ ], Counterterrorist Center, Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], Counterterrorist Center, Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], Radical Fundamentalist Unit, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Robert Bryant, Former Deputy Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Counterterrorist Center, Central Intelligence Agency
Jeffrey Builta, Defense Intelligence Agency
[ ], [ ], [ ], Central Intelligence Agency
3
SECRET
SECRET
[ ], Joint Counterintelligence Assessment Group, Department of Defense
[ ], Former Special Agent, San Diego Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Special Agent, New York Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Counterterrorism Office, National Security Unit, Immigration and Naturalization Service
[ ], Senior Science Advisor, Joint Chiefs of Staff
[ ], Headquarters, Defense Intelligence Agency
[ ], Central Intelligence Agency
Lt. Gen. Michael Canavan, U.S. Army (Ret), Former Commander, Joint Special Operations Command
[ ], Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Special Agent, New York Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Amb. Timothy Carney, Former US Ambassador to Sudan
[ ], Former Chief, CIA Counterterrorist Center, Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], Supervisory Special Agent, FBI Representative to Department of State
[ ], Counterterrorist Center, Central Intelligence Agency
James T. Caruso, FBI Deputy Executive Assistant Director for Counterintelligence and Counterterrorism
[ ], Counterterrorist Center, Central Intelligence Agency
Ed Chase, Office of Management and Budget
[ ], Supervisory Special Agent, New York Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Supervisory Special Agent, New York Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], National Security Agency Representative to Deputy Director of Central Intelligence
4
SECRET
SECRET
Richard Clarke, Former National Coordinator for Counterterrorism, Clinton and Bush Administrations
[ ], Boston Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Special Agent, New York Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Counterterrorist Center, Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], Counterterrorist Center, Central Intelligence Agency (Retired)
[ ], Special Agent, New York Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Headquarters, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Civil Aviation Security Field Office, Minneapolis Airport, Department of Transportation
Jay Corcoran, Director of Intelligence, U.S. Customs Service
[ ], Information Operation Specialist, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Counterterrorist Center, Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], [ ], [ ], Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], National Security Agency
Roger Cressey, National Security Counsel
William P. Crowell, Former Deputy Director, National Security Agency
[ ], Special Agent, New York Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], National Security Agency
[ ], Counterterrorist Center, Central Intelligence Agency
Pasquale D'Amuro, Assistant Director, Counterterrorist Division, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Maj. Gen. Keith Dayton, Director of Operations, Defense Intelligence Agency
5
SECRET
SECRET
[ ], National Security Agency
[ ], Special Agent, Phoenix Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation
John Deutch, Former Director of Central Intelligence
[ ], Supervisory Special Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Assistant Legal Attache, Islamabad, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Division Chief, Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], Inspection Division, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Patrick Duecy, Director, Joint Intelligence Task Force, Defense Intelligence Agency
[ ], Director, Executive Secretary, Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], Legal Attaché, London, England, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Special Agent, Boston Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], National Security Agency
[ ], Special Agent, New York Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Department of State Representative to Counterterrorist Center, Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], Counterterrorist Center, Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], Counterterrorist Center, Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], Headquarters, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ],Radical Fundamentalist Unit, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], [ ], [ ], [ ], [ ],
Central Intelligence Agency
6
SECRET
SECRET
[ ], U.S. Customs Service
[ ], Legal Attaché, Brussels and The Hague, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Supervisory Special Agent, New York Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ],Supervisory Special Agent, Radical Fundamentalist Unit, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Office of General Counsel, Counterterrorist Center, Central intelligence Agency
Louis J. Freeh, Former Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Vice Adm. Scott Fry, Commander, 6th Fleet, Former Deputy Director of Operations, Joint Chiefs of Staff
[ ], Former Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent
[ ], Special Agent, New York Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], National Security Agency
[ ], Portland Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Supervisory Special Agent, New York Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Federal Bureau of Investigation Representative to Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], Counterterrorist Center, Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], Special Agent, San Diego Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Acting Legal Attaché, Tel Aviv, Israel, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Special Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Language Specialist, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Special Agent, San Diego Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation
7
SECRET
SECRET
[ ], Counterterrorist Center, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Private Citizen
[ ], Legal Attaché, Berlin, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], Special Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], [ ], Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], [ ], [ ], Central Intelligence Agency
William Gore, Special Agent In-Charge, San Diego Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Brig. Gen. Scott Gration, Former Deputy Director Information Operations, Joint Chiefs of Staff
[ ], Counterterrorist Referent, [ ], Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], [ ], Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], Counterterrorist Center, Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], Chief, Language Services Division, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Former [ ] Division Chief of Operations, [ ],
Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], National Security Agency
Carol Haave, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Security and Information Operations
[ ], Counterterrorist Center, Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], Special Agent, San Diego Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], National Imagery and Mapping Agency
8
SECRET
SECRET
Lee Hamilton, Former House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman,
Director, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars,
Director, Center on Congress at Indiana University
[ ], Supervisory Special Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigation
John Hamre, Former Deputy Secretary of Defense, Former Comptroller, Department of Defense
[ ], Associate Deputy Director of Central Intelligence for Operations for Resources,
Plans and Policy
[ ], Special Agent, San Diego Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Former Supervisory Special Agent, Phoenix Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ],Counterterrorist Center, Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], National Imagery and Mapping Agency
[ ], Headquarters, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Immigration and Naturalization Service
[ ], Special Agent, Phoenix Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation Retiree)
Richard Haver, Special Assistant for Intelligence, Office of the Secretary of Defense
Lt. Gen Michael Hayden, Director, National Security Agency
Christine Healey, Minority Counsel, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
[ ], Booz Allen & Hamilton
[ ], General Accounting
Frederick Hitz, Former Inspector General, Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], National Security Agency
[ ], [ ], Division Chief, Central Intelligence Agency
Office
9
SECRET
SECRET
[ ], Acting Legal Attaché, London, England, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Private Citizen
Karl Inderfurth, Former Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia
[ ], National Security Agency
Rear Adm. Lowell E. Jacoby, Director, Defense Intelligence Agency, Joint Chiefs of Staff
[ ], Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], Special Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Robert Jervis, Professor, Columbia University
[ ], [ ], [ ], Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], Special Agent, Boston Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Defense Intelligence Agency
[ ], Special Agent, Minneapolis Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], National Security Agency Representative to Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Counterterrorist Center, Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], Counterterrorist Center, Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], Counterterrorist Center, Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], Special Agent, New York Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], National Security Agency
Donald Kerr, Deputy Director of Central Intelligence for Science and Technology
[ ], Counterterrorist Center, Central Intelligence Agency
10
SECRET
SECRET
[ ], Defense Intelligence Agency
[ ], Counterterrorist Center, Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], Counterterrorist Center, Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], Counterterrorist Center, Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], National Security Agency Representative to Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Directorate for Science and Technology, Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], Former Counterterrorist Center, Central Intelligence Agency
David Kris, Associate Deputy Attorney General, Department of Justice
Capt. Michael Kuhn, U.S. Navy
[ ], Special Agent, Phoenix Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Supervisory Special Agent, Phoenix Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Thomas Kuster, Director of Counterterrorism Policy, Department of Defense
[ ], Assistant Special Agent In-Charge, San Diego Field Office,
Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Supervisory Special Agent, Boston Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Language Specialist, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Supervisory Special Agent, Headquarters, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Matthew Levitt, Washington Institute for Near East Policy
[ ], Supervisory Special Agent, New York Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Supervisory Special Agent, Headquarters, Federal Bureau of Investigation
11
SECRET
SECRET
[ ], Deputy Assistant Director, Inspection Division, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], National Security Agency
[ ], National Security Agency
John Louder, National Reconnaissance Agency
Mark Lowenthal, Associate Director of Central Intelligence for Analysis and Production
[ ], Department of State
[ ], Headquarters, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Supervisory Special Agent, Cleveland Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Supervisory Special Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Central Intelligence Agency
Claudio Manno, Federal Aviation Administration, Transportation Security Administration
[ ], Headquarters, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Headquarters, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], National Security Agency
[ ], Department of State
[ ], Counterterrorist Center, Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], Special Agent, San Diego Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Counterterrorist Center, Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], U.S. Navy
12
SECRET
SECRET
[ ], Assistant Special Agent In-Charge, New York Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Mary McCarthy, Former Senior Director for Intelligence Programs, National Security Council
Steven McCraw, Special Agent In-Charge, San Antonio Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Immigration and Naturalization Service Representative to Federal Bureau
of Investigation
[ ], Special Agent, San Diego Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Barbara McNamara, Former Deputy Director, National Security Agency
[ ], Counterterrorist Center, Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], Counterterrorist Center, Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], Counterterrorist Center, Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], Special Agent, San Diego Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Supervisory Special Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Mark Miller, Central Intelligence Agency Representative to Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Chief Information Officer, Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], Immigration and Naturalization Service
[ ], National Security Agency
Lt. Gen. Kenneth Minihan, Former Director, National Security Agency
[ ], Supervisory Special Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Special Agent, Dallas Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Special Agent, Dallas Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Office of Homeland Security
13
SECRET
SECRET
[ ],National Security Agency
[ ], Defense Intelligence Agency
[ ], Special Agent, San Diego Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Division Chief, National Security Agency
[ ], [ ], [ ], Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], Former Analyst, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Analyst, Central Intelligence Agency
Lt. Gen. Gregory Newbold, Former Director of Operations, Joint Chiefs of Staff
[ ], Central Intelligence Agency
Glenn Nordin, Assistant Director of Intelligence Policy (Language), Department of Defense
[ ], Immigration and Naturalization Service
[ ], Defense Intelligence Agency
[ ], Headquarters, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Former Chief, Counterterrorist Center, Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], Central Intelligence Agency Analyst, [ ]
[ ], Counterterrorist Center, Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], Analyst, Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], Customs Representative to CIA Counterterrorist Center
[ ], Headquarters, Federal Bureau of Investigation
14
SECRET
SECRET
James Pavit, Deputy Director of Central Intelligence for Operations
[ ], Defense Intelligence Agency
[ ], Central Intelligence Agency Representative to FBI New York Field Office
[ ], Supervisory Special Agent, Dallas Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], [ ], [ ], Central Intelligence Agency
Thomas Pickard, Former Deputy Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Supervisory Special Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Assistant Special Agent In-Charge, Sacramento Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Paul Pillar, National Intelligence Officer for Near East, South Africa, Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], Special Agent, Phoenix Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation
John Pistole, Deputy Assistant Director, Counterterrorism Division, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Special Agent, New York Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Assistant General Counsel, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Unit Chief, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Deputy Director, Office of Budget, Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], Office of General Counsel, National Security Agency
[ ], Assistant Special Agent In-Charge, Boston Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], National Security Agency
[ ], Analyst, Counterterrorist Center, Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], [ ], [ ], Central Intelligence Agency
15
SECRET
SECRET
COL Richard G. Reynolds, Defense Attaché, Amman, Jordan
Keith Rhodes, Chief Technologist, Center for Technology and Engineering, General Accounting Office
Susan Rice, Former Senior Director for African Affairs, National Security Council
[ ], Analyst, [ ], Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], U. S. Customs Service
[ ], Language School, Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], Federal Aviation Administration
Michael Rolince, Headquarters, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Counterterrorist Center, Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent attached to Joint Terrorist Task Force
[ ], Special Agent, Minneapolis Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Colleen Rowley, Principal Legal Advisor, Minneapolis Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Mary Ryan, Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs
[ ], Office of General Counsel, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Federal Aviation Administration Representative to Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Special Agent, Minneapolis Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Jerry Savage, Office of Inspector General, Department of Defense
[ ], Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], Counterterrorist Center, Central Intelligence Agency
16
SECRET
SECRET
[ ], Counterterrorist Center, Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], Central Intelligence Agency, [ ]
[ ], Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], Central Intelligence Agency
John Schuhart, Director, Resource Management Office, Community Management Staff
[ ], Special Agent, San Diego Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], National Security Agency Representative to Deputy Director of Central Intelligence
[ ], [ ], [ ], Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], Oklahoma City Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Directorate of Science and Technology, Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], National Security Agency
[ ], Counterterrorist Center, Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], National Security Agency
[ ], Special Agent, San Diego Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Michael Sheehan, Ambassador to the UN, former Coordinator for Counterterrorism, Department of State
Michael Sheehy, Minority Staff Director, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
Gen. Hugh Shelton, Former Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
[ ], Director, Office of the Budget, Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], Defense Intelligence Agency
[ ], Central Intelligence Agency, [ ], [ ]
17
SECRET
SECRET
[ ], Deputy Counsel for Operations, Department of Justice
[ ], Special Agent, San Diego Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Special Agent, San Diego Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation
James Sloan, Director, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, Department of Treasury
[ ], National Security Agency
[ ], Immigration and Naturalization Representative to CIA Counterterrorist Center
[ ], Special Agent, Kansas City Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Department of State
[ ], Special Agent, New York City Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], National Security Agency
[ ], Counterterrorist Center, Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], Headquarters Analyst, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Counterterrorist Center Analyst, Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], National Security Agency
Roy Surrett, Director of Intelligence, U.S. Customs Service
[ ], Supervisory Special Agent San Diego Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Language Specialist, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Special Agent, San Diego Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Francis X. Taylor, Ambassador at Large for Coordination and Implementation of Government-wide
U.S. Counterterrorism Policy, Department of State
Richard Taylor, Former Deputy Director of Operations, National Security Agency
18
SECRET
SECRET
[ ], Joint Intelligence Task Force-Counterterrorism, Defense Intelligence Agency
[ ], Headquarters Analyst, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], National Security Agency
[ ], Inspection Division, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Supervisory Special Agent, San Diego Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Counterterrorist Center, Central Intelligence Agency
Frances Fragos Townsend, Former Counsel for Intelligence Policy, Department of Justice
[ ], Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], Directorate of Operations Senior Official, Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], Boston Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Counterterrorist Center, Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], Counterterrorist Center, Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], Headquarters Analyst, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Analyst, National Security Agency
[ ], Chicago Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation (Retired)
[ ], [ ], [ ], [ ], Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], Defense Intelligence Agency
19
SECRET
SECRET
[ ],Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Counteterrorist Center, Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], Chief of Operations, [ ],, Central Intelligence Agency
Maj. Gen. Ward, U.S. Army, Vice Director of Operations, Joint Chiefs of Staff
[ ], Defense Intelligence Agency, Department of Defense
[ ], Directorate for Science and Technology, Central Intelligence Agency
Dale Watson, Executive Assistant Director for Counterterrorism and Counterintelligence,
Federal Bureau of Investigation
William Webster, Former Director of Central Intelligence, Former Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], [ ], [ ], [ ], National Security Agency
[ ], Financial Review Group, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Counterterrorist Center, Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], Counterterrorist Center Analyst, Central Intelligence Agency
Linton Wells, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense
and Intelligence), Department of Defense
[ ], Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], [ ], [ ], Central Intelligence Agency
Mary Jo White, Former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York
[ ], Counterterrorist Center, Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], Former Special Agent, Milwaukee Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Special Agent, Phoenix Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation
(Command, Control, Communications
20
SECRET
SECRET
[ ],Central Intelligence Agency
[ ], Central Intelligence Agency Representative to Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], [ ], [ ], [ ], National Security Agency
Vice Adm. Thomas Wilson (Ret), Former Director, Defense Intelligence Agency
[ ], Boston Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], National Security Law Unit, Federal Bureau of Investigation
[ ], Finance Division, Federal Bureau of Investigation
James Woolsey, Former Director of Central Intelligence
[ ], Former Special Agent, Chicago Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Austin Yamada, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations, Department of Defense
[ ], Special Agent, Oklahoma City Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Wayne Zaidemann, Legal Attaché, Amman, Jordan, Federal Bureau of Investigation
21
SECRET
APPENDIX
COUNTERTERRORISM ORGANIZATIONS
WITHIN
THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY
SECRET
COUNTERTERRORISM ORGANIZATIONS
WITHIN
THE
INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY
(As of December 31, 2002)
The U.S. Intelligence Community currently consists of the Office of the Director
of Central Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency,
the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, the
National Reconnaissance Office, other specialized offices within the Department of
Defense, the intelligence elements of the military services, the Federal Bureau of
Investigation, the Department of the Treasury, the Department of Energy, the Bureau of
Intelligence and Research of the Department of State, and the Coast Guard.
PRIMARY COUNTERTERRORISM AGENCIES
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
The Counterterrorist Center (CTC) is the CIA's primary counterterrorism
component. In 1993, a special unit was established within the CTC, the Bin Ladin Issue
Station, with personnel from CIA, NSA, FBI and other agencies to develop intelligence
on Bin Ladin and his organization. The CIA worked alone and with friendly foreign
intelligence services to disrupt Bin Ladin, degrade his ability to engage in terrorism, and
bring him to justice.
[Within CTC, several units focus on al-Qa'ida:
o The [ ] Extremist CT Operations Group, the CTC operational arm,
tracks al-Qa'ida and other [ ] radical groups. In 1996, the CTC
created [the Bin Ladin Issue] Station to target Bin Ladin and his network, [
]. The CTC's [ ] Extremist
Branch also follows a range of radical [ ] groups, which are not part of
al-Qa'ida, but often share personnel, provide logistical support, or
otherwise assist it.
o The Office of Terrorism Analysis, the CTC's analytic arm, is responsible
for providing analytical products on terrorism. OTA now has
approximately [ ] analysts. Before September 11, its [ ] analysts
were part of the smaller Assessments and Information Group, which was
organized into five branches, only one of which focused (partially) on Bin
Ladin.
1
SECRET
SECRET
o [The Renditions Group (formerly the Renditions Branch) [
].
From 1986 to September 2001, the Renditions Branch was involved in
several dozen renditions].
o [The Financial Operations Group, which was established after September
11, grew out of the Bin Ladin Station's efforts to track Bin Ladin's
financial activities. [
].
The CIA developed an operational strategy, referred to as "the Plan," so that CTC
could react quickly to operational opportunities, renditions, and analysis to disrupt and
capture Bin Ladin and his principal lieutenants.
To execute its plan against Bin Ladin, CTC developed a program to train and
position personnel and move experienced operations officers into the Center to identify,
vet, and hire qualified personnel for counterterrorism assignments. They sought fluency
in Mid-East and South-Asian languages, combined with police, military, business,
technical, or academic expertise, and established an eight week advanced
counterterrorism operations course.
From 1999 to September 11, human intelligence sources against terrorism grew
by more than fifty percent. Working across agencies, and in some cases with foreign
services, the CIA designed and built [ ] for specific use against Al-
Qa'ida inside Afghanistan. By September 11, sufficient collection programs and human
networks were in place to cover almost all of Afghanistan.
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
The FBI within the Department of Justice is the principal law-enforcement arm of
the government and the lead agency responsible for counterterrorism in the United States.
In 1999, the Counterterrorism Division was established in FBI Headquarters,
incorporating the International Terrorism Operations Division, the Domestic Terrorism
Division, the National Domestic Preparedness Office, and the National Infrastructure
Protection Center. The Radical Fundamentalist Unit and the Bin Ladin Unit became
operational units within the International Terrorism Operations Section. These units
advise field offices on Attorney General Guidelines and coordinate field terrorism
investigations.
Since the 1980s, the FBI's New York Field Office has had the principal role in the
FBI's counterterrorism effort. It has been the lead field office for Bin Ladin
investigations and was the first to establish a Joint Terrorism Task Force of state and
federal law enforcement and intelligence personnel.
2
SECRET
SECRET
A reorganization of the FBI's Counterterrorism Division was announced in May
2002, which includes:
o Headquarters centralization of counterterrorism programs
o Joint Terrorism Task Forces in all field offices and a National
JTTF at Headquarters
o Flying Squads to support field operations
o Enhanced counterterrorism and analytical training
o Shifting 518 field agents from criminal investigations to
counterterrorism
National Security Agency (NSA)
Within NSA, a Department of Defense entity, responsibility for collecting,
processing, analyzing, and reporting signals intelligence (SIGINT) is centered principally
within the Signals Intelligence Directorate created in February 2001. Within SID, the
Counterterrorism Product Line has the lead for SIGINT production on counterterrorism
targets. CT Product Line personnel increased from approximately [ ] before
September 11 to about [ ] in April 2002.
A portion of NSA's counterterrorism SIGINT reports comes from other product
lines within SID:
o [
].
o [
].
o [
].
o [
].
Department of State
The Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR), the intelligence arm of the
Department of State, has three units involved in counterterrorism: the Office of Analysis
for Terrorism, Narcotics and Crime, the Office of Intelligence Coordination, and the
Office of Intelligence Operations. Outside INR, a Coordinator for Counterterrorism is
responsible for developing counterterrorism policy.
The State Department also works closely with the Justice Department's
Immigration and Naturalization Service to prevent terrorist suspects from entering the
United States. To this end, the State Department maintains two key counter-terrorism
databases:
3
SECRET
SECRET
o TIPOFF, a classified database within INR containing the names of
foreigners who are not allowed to enter the United States because of ties to
terrorism and other illegal activities and
o The Consular Lookout and Support System (CLASS), an unclassified
database designed to assist in visa processing.
Information in TIPOFF and CLASS is derived from the Intelligence Community and
other sources, such as the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the Drug Enforcement
Agency, the Customs Service, and the Federal Aviation Authority. All consular officers
must use the CLASS system before issuing visas.
Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA)
DIA is the Department of Defense element that produces and manages
intelligence for the Secretary of Defense. Within DIA, the offices principally responsible
for counterterrorism include the Defense Human Intelligence Service and the Joint
Intelligence Task Force-Combating Terrorism.
Since July 2001, the Joint Terrorism Task Force - Counterterrism (JITF-CT) has
been the focal point for all DIA counterterrorism analysis and production. The JITF-CT
provides warnings, threat assessments, and all-source analysis and production and serves
as a counterterrorism knowledge base within the Department of Defense.
Department of Transportation (DoT)
Within DoT, the U.S. Coast Guard and the Transportation Security
Administration play a role in the government's counterterrorism mission. Pursuant to the
Intelligence Authorization Act of 2002, the Coast Guard has become an Intelligence
Community member. After September 11, DoT established the Transportation Security
Administration, within which the Transportation Security Intelligence Service
coordinates intelligence support and provides current and strategic warnings on threats to
U.S. transportation.
Department of Treasury
Within Treasury, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network is responsible for
assisting U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies in tracking the movement of
terrorist funds.
4
SECRET
APPENDIX
EVOLUTION
OF THE TERRORIST THREAT
AND THE
U.S. RESPONSE
1983 - 2001

Evolution of the terrorist threat and U.S. response, 1983-2001
The Building Threat: Pre-1993
Year "Big picture" view Selected, major terrorist events U.S. institutional responses to terrorism
1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
Lebanese civil war already underway.
1980 First FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force established
in NY City.
1981
1982 Jun. Israeli invasion of Lebanon.
Sep. U.S. Marine peacekeeping presence
established in Lebanon following
assassination of Lebanese President.
1983 18 Apr. Bombing of U.S. embassy in Beirut.
63 killed, including CIA's Middle East director.
120 injured. (Islamic Jihad.)
23 Oct. Marine barracks bombing in Beirut.
241 Marines killed. French base attacked.
(Islamic Jihad.)
1984 26 Feb. U.S. Marines depart Lebanon. 16 Mar. CIA officer William Buckley kidnapped
in Beirut. Other U.S. citizens not connected to
the U.S. government are kidnapped over the
next two years.
12 Apr. Hezbollah bombed restaurant near
U.S. airbase near Torrejon, Spain, killing 18
U.S. servicemen. 83 injured.
1

20 Sep. Hezbollah Bombing of U.S. embassy
annex in Beirut. 14 Americans killed.
1985 14 Jun. TWA 847 hijacked by Hezbollah
terrorists.
7 Oct. Achille Lauro hijacking. Palestinian
Liberation Front took 700 hostages. 1 U.S.
citizen killed.
23 Nov. Egypt Air flight from Athens to Malta
carrying several U.S. citizens hijacked by Abu
Nidal Group.
Dec. Rome/Vienna airport bombings by Abu
Nidal Organization.
Dec. Vice President's Report on Combating
Terrorism. 40 recommendations. Key
recommendations: Presidential [directive]
regarding terrorism, National Security Decision
Directive 207, establish a CTC.
1986
30 Mar. Palestinian splinter group detonated a
bomb as TWA 840 approached Athens, killing
four U.S. citizens.
5 Apr. Bombing of La Belle disco in Berlin,
Germany, killing two U.S. servicemen and one
Turkish civilian. 200 wounded. Traced to
Libyan perpetrators.
20 Jan. President signs NSDD-207, which
delineates broad outlines of U.S. government
policy for dealing with terrorism and set in place
government-wide mechanisms for responding to
the emerging threat.
Feb/Mar. CIA establishes CTC.
9 Apr. Operation El Dorado Canyon. U.S.
bombing of Libya.
Spring. Directive signed that authorizes CIA to
conduct certain counterterrorism activities.
2

27 Aug. Omnibus Diplomatic Security and
Antiterrorism Act expands FBI jurisdiction to
include violence against U.S. nationals abroad.
1987 Sep. Rendition of Fawaz Yunis, wanted for
hijacking Royal Jordanian airliner in which 6
Americans killed. [ ].
[ ].
1988 17 Feb. U.S. Marine LtCol William Higgins
kidnapped/murdered by Iranian-backed
Hezbollah.
14 Apr. Organization of Jihad Brigades
exploded a car bomb outside a USO club in
Naples, Italy, killing one U.S. sailor.
21 Dec. Bombing of Pan Am 103 over
Lockerbie, Scotland.
1989 15 Feb. Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan
completed.
13 Oct. Terrorist Threat Warning System
established.
1990 Aug. Iraq invades Kuwait. U.S. launches
Operation Desert Shield.
3

1991 Jan-Mar. Operation Desert Storm expels Iraqi
forces from Kuwait.
Apr. Operation Provide Comfort. Safe havens
for Kurdish refugees in northern Iraq. This
operation eventually becomes enforcement of
no-fly zones over northern/southern Iraq,
operations which continue to this day and
resulted in a large, semi-permanent U.S.
military presence in the Persian Gulf region.
Jan/Feb. CTC thwarts Iraqi agents' plans
worldwide.
18-19 Jan. Iraqi agents planted bombs at the
U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia's residence
and at the USIS library in Manila.
1992 Rise of jihadist movement.
Dec. U.S. Operation Restore Hope to provide
humanitarian relief to Somalia.
Dec. Attack on Aden hotel housing U.S.
service members for the operation in Somalia.
Possibly the first attack by UBL's network.
4

The Hunt for bin Ladin, 1993-2001
Year "Big picture" developments Terrorist attacks and "tactical"
counterterrorist actions
U.S. "strategic" responses to the
terrorist threat
Other intelligence actions
and issues
1993 Bin Ladin in Sudan.
26 Apr. [Intelligence warns that
[ ] is
increasingly convinced that U.S.
is working for its overthrow, and
may be preparing to sponsor
terrorist attacks against U.S.
26 Feb. World Trade Center
bombing.
20 Mar. Sarin gas attack in Tokyo
subway kills 12, sickens 5000.
Aum Shinrikyo responsible.
23 Mar. Rendition of Abu Halima,
suspect in World Trade Center
bombing [
] to FBI custody.
14 Apr. Iraqi Intelligence Service
attempt to assassinate former
President Bush in Kuwait thwarted.
2 Apr. [CIA paper characterizes
UBL as "independent actor [who]
sometimes works with other
individuals or governments [ ]
[ ] [to] promote militant Islamic
causes throughout the region…"
[His group almost certainly played a
role in an earlier bombing directed
against U.S. interests].
20 Apr. NID: [Hundreds of Islamic
militants received training during
the past year at military camps in
Afghanistan. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
5

interests in the country.
May. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
Sep. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
24 Jun. Arrest of 8 subjects-
including 5 Sudanese-plotting to
bomb NY City landmarks-U.N.
building, 26 Federal Plaza, and
Lincoln/Holland tunnels.
2 Jul. Shaykh Abdel Rahman is
detained by FBI in connection with
the World Trade Center bombing.
25 Aug, Shaykh Rahman is
indicted. Rahman is the spiritual
leader of both Gama'at al-Islamiya
and Egyptian Islamic Jihad.
Sep. [CIA file summary
prepared on UBL reports that
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
Sep. CIA HQ sends
requirements to overseas
stations to assess vulnerability
of UBL network [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
30 Nov. [Identification of
intelligence targets
associated with UBL and
terrorist-related activities].
6

1994 [ ] Feb. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
9 Mar. UBL denies link with
terrorism in interview with
London-based Saudi opposition
paper, Al Quds Al-Arabi.
14 Aug. Sudan hands over
Carlos the Jackal to France.
Fall. Taliban movement
established in Kandahar,
Afghanistan.
30 May. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
11 Oct. CIA Office of Inspector
General inspection of CIA's
Counterterrorist Center finds that
threats posed by some statesponsored
and leftwing terrorist
groups have declined while threats
from radical religious, ethnic, and
have increased… Biggest
weakness was limited ability to
warn of impending attack. Difficulty
of penetrating terrorist groups
caused this weakness.
7

11 Dec. Philippines airliner
bombed. 1 passenger killed.
24 Dec. Members of the Armed
Islamic Group seized an Air France
flight to Algeria; they apparently
intended to crash it into the Eiffel
Tower. The four terrorists were
killed during a rescue effort.
non-government terrorist groups

1995 7 Jan. Philippine police discover
Ramzi Yousef's bombmaking lab
and arrest accomplice Abdul
Hakim Murad. Captured materials
revealed Yousef's plot to blow up
the Pope, U.S., and Israeli
embassies in Manila, United
Airlines aircraft flying Asian routes,
and to crash a plane into CIA HQ.
Murad also tells Philippine
authorities that Yousef was
involved in the World Trade Center
bombing and planted bomb on the
Philippine airliner in Dec 94.
10 Feb. Ramzi Yousef extradition
from Pakistan.
19 Apr. Bombing of Murrah Federal
Bldg in Oklahoma City.
25 Jan. CTC briefs NSC. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
2 Mar. President signs Presidential
Decision Directive 35 providing
overarching intelligence guidance.
Terrorism is a Tier 1B issue.
Intelligence requirements: collection
information on plans/intentions
inside terrorist circles, increase
Near East, South Asia, and Islamic
cultural and language expertise,
expansion of
Spring. [ ] provides
most significant reporting on
UBL to date. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
8

Jun. Assassination attempt on
Mubarak in Addis Ababa. UBLauthorized
operation. Linkages to
Egyptian Islamic Jihad and
Egyptian al-Gama'at Islamiya.
[ ] Jun. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
[ ] Jul. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
analytic cadre.
21 Jun. Presidential Decision
Directive 39 supersedes NSDD-
207. Calls for reducing terrorist
capabilities; aggressive IC program,
including covert action; return of
indicted terrorist to U.S., including
by force if necessary, as a matter of
highest priority. Also confirmed and
clarified FBI's role in counterterrorism.
Jul. National Intelligence Estimate
on terrorism. Judges that foreign
terrorists will attempt an attack in
the U.S. in the next year or two.
Bombing of World Trade Center
crossed a threshold to more largescale
attacks. Most likely threat of
attack in the U.S. would be from
transient groupings of individuals
similar to that drawn together by
Ramzi Yousef. Threat also from
established groups: Hezbollah,
Gama'at al-Islamiya, Hamas, and
Jama'a al-Fuqra. (Neither UBL nor
al-Qa'ida mentioned. UBL is
mentioned as a terrorist financier in
a Mar 95 finished intelligence report
from CIA's [ ] office)
[ ] Aug. [
]
[ ]
[ ].
Late 1995. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
9

[ ] Nov. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ] Sep. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
13 Nov. Office of Personnel
Management/Saudi National Guard
facility in Riyadh bombed. Five
Americans killed in this incident.
Information eventually suggests
UBL and CDLR were responsible.
[ ]
[ ].
[ ] Dec. Ramzi Yousef associate
and al-Qaida lieutenant Wali Khan
Amin Shah is captured [ ]
[ ]. He is
deported to the United States and
convicted. on terrorism charges.
10

1996
Spring 1996. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
Spring 1996. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
10 Jul. London daily, The
Independent, publishes an
undated interview with UBL in
Afghanistan. UBL declares that
the killing of Americans in the
Khobar Towers bombing marked
25 Jun. Khobar Towers bombing.
19 U.S. service members killed. [A
June 2001 U.S. indictment charged
that the Saudi Hezbollah, with
support from Iran, carried out the
attack. According to the
indictment, Iran and its surrogate,
the Lebanese Hezbollah, recruited
and trained the bombers, helped
direct their surveillance, and
assisted in planning the attack].
8 Jan. [UBL] station established in
CTC.
15 Feb. U.S. Embassy Khartoum
closes.
24 Apr. Antiterrorism and Effective
Death Penalty Act. Directs
Secretary of State, in conjunction
with Attorney General and
Secretary of Treasury to designate
any organization that meets certain
criteria as a foreign terrorist
organization (criteria: must engage
in terrorist activity that threatens the
security of U.S. nationals or the
national security of the United
States).
[ ] Aug. [ ]
[ ]
[ ] Apr. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]..
[ ] May. [
]
[ ]
].
[Summer 1996. A volunteer
claimed that [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
11

the beginning of the war between
Muslims and the U.S.
23 Aug. UBL issues a "fatwa"
authorizing attacks against
Western military targets in the
Arabian Peninsula.
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]..
2 Aug. DCI briefs Democratic
leaders: the terrorist threat is
increasing, it is a national security
issue and human intelligence is at
the heart of the effort against
terrorism.
[ ]
[ ]..
Summer 1996. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
Summer 1996. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
12

3-4 Sep. Operation Desert Strike.
Cruise missile strikes against
Iraq.
11 Sep. Egyptian government
issues an arrest warrant for UBL.
based on UBL's longtime support
of Egyptian terrorist groups like
EGI and EIJ.
Sep. Taliban comes to power in
Afghanistan; takes Kabul.
Dec. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
[Winter. Information indicates
UBL considers jihad worldwide.]
22 Oct. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
[ ].
[Late 1996. [ ] reports
[ ] indicate that
UBL is much more of a
terrorist-rather than just a
terrorist financier-than the CIA
has previously thought.
Reporting provides significant
new details about UBL and his
terrorist support infrastructure
known as "Al Qaeda." [Note:
first reference to Al Qaeda].
[Late 1996. Bin Ladin Unit
develops most detailed
information yet regarding UBL's
intentions].
13

1997 Jan. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
[ ] Feb. [ ]
[ ]
28 Jan. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ] Jan. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
30 Jan. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
One number in Kenya is
associated with significant UBLrelated
activities and
individuals, including Wadi el-
Hage, one of UBL's most
important lieutenants. El-Hage
is a dual U.S.-Lebanese citizen.
Early 1997. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
Feb. CTC has identified
Muhammed Atef as UBL's key
lieutenant. Alias Abu Hafs al-
Masri.
14

[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
Spring 1997. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
Spring 1997. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
Early 1997. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
10 Apr. [DDO briefs SSCI on covert
action. UBL unit is running
[ ]
operations. It is focusing these
operations to collect data that can
be used to build target packages,
which, in turn, can be used in future
contingencies to render UBL and/or
dismantle the ability of his
organization to wage terrorism. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
15

[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
26 May. Saudi government
extends formal recognition of the
Taliban government of
Afghanistan. The decision
immediately follows reports that
the Taliban have extended their
control into northern Afghanistan. 31 Oct. Kenyan authorities arrest
and later deport [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
reportedly connected to a terrorist
plot against the U.S. embassy in
Nairobi.
Apr. Update to 1995 terrorism
National Intelligence Estimate.
Spring 1997. Foreign liaison
service says it is studying the early
1997 proposal for a joint operation
[ ].
Nov. Secretary Albright trip to South
Asia.
Spring 1997. [ ]
[ ]
[ ].
[Fall 1997. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
16

Late 1997. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
[ ]..
Late 1997. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
Late 1997. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
1998
23 Feb. Bin Ladin fatwa calling
for jihad against U.S. military and
Jan-Jun. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
28 Jan. DCI Worldwide Threat
Brief. "… issues range from the
proliferation of WMD to international
terrorism, drug trafficking,
17

civilian targets anywhere in the
world. Fatwa represents a shift
from criticizing the states in the
region and attacks the U.S.
instead.
16 Mar. Letter sent from UBL to
Egyptian press complaining
about U.S. occupation of the
Arabian Peninsula. "Let them
rest assured of the weakness
and cowardice of American
soldiers. They are fastest to fail
and least persevering in the fire
of war. We will never forget how
they disappeared in the wake of
Riyadh and Khobar incidents."
May 11-13. India conducts
nuclear tests. Pakistan conducts
nuclear tests May 28.
26 May. UBL press conference.
UBL declared his supporters
would strike U.S. targets in the
Gulf. Indicated the
results of his jihad would be
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
information warfare, and
international financial turmoil…" "In
addition to traditional terrorist
groups, the U.S. faces an
increasing threat from transnational
groups, such as UBL's
organization..."
6 Mar. C/CTC, et al, brief
Congressional staff on the CTC
strategic plan for FY98…." [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
Apr. U.S. Ambassador to U.N.
Richardson visits Kabul and
Sherbergan.
18 May. [ ]
[ ]
] ].
10 Mar. C/CTC briefs SSCI
staff. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
18

"visible" within weeks. He also
talked about "bringing the war
home to America." [Note: this is
possibly a call for attacks in the
U.S.]
12 Jun. In an interview with a
U.S. journalist, UBL indicates he
may attack a U.S. military
passenger aircraft using
antiaircraft missiles. At a press
conference in the previous
month, he indicated the results of
his jihad would be "visible" within
weeks.
[ ] Jul. [ ]
[ ]
[ ].
May. Police in Europe arrest 60
members of the Algerian Armed
Islamic Group (GIA) to pre-empt
threats to the coming World Cup in
Paris.
Jun. Officers [ ]
[ ]
raid homes and NGO offices of
Mustafa Majid and Mohammed
Fouda, [ ]
linked to UBL. [ ]
[ ]
[ ].
Summer 1998. Liaison service
captured [ ]
a member of a UBL cell in Europe.
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
22 May. President signs PDD-62
on counter-terrorism and PDD-63
on infrastructure protection.
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ] PDD-63 establishes
the National Infrastructure
Protection Center.
10 Jun. UBL indicted by federal
grand jury, Southern District of New
York. Sealed indictment.
Conspiracy to destroy national
defense utilities.
[Summer [ ]
[ ]
suggest UBL is planning
attacks in the U.S. [ ]
says plans are to attack in NY
and Washington. Information
mentions an attack in
Washington probably against
public places. UBL probably
places a high priority on
conducting attacks in the
U.S…. CIA has little information
about UBL's operatives in the
U.S.]
Summer 1998. [ ].
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
Summer 1998. [ ]
[ ]
19

Jul. UBL remains in Afghanistan,
changing his location frequently.
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]. He remains on good
terms with the Taliban,
[Unconfirmed reporting] claimed
UBL was considering attacks in
the U.S.
21-23 Aug. [Media reports
concerning UBL electronic
communications].
7 Aug. UBL bombings of U.S.
embassies in Nairobi and Dar Es
Salaam. 224 killed, 5000 injured.
20 Aug. U.S. military strike against
UBL terrorist training camps in
Afghanistan and pharmaceutical
plant in Sudan suspected of
producing chemical weapons.
Fall 1998 [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ] Aug. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
[Information indicates that UBL
is interested in publicity and
attacks involving mass
casualties].
29 Jul. CTC warns of possible
Chemical, Biological,
Radiological, or Nuclear
(CBRN) attack by UBL. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
20

[ ]
[ ].
21 Aug. [Recap: DCI eight
committee briefing regarding why
CIA concluded that UBL was
responsible for the bombings in
Africa. DCI noted large number of
renditions of UBL supporters].
[ ] Sep. [ ]
[ ], Abu Hajer,
who is head of UBL's computer
operations and weapons
procurement, was arrested abroad.
Hajer is the most senior-level UBL
operative arrested to date.
18 Sep. DCI briefs members of
Congress on bombings. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]. DCI noted that the FBI
is following 3 or 4 Bin Ladin
operatives in the U.S.
2 Sep. DCI testimony to
SSCI/HPSCI. "Key elements of
CIA's offensive strategy against
UBL include: hit UBL's
infrastructure; work with liaison to
break up cells and carry out arrests;
disrupt and weaken bin Ladin's
businesses and finances; [ ]
[ ]; recruit or expose his
operatives; … pressure on the
Taliban; and enhancing unilateral
capability to capture him.
Sep. [Information indicates UBL
has considered conducting
attacks in the U.S. The nearterm
threat to Americans is
greater in Europe, where UBL's
infrastructure is better
established].
[Fall 1998. [ ]
claimed that UBL's next target
would possibly involve flying an
explosives-laden aircraft into a
U.S. airport and detonating it].
Fall 1998. [Information
indicates al-Qa'ida is trying to
establish an operative cell
within CONUS to strike at the
heart of U.S. interests and [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
21

1 Dec.
[ ] Oct. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
4 Nov. Bin Ladin and Mohammed
Atef indicted in Southern District of
New York. Also announcement
made of reward for the two under
State Department rewards program.
trying to recruit U.S. citizen
Islamists and U.S.-based
foreign nationals. No targets
were mentioned but NYC was
cited as a center of recruitment
efforts].
Fall 1998. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
Fall 1998. [Collection against
UBL satellite phone ends,
following media leaks].
Fall 1998. [UAE UBL cell is
attempting to recruit a group of
5 to 7 young men from the
United States to travel to the
Middle East for training. This is
in conjunction with planning to
strike U.S. domestic targets.
22

Intelligence Community
assessment of UBL… "UBL is
actively planning against U.S.
targets and already may have
positioned operatives for at least
one operation…Multiple reports
indicate UBL is keenly interested
in striking the U.S. on its own
soil. According to [ ]
[ ], Al Qaeda is recruiting
operatives for attacks in the U.S.
but has not yet identified
potential targets."
17 Dec. Operation Desert Fox.
Strikes against Iraq.
Late Dec. "It is a religious duty to
acquire weapons of mass
destruction to defend Muslims,"
according to a UBL interview in
Christmas 1998. UBL has been
seeking CBRN materials,
expertise and other resources
since the early 1990s.
4 Dec. DCI memo. "We are at
war… I want no resources or
people spared in this effort, either
inside CIA or the Community."
[ ] Dec. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
The report also mentions UBL
affiliates in major U. S. cities].
Fall 1998. Several reports note
that UBL is considering a new
attack, using biological toxins in
food, water, or ventilation
systems of U.S. embassies. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
[ ] Dec. [ ]
reports member of UBL was
planning operations against
U.S. targets. Plans to hijack
U.S. aircraft proceeding well.
Two individuals [ ]
[ ] had
successfully evaded
checkpoints in a dry run at a NY
airport. [ ]
[ ]
[ ].
23

[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
1999
17 Feb. Operation Noble Anvil.
U.S. combat operations against
Serbia due to ethnic cleansing in
Kosovo.
Spring. [ ]
[ ] the Taliban's fear of
airstrikes had led the group to
press UBL to act more discreetly.
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
Spring. [ ],
UBL supporters in Afghanistan
are experimenting with
enhancing conventional
explosives with radioactive
material. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
Jun. [ ]
[ ] began
staging first operation to attack a
[ ] Jan. [Arrests [ ],
including 2 senior operatives, have
provided leads to potential targets.
Information indicates U.S. naval
facility was the principal target.
Some terrorist planning continues,
including one operation abroad and
another in connection with
associates in a foreign country.
Another report states that [ ]
plans an attack soon].
24 Jun. Eight Iraqis tied to al-Qaida
arrested in Amman based on tip
4 Jan. U.S. Attorney General
approved establishment of the
National Threat Warning System.
Feb. State Department demarches
Taliban for supporting UBL. [ ]
[ ]
[ ].
[ ] Feb. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
7 Jun. Director FBI puts Bin Ladin
on FBI's "10 Most Wanted List."
24 Jun. DCI at SSCI hearing:
"… We have seen numerous
Jan.
Counterterrorism supplemental
enables NSA to initiate
development [ ]
[ ]..
[ ] Jan. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
May. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
24

U.S. ship in Yemen.
Jul. Kargil crisis. Kashmir.
[ ] Jul. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
Jul. [ ]
[ ] the Taliban leadership
reaffirmed its commitment not to
oust UBL.
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
reports that bin Ladin and his
associates are planning terrorist
attacks against U.S. officials and
facilities in a variety of locations,
including in the U.S."
[ ] Jul. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
Jul. Tashkent diplomatic efforts on
Afghanistan to influence Taliban,
persuade it to expel UBL.
Jul. CTC rethinking disruption
operations. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
25

Aug. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
Al Qaeda's capabilities have
suffered from arrests of key
operatives.
24 Aug. A truck bomb exploded
at Mullah Omar's compound in
Afghanistan. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
Aug. Bin Ladin's organization
has decided to target highranking
U.S. officials, including
the Secretary of Defense,
Secretary of State, and the
Director of Central Intelligence,
though no particular plans have
been made or approved
[ ]..
[ ] Aug. [ ]
[ ].
[ ] Sep. CTC has engaged with
SOCOM and JSOC in capture
discussions. JSOC has been
tasked to begin planning.
10 Sep. [CTC conference on UBL.
"We are at war with UBL. We have
been working against UBL for over
four years… during this period, we
Aug. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
23 Aug. A cooperating witness
in the Africa bombings case
mentioned that a former U.S.
Special Forces member from
California, Ali Mohammed,
provided training to UBL
operatives in Africa and a
bombing suspect in Haroun.
26

12 Oct. Pakistani Chief of Army
Staff Musharraf ousts Prime
Minister Nawaz Sharif in a
bloodless military coup.
[ ] Sep. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
have been able to:
o Stop at least two UBL attacks
against U.S. interests abroad
o Render over 30 foreign nationals
abroad
o Significantly damage UBL's
infrastructure
o Put doubt in UBL's mind about
security of his operations and
operatives]
Oct 8. State Department designates
Al Qaeda a foreign terrorist
organization. Current state
sponsors of terrorism: Iran, Iraq,
Libya, Syria, Sudan, North Korea,
Cuba.
15 Oct. UN deplores provision of
safe haven to UBL and demands
his rendering to some country. On
14 Nov 99, sanctions are to begin
which ban most foreign flights of
Ariana except for humanitarian
need and the Hajj. Freezes funds
for Taliban except on humanitarian
groups.
[ ] Oct. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
[ ] Oct. [
[ ]
27 Sep. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
27

Fall 1999. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
Late 1999. Al-Mihdhar at UBL
camp in Afghanistan.
Winter. Muhammad Atta
reportedly sighted at UBL facility
in Afghanistan. Marwan al-
Shehhi at the UBL guesthouse in
Kandahar [ ]
[ ].
[ ] Nov. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
Dec. [Foreign authorities arrested a
[ ] team of terrorists which
planned New Year's Eve attack on
pilgrims in Jordan. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]. Members of the team
have direct links to al-Qa'ida, [ ]
[ ]
[ ].
Dec. Senior al-Qaida operatives
[ ]
detained based on CIA information.
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
21 Nov. FBI elevates counterterrorism
to a standing division
within FBI HQ separate from the
National Security Division. FBI has
26 JTTFs in operation.
26 Oct. CTC's priorities are
disrupting UBL operations and
recruiting penetrations;
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
Dec. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
8 Dec. According to CTC,
accepting the theory that UBL
wants to inflict maximum
casualties, cause massive
panic, and score a
psychological victory, then UBL
may be seeking to attack
between 5 and 15 targets on
the Millennium. "Because the
U.S. is UBL's ultimate goal…
we must assume that several of
these targets will be in the
U.S…."
28

[ ]
confirm [ ] involvement in
facilitating explosives and poisons
training for UBL operatives.
Dec 14. Ahmed Ressam arrested
at U.S.-Canadian border with
bomb-making chemicals and
detonator components. Intended
target was Los Angeles
International Airport.
[ ] Dec. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
[ ] Dec. Disruption operations:
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
[ ]
[ ] Dec. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
20 Dec. [DCI sends report on
Millennium threat to all liaison
services. The item describes arrest
of Algerian in Seattle and mounting
evidence that UBL and other
extremists intend to launch attacks
against U.S. interests abroad and at
home].
[ ] Dec. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
29

[ ]
[ ].
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
[ ]
[ ].
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
30

2000 5 Jan. Khalid al-Mihdhar and
Nawaf al-Hazmi hold meetings
with a senior UBL field operative
in Malaysia and Bangkok
between 5 and 8 Jan 2000.
[ ] Mar. [UBL planning
operations to kidnap U.S.
diplomats or civilians in [ ]
[ ] to hold as
bargaining chips. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
3 Jan. Bombing of USS The
Sullivans aborted. An explosives laden
boat sank as it was launched
in Aden harbor.
Jan. Al-Qaida operative
[ ] detained at CIA
behest. He is deported and admits
he has received training at Al-
Qaida camps in Afghanistan.
Feb. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
3 Mar. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
Jan. DCI announces Abu
Zubaida the #1 terrorist target.
[ ] Feb. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
Mar. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
Mar. [ ]
[ ].
31

[ ] Mar. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
1 Jul. Atta and al-Shehhi begin
flight training at Huffman Aviation
and Jones Flying Service.
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
[ ] Apr. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
[ ] Jun. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
[ ] Jul. [
]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
[ ] Jun. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
Mar. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
May. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
Jun. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
32

[ ] Sep. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
30 Sep. Taliban issued press
statement on unknown aircraft
seen over Kandahar allegedly
looking for UBL.
[ ] Jul. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
16 Jul. CTC briefing to House
Committee on Government
Operations and Reform. C/CTC
lists accomplishments, i.e., [ ]
disruptions of terrorists'
organizational planning over the
past two years. Helped render more
than 30 terrorists in other countries
since [ ], more than half of
whom were associates of UBL's Al
Qaeda.
Sep.
[ ]
[ ].
Sep. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
Sep.[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
Sep.
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
33

[ ] Oct. [UBL reportedly forced to
postpone bombing of [ ] U.S.
embassies. Still planning attacks
in several locations [ ]
[ ]. Targets include
U.S. facility abroad].
[ ] Oct. [Four foreign extremists
with links to UBL arrested
abroad and then released due to
insufficient evidence].
12 Oct. USS Cole bombing. Aden,
Yemen. 17 U.S. sailors killed.
13 Oct. Explosion damages UK
Embassy in Yemen.
Oct. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
Sep. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]..
Fall 2000. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
Oct. [ ]
[ ]
[ ].
Oct. [ ]
[ ]
[ ].
Nov. [ ]
[ ]
[ ].
34

[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]..
[ ] Oct. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]..
[ ] Oct. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
[ ] Nov. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ] Dec. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]..
[ ] Dec. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
35

21 Dec. Hijackers Atta and
Marwan al-Shehhi receive their
pilots' licenses.
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
10 Nov. [ ] FBI rendition
of al-Qaida operative based in
Africa.
Fall 2000. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
[ ] Dec. North Africans in
Frankfurt, Germany Meliani Group
arrested. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
19 Dec. Adoption of UN Security
Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1333
strongly condemning use of
Afghanistan under control of
Taliban for sheltering and training
terrorists and demands its
cessation. Also demands, per
UNSCR 1267 (1999) that Taliban
turn over UBL to appropriate
country where he is indicted, etc.,
and close all terrorist camps under
Taliban control. Issues list of
sanctions including arms embargo,
freezing of UBL and Al Qaeda
assets, and other economic
sanctions.
36

2001
[ ] Jan. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
[ ] Jan. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
Early 2001. [ ]
[ ]
[ ].
[ ] Jan. Photos taken [ ]
[ ] of al-Mihdhar and
associates shown to shared
CIA-FBI asset. Asset identifies
associate as bin Atash,
suspected planner of Cole
bombing.
[ ] Jan. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
[ ] Jan. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
[ ] Jan. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
37

6 Feb. DCI classified worldwide
threat brief: "…this year the thrust
of terrorist attacks on U.S. facilities
and interests come to the
forefront… UBL, his associates
remain most immediate and serious
threat. UBL's commitment to
striking against the U.S.
undiminished… strong indications
panning new operations… capable
of mounting multiple attacks with
little or no warning."
6 Feb. Senior Executive Intelligence
Brief (SEIB): The discovery of
multiple terrorist plots since October
shows an energized international
"jihad movement" is raising the
threat to U.S. interests, particularly
in the Middle East and Europe.
Most significant spike in activity
since the time of the Millennium.
Stems in part from changes in bin
Ladin's practices. To avoid
implicating himself and his Taliban
hosts, he has allowed cells in his
network to plan attacks more
independently.
9 Feb. As a result of an evaluation
29 Jan. CTC briefing on al-
Qa'ida to SSCI: [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]. Some 70,000 to
120,000 people trained in the
camps in Afghanistan since
1979.
[ ] Feb. [ ]
38

15 Feb. Recap: Since May 98,
more than [ ] terrorists
captured and delivered to U.S. or
foreign law enforcement. Since
summer 2000, these have
included: [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
19 Feb. Four persons associated
with UBL network arrested in
Frankfurt, Germany.
[ ]1 Feb. [ ] confirms
press accounts of two arrests in
Yemen regarding USS Cole. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
[ ] Feb. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
by the USS Cole task force, DCI
has directed CTC to form a
strategic analysis group to help put
context into threat reporting and to
think out of the box.
[ ], a liaison
service identified, and invited
CIA to participate in tasking, a
sensitive asset with [ ]
[ ]
[ ].
39

[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
[ ] Feb. [ ]
[ ]
extremist tied to Ahmed Ressam,
had been arrested [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
[ ] Apr. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
[ ] Apr. [ ]
[ ]
[ ].
Early 2001. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
Apr. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
40

19 Apr. [Bin Ladin organization
is assessed to be in the throes of
advanced preparations for a
major attack, most probably on
an American or Israeli target.
The information does not
mention the target of the attacks,
nor the venue or dates. At the
hub of activity is an al-Qa'ida
figure. Target and date
uncertain. The information
implies a bomb against a major
target].
23 Apr. The second wave of 9-11
hijackers arrives throughout the
eastern seaboard between late
April and late Jun 2001.
May. [ ]
[ ]extensive
efforts [ ] to get a
videotape of UBL the widest
public airing. Just before East
Africa bombings, UBL used
media to predict news to
[ ].
[ ] Apr. [ ]
[ ]
[ ].
Spring 2001. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
10 May. DCI tells Senate
Appropriations Committee hearing
terrorism is on the rise especially
against the U.S. Eighty percent
increase since 1998. Strategic
initiative is to pre-empt terrorist
plans, and it is paying off with
disruptions that include [s] and bin
Ladin plots. Despite successes,
limits to what we can do. Generally
not have specific time-and-place
warning of attacks. Likely to be
attack against U.S. interests over
the next year.
Spring 2001. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
Spring 2001. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
May. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
41

[ ] May. [Foreign authorities seize
terrorist suspect. Links to Ressam
Millennium cell].
May. UK law enforcement officials
released all of the Algerian
extremists who were recently
arrested in London. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]. One [ ]
[ ]
[ ]. was immediately
re-arrested on a French warrant.
The leader of the cell [ ] also
was re-arrested on immigration
charges pending possible
deportation. Both individuals had
prior knowledge of Ressam's
abortive attack on LAX.
[ ] May. [Spanish police arrested
Frankfurt terrorist cell member].
[ ] May. [ ]
[ ] May. [ ]
[ ]
[ ].
42

[ ] Jun. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
[ ] Jun. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
Jun. Reporting [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
Jun. [ ]
[ ]
[ ], a Middle East
service arrested [ ] suspected
terrorists for their involvement in
planning of terrorist attacks against
diplomatic personnel and/or
interests [ ]
[ ].
Jun. [Foreign officials arrested
[ ] individuals
5 Jun. DC/CTC briefing for HPSCI:
"What worries me is that we're on
the verge of more attacks that are
larger and more deadly-not
necessarily CBRN, but could go
that way also."
Jun. THREATCON Delta declared.
U.S. naval ships in Persian Gulf
ports head to sea.
24 Jun. Multiple current threats.
Martyrdom threat possible in
Jordan. USS Cole investigation
threatens terrorists. Africa bombing
sentences handed out. [ ]
[ ] threats in Bahrain,
Saudi Arabia, Israel. [ ]
[ ] threat in Europe.
Yemen threat. [ ]
[ ] threat in Indonesia,
India, Turkey, [ ]
[ ]
threat to U.S. embassies, [ ]
[ ] in the Philippines.
28 Jun. "Based on a review of allsource
reporting over the last five
months, we believe that UBL will
launch a significant terrorist attack
against U.S. and/or Israeli interests
in the coming weeks. The attack will
be spectacular and designed to
inflict mass casualties against U.S.
facilities or interests. Attack
preparations have been made.
Attack will occur with little or no
warning. They are waiting us out,
looking for a vulnerability."
Jun. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
Spring 2001. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
43

indicated operatives linked to
UBL's organization expect their
near-term attacks to have
dramatic consequences such as
destabilizing governments or
causing major casualties.
4 Jul. Mihdhar enters U.S. at JFK
Airport.
Jul. Extremists associated with
UBL [ ] continued
to expect imminent attacks on
U.S. interest but operational
delays may persist, probably in
response to enhanced U.S.
security measures.
Jul. [Reports indicate UBL
planning unspecified attacks on
U.S. facilities abroad].
Jul. [Over the last [ ]
weeks, there have been over 25
reports alluding to an impending
attack. Never before has the
Intelligence Community seen so
many indicators].
who [ ] are
members of Al Qaeda organization
and were planning to bomb the
U.S. embassy and other U.S.
facilities [ ]
[ ].
Jul. British re-arrest Algerian
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ] knew of Ressam's
terrorist plans. Ressam said UBL
was aware of his terrorist plans
and intentions in the U.S.
Jul. [ ]
[ ] a cell of
international Islamic extremists [ ]
[ ]
[ ] involved in anti-U.S.
terrorist planning. Even with the
arrests, attacks may still be
planned [ ]
[ ]
[ ].
Jul. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
Jul. [ ]
[ ]
[ ].
44

Aug. Clandestine [ ]
[ ] and media reports
indicate UBL has wanted to
conduct attacks in the U.S. since
1997… Al-Qa'ida members-
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
Jul. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
Jul. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
30 Jul. U.N. Security Council
adopts Resolution 1363. Stresses
obligation of U.N. member states to
comply with UNSCRs 1267 and
1333, respectively, which calls on
Taliban to cease its support of
terrorists in the territory it controls
and the turning over of UBL to
appropriate authorities. Offers
assistance to states including those
bordering on Afghanistan to
increase their capability to
implement measures imposed by
above resolutions, which include an
arms embargo and freezing of UBL
assets.
1 Aug. CIA Inspector General
report on CTC: "well-managed,
fulfilling interagency responsibilities
for DCI, made progress on
problems previously identified,
Summer 2001. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
45

including some who are U.S.
citizens-have resided in or
traveled to the U.S. for years,
and the group apparently
maintains a support structure
that could aid attacks.
3 Aug. The IC continues to
estimate that [ ]
extremists associated with Al
Qaeda are now prepared to
conduct one or more terrorist
attacks at any time. The IC
continues to believe that the
most likely locales for such
attacks are on the Arabian
Peninsula, the Middle East and
Europe.
particularly relationship with FBI.
Customers did identify gaps-plans
and intentions of key terrorist
groups and timely, specific warning
of attack.
[ ] Aug. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
Summer 2001. [ ]
[ ]
[ ].
46

25 Aug. Between 25 and 31
Aug, 9/11 hijackers buy tickets
for Sep 11, 2001.
Aug. [ ]
[ ]
16 Aug. Zacarias Moussaoui
detained by INS.
Aug. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
16 Aug. CTC Assessment: for
every UBL operative that we stop,
an estimated 50 operatives slip
through our loose net undetected.
Based on recent arrest, it is clear
that UBL is building up a worldwide
infrastructure which will allow him to
launch multiple and simultaneous
attacks with little or no warning.
Aug. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
Aug. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
23 Aug. Nawaf al-Hazmi and
al-Mihdhar added to TIPOFF
watchlist. Al-Hazmi arrived in
U.S. January 15, 2000, no
record of his departure. Al-
Mihdhar departed June 10,
2000, returned July 4, 2001.
47

[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
9 Sep. Assassination of Afghan
Northern Alliance leader Masood
by Al Qaeda operatives posing
as journalists.
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
Sep. [ ]
[ ]
[ ].
11 Sep. World Trade
Center/Pentagon/Stony Creek
attacks.
10 Sep. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ .]
10 Sep. [ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ].
10 Sep. In the hours just prior
to the 9/11 attacks, NSA
obtains two pieces of
information suggesting that
individuals with terrorist
connections believed
something significant would
happen on September 11. No
specific indication of time,
place, or type of expected
event. Because of the nature of
the processes involved, NSA is
unable to report the information
until September 12.
48

7 Oct. Operation Enduring
Freedom commences.
17 Sep. [ ]
[ ]
[ ].
49
APPENDIX
SELECTED EVENTS
IN THE
CHRONOLOGY
OF TERRORISM
1982 - 2001
APPENDIX
CIA/FBI FAILURES
IN REGARD TO
TWO OF THE SEPTEMBER 11 HIJACKERS,
THE PHOENIX ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION,
AND
THE MOUSSAOUI INVESTIGATION
(ADAPTED FROM A CHART PRESENTED
BY SENATOR CARL LEVIN
AT THE OCTOBER 17, 2002
JOINT INQUIRY HEARING)
CIA/FBI FAILURES IN REGARD TO TWO SEPTEMBER 11 HIJACKERS,
THE PHOENIX ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION, AND THE MOUSSAOUI INVESTIGATION
(BASED ON CHART PRESENTED BY SENATOR CARL LEVIN AT OCTOBER 17, 2002 JOINT INQUIRY HEARING)
CIA Failures
al-Mihdhar Al-Hazmi
1. 1/5/00 - CIA acquires Midhar's passport information with multiple entry U.S. visa but
does not watchlist him.
1. 1/9/00 - CIA has information to determine Hazmi's full name and learns that Hazmi left
Malaysia with Mihdhar on 1/8/00 but does not watchlist Hazmi. Nor does it notify the FBI
about the Hazmi travel.
2. 1/8/00 - CIA does not notify FBI when it learns Mihdhar has left Malaysia and, again,
does not watchlist him.
2. 1/9/00 - CIA does not check U.S. immigration records to determine whether Hazmi, like
Mihdhar, has a U.S. multiple entry visa (which had been used on 4/3/99).
3. 3/5/00 - CIA Headquarters does not read cable on Hazmi travel to U.S., so does not
consider likelihood that Mihdhar traveled with him. CIA does not check to determine
whether Mihdhar is in the U.S. until 8/21/01 - 17 months later.
3. 3/5/00 - CIA Headquarters does not read cable noting Hazmi travel to U.S., so does not
watchlist Hazmi or notify the FBI that he is in the country.
4. 1/2001 - CIA does not watchlist Mihdhar after learning he was in Malaysia with
Khallad, aka Tawfiq bin Attash, planner of the bombing of USS Cole.
4. 1/2001 - CIA does not watchlist Hazmi after learning he was in Malaysia
with Khallad, aka Tawfiq bin Attash, planner of the bombing of USS Cole.
5. 6/11/01 - CIA analyst at N.Y. meeting with FBI is aware of Mihdhar travel and visa
information but does not pass it on to FBI because "it does not mean anything to [him]"
and he does not have permission to reveal operational details.
FBI Failures
al-Mihdhar al-Hazmi
1. 1/5/00 - CIA notifies FBI about Malaysia meeting, but FBI does not watchlist Mihdhar. 1. 8/28/01 - After Mihdhar and Hazmi are placed on watchlist, FBI opens investigation on
Mihdhar, but not Hazmi. FBI does not check whether Hazmi extended his original U.S.
visa (an extension applied for on 7/12/00, and granted on 6/18/01).
2. 8/28/01 - FBI NY agent request for full criminal investigation is denied by FBI
Headquarters official. Agent decries the "wall: preventing the sharing of intelligence
information with criminal investigators.
Phoenix 7/10/01 Electronic Communication Moussaoui Investigation, August - September 2001
1. FBI RFU does not direct that FBI field offices establish liaisons with aviation schools
around the country, as requested by the Phoenix agent who wrote the Electronic
Communication.
1. FBI Headquarters and agents in Minneapolis misunderstand legal standard for obtaining
a FISA order, believing they have to link Moussaoui to a "recognized foreign power."
Minneapolis wastes time and resources trying to connect Chechen rebels, which FBI did
not consider a "recognized foreign power," to al-Qa'ida.
2. FBI RFU fails to share the Phoenix Electronic Communication with other agencies prior
to September 11, the FBI's analytical unit, or any of the FBI's field offices.
2. On August 24, CTC alerts CIA stations worldwide about Moussaoui. FBI waits until
September 4 to send teletype to Intelligence Community and other government agencies,
noting that Moussaoui was in custody, but not describing any particular threat, i.e., that he
might be connected to a larger plot. The teletype did not recommend that addressees take
action or look for additional indicators of a terrorist attack.
3. FBI's New York field office receives the Phoenix Electronic Communication, but
does not to take action, although personnel there knew that al-Qa'ida had previously
received flight training in the U.S.
3. FBI does not connect Moussaoui with heightened threat in Summer 2001, the Phoenix
Electronic Communication, or Mihdhar and Hazmi's entry into U.S.
APPENDIX
THE
PHOENIX
ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION
APPENDIX
MOUSSAOUI-RELATED
FBI FIELD AGENT NOTES
AND
FIELD OFFICE/HEADQUARTERS E-MAILS*
* The contents of this Appendix have been withheld at the request of the Department of Justice so as to avoid any impact on the
prosecution of Zacharias Moussaoui.
APPENDIX
GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE
ANALYSIS
OF
U.S. ANTHRAX ATTACKS
LIMDIS FOUO
SUMMARY
OF
JOINT INQUIRY REVIEW
OF
ANTHRAX ATTACKS
In October 2001, the Congress, the United States Postal Service (USPS), and
elements of the domestic infrastructure were the targets of anthrax attacks that eventually
killed five Americans. The Joint Inquiry requested that the General Accounting Office
review those attacks, focusing on the difficulty of producing and spreading anthrax, mail
as a delivery system, the status of USPS efforts to detect anthrax, the federal investigation
into the attacks, and how the government is preparing for other incidents.
When the Joint Inquiry report was filed, the GAO investigation had been
substantially completed, with an initial finding that no consensus exists among experts
regarding the ease with which terrorists or a disgruntled scientist could effectively
produce and disseminate anthrax on U.S. soil. According to the GAO, technical experts
believe that it would be very difficult to overcome technical and operational challenges to
produce and deliver biological warfare agents sufficient to cause mass casualties.
According to the experts the GAO interviewed, delivery of anthrax by mail is not
as efficient a method of producing mass casualties as military technologies. However, in
the public's mind and in terms of economic damage, anthrax powder in the mail
represents a potentially significant problem. The USPS effort to defend against
biological agents illustrates a key aspect of homeland defense: the distinction between
reactive and proactive operational environments. Whereas the nation's posture had been
to prevent attacks against military facilities, the anthrax attacks targeted civilian facilities
that unprepared to react.
According to the GAO, the FBI is aware of numerous anthrax incidents
throughout the United States, which were random in nature and determined to be hoaxes.
Because this was the first time the FBI responded to an actual attack, however, there was
some initial confusion about the investigative roles and responsibilities of various
agencies. The Bureau has recognized the need to involve subject-matter experts and, as a
result, its investigative teams include scientists, criminal investigators, hazardousmaterial
experts, investigators from other federal agencies, and federal laboratories.
As a result of the anthrax attacks, the FBI and other investigative agencies have
increased attention on chemical and biological threats. These agencies have reached
agreements delineating roles and responsibilities, increased liaison with public health
officials, developed a Center for Disease Control and FBI handbook for conducting
investigations, and identified state and local officials who need security clearances for
access to classified information.
To date, no connection has been established between the anthrax attacks and the
terrorist attacks of September 11.
A copy of the GAO report follows.

APPENDIX
CTC WATCHLISTING GUIDANCE
DECEMBER 1999
CTC WATCHLISTING GUIDANCE
December 1999
Questions raised by Senator Shelby and his staff in December 2002 prompted the
Joint Inquiry to inquire further regarding whether CIA's Counterterrorist Center (CTC)
had any established guidance concerning the watchlisting program. The Joint Inquiry
had asked CTC about such watchlisting guidance in April 2002,and had been told in a
written CIA response that no such guidance existed.
As a result of this renewed request, the Joint Inquiry was able to determine that
CTC had sent a cable in December 1999 to all Directorate of Operations (DO) stations
and bases, the subject of which was "Terrorism Guidance." The cable was designated as
"Read and Retain," and its purpose was to remind DO personnel of pre-existing,
periodically republished guidance regarding several important subjects of relevance to
their counterterrorism efforts. The Joint Inquiry also determined that the unit in CTC that
was responsible for matters relating to Usama Bin ladin and al-Qa'ida received a copy of
the cable.
One paragraph of the nine paragraph "Terrorism Guidance" cable (see attached
copy) reminded recipients of the procedures for watchlisting "potential," "possible,"
"known," or "suspected" terrorists. The guidance stated, in part, that:
. . . It is important to flag terrorist personality information in DO intelligence
reporting for [the State Department watchlist program] so that potential terrorists
may be watchlisted. Information for inclusion in [the State Department watchlist
program] must raise a reasonable suspicion that the individual is a possible
terrorist . . . . Information for [the State Department watchlist] program should be
based on the following priorities:
-- known or suspected terrorists who pose or may pose a present
threat to U.S. interests in the United States or abroad:
. . . .
1
Thus, CTC personnel and CIA station and base personnel abroad were reminded
in December 1999 of the existence, importance and thresholds of the watchlisting
program shortly before CTC learned in January 2000 that a known al-Qa'ida associate -
al-Mihdhar - possessed a multiple entry U.S. visa; one month before the Malaysia
meeting; and three months before CTC received information from the field indicating that
at least one known al-Qa'ida associate - Nawaf al-Hazmi - had traveled to the United
States.
2
APPENDIX
THE JOINT INQUIRY IN COURT
THE JOINT INQUIRY IN COURT
On August 20, 2002, the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a motion in United States v.
Moussaoui, Crim. No. 01-455-A, in the Eastern District of Virginia, concerning potential
disclosure in the Joint Inquiry's public hearings and reports of information provided by the
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and other Executive Branch agencies about the
Government's investigation of Zacarias Moussaoui. The relief sought by DOJ would have
imposed significant limitations on the Joint Inquiry's ability to inform the public about the FBI's
conduct of its Moussaoui investigation in the weeks leading up to September 11, 2001. For that
reason, the Joint Inquiry appeared before Judge Leonie Brinkema, the presiding judge in the
Moussaoui prosecution, to oppose DOJ's motion. The issue was finally resolved favorably for
the Joint Inquiry in a court order on September 23, 2002 that effectively cleared the way for FBI
testimony at the Joint Inquiry's public hearing the next day on the FBI's conduct of the
Moussaoui investigation.
This portion of the Appendix briefly describes the issues that were presented and the
orders that were issued in conjunction with the Moussaoui litigation. Although begun as a
nonpublic, or "sealed" proceeding, the pleadings in the case were unsealed by the court and the
orders were also filed on the public record.
At the outset of the Joint Inquiry, representatives of the Joint Inquiry and DOJ discussed
procedures for access to FBI and DOJ information that would recognize the need for a thorough
Congressional inquiry and yet avoid interfering with the Moussaoui case and other pending
criminal prosecutions and investigations. On April 9, 2002, the Joint Inquiry Staff Director
wrote to the Director of Central Intelligence -- with copies to the FBI and other Intelligence
Community agencies -- to describe procedures for meeting this goal that were being adopted by
the Joint Inquiry. These procedures included a commitment by the Joint Inquiry to consult with
the Justice Department "before any information that is obtained from Intelligence Community
records and that may constitute evidence in a criminal proceeding is made public."
2
Over the following weeks, it became clear that DOJ believed there were legal bars to the
Joint Inquiry's public disclosure of materials about the FBI's Moussaoui investigation. As a
result of these concerns, DOJ advised the Joint Inquiry in a May 31, 2002 letter that "the
Department may have to oppose efforts to release publicly certain protected information prior to
the trial, to the extent that it would impair the government's ability to present its case, infringe
upon the defendant's right to a fair trial, or compromise the integrity of other investigations."
One bar, in DOJ's view, was a Protective Order in the Moussaoui case that had been
prepared by DOJ and entered by the District Court on February 5, 2002. That Order provided,
among other things, "that none of the discovery materials produced by the government to the
defense shall be disseminated to the media by the government."
The other bar, in DOJ's view, was Eastern District of Virginia Local Criminal Rule 57.
That Rule bars several categories of out-of-court statements by the prosecution or defense
"which a reasonable person would expect to be further disseminated by any means of public
communication," but also contains a specific proviso that nothing in it is intended to preclude
"hearings or the lawful issuance of reports by legislative, administrative, or investigative
bodies."
In the next several months, as the date for the first public hearings approached, the Joint
Inquiry sought to assure DOJ that its concerns could be accommodated by the Inquiry. A June
27, 2002 letter to the Attorney General from the leaders of the Joint Inquiry stated that the
objective of the Inquiry's planned public hearing on the Moussaoui matter was "not to consider
the guilt or innocence of Mr. Moussaoui, which is a matter for the Judicial Branch, but to
examine the counterterrorist efforts of U.S. Government personnel and the organizations and
authorities under which they operate." The letter also informed the Attorney General that the
Offices of Senate Legal Counsel and House General Counsel had advised the Joint Inquiry that
neither the Protective Order nor the Local Rule governed the public proceedings of Congress.
3
In July 2002, DOJ's Criminal Division asked for a further description of the subjects that
would be addressed in the Joint Inquiry's public hearings, which were scheduled to begin in
September. On August 5, 2002, the Joint Inquiry Staff Director wrote to the Assistant Attorney
General for the Criminal Division and explained that the scope of the Inquiry's planned public
examination of the Moussaoui matter would include "FBI activity concerning Zacarias
Moussaoui from August 15, 2001, when an intelligence investigation was opened, through
September 11, 2001."
On August 20, 2002, DOJ filed an "Expedited Motion of the United States for
Clarification Regarding the Applicability of the Protective Order for Unclassified but Sensitive
Material and Local Criminal Rule 57 to Information that May be Made Public in Congressional
Proceedings." DOJ asked the District Court to order that "[t]he Protective Order and Local Rule
would preclude the provision of information regarding 'The Moussaoui Investigation,' as
described [in the Joint Inquiry letter of August 5], for public use . . . ." The Department also
submitted an order, which the District Court granted, "to authorize the service of its Expedited
Motion with its attachments on the representatives of the House and Senate Intelligence
Committees who are involved in the Joint 9/11 Inquiry, and to enable these committees to reply
to the motion and attend any scheduled hearing."
With the assistance of the Offices of Senate Legal Counsel and House General Counsel,
the General Counsel of the Joint Inquiry filed a reply on behalf of the Joint Inquiry on August 26
and participated in the argument on August 29, 2002. The reply asked that the District Court
deny DOJ's requested relief for three main reasons: "(1) the protective order does not govern
testimony before Congress, nor does it govern the production of documents to Congress, the use
of documents by it, or the issuance of its reports; (2) Local Criminal Rule 57 specifically does
not preclude the holding of legislative hearings or the issuance of legislative reports, and (3) the
proposed expansion of the order by the Department of Justice runs afoul of the separation of
powers."
4
On August 29, the District Court entered an order that denied DOJ's motion. Stating that
the Protective Order "is too complicated in its present form," the order directed the submission
of a new Protective Order. The August 29 order also stated "that nothing in this Order is
intended to affect the applicability of Local Rule 57 to the participants in this case."
The transcript of the August 29 hearing was released publicly on August 30.
Representatives of DOJ and the Joint Inquiry discussed, but could not agree on, the import of the
Court's ruling, particularly regarding the applicability of the Local Rule to the testimony of FBI
witnesses at the public hearing. During the first week of September 2002, DOJ asked the Joint
Inquiry to advise it regarding which of the documents that had been provided to the Joint Inquiry
by the FBI were believed to be relevant to a public hearing concerning the Moussaoui
investigation. On September 11, 2002, the Joint Inquiry's General Counsel provided DOJ with a
list of documents that were substantially likely to be included in public questioning of FBI
witnesses at public hearings.
On September 20, DOJ filed a "Renewed Expedited Motion of the United States for
Clarification Regarding the Applicability of Local Criminal Rule 57 to Information to be Made
Public in Congressional Proceedings." Focusing only on the Local Rule, the Department did
not renew its earlier arguments about the applicability of the Protective Order to Congressional
proceedings. The Department asked the District Court to enter an order that "Local Criminal
Rule 57 applies to Department of Justice personnel who are testifying at public Congressional
hearings, including but not limited to, all statements such personnel make in response to
questions asked by Members and staff at such hearings."
Again assisted by the Offices of Senate Legal Counsel and House General Counsel, the
Joint Inquiry General Counsel replied in writing that:
. . . the order sought by the United States would substantially shut down the opportunity
of the full Congress and the public to understand the important issues involved in the
FBI's handling of the Moussaoui investigation prior to September 11. The relief sought
by the United States would, in effect, amount to an injunction blocking a proceeding of
the Congress that no Court has ever issued.
5
On September 23, 2002, the District Court denied the DOJ motion, as follows:
The Joint Inquiry made clear in its August 5, 2002 letter to the Assistant Attorney
General for the Criminal Division the limited parameters of the inquiry and has
reiterated in its Reply that the Committees will not ask witnesses to comment
about the merits of this case. Indeed, the questions are expected to focus on
"what government officials heard, observed, reasoned, recommended, and acted
on (or did not act on) prior to September 11." [Quoting Joint Inquiry Reply.] The
Committees are not interested in "expressions of current judgment from
government witnesses about the defendant's guilt or innocence or the
government's plans for presenting its case." [Quoting Joint Inquiry Reply.]
Given the ground rules articulated by the Joint Inquiry, FBI personnel should
have no difficulty responding to Congress' questions without violating Local Rule
57 or any other order of this Court. Accordingly, the Renewed Expedited Motion
for Clarification is DENIED.
In accordance with its commitment to consult with the Department of Justice, the Joint
Inquiry continued to allow DOJ to review and comment regarding the contents of staff
statements related to the Moussaoui case and other matters. At the Joint Inquiry's September 24
public hearing and the closed hearing that followed concerning the Moussaoui matter, the Joint
Inquiry permitted a DOJ representative to attend with FBI witnesses for the purpose of advising
whether any question called for an answer that might impair the Moussaoui prosecution. Thus,
the Inquiry was able to proceed with a full public exposition of the issues raised in the
Moussaoui investigation without impeding the due process and fair trial interests of Moussaoui
and DOJ.
APPENDIX
ACCESS LIMITATIONS
ENCOUNTERED
BY THE
JOINT INQUIRY

1
ACCESS LIMITATIONS
ENCOUNTERED
BY THE
JOINT INQUIRY
The Joint Inquiry received assurances from the White House, the Director of
Central Intelligence and the heads of the Intelligence Community agencies that its access
would be complete and unprecedented and that the agencies would "bend over
backwards" and "be forward leaning" in response to requests for information made in the
course of the Inquiry. While the major agencies in the Inquiry - CIA, FBI and NSA -
provided substantial support and allowed access to large volumes of information, there
were certain areas in which no access was allowed, and others where access was achieved
only after extensive discussions and delays or under conditions that limited the scope of
the Inquiry's work.
Access Denied
-- The President's Daily Brief (PDB): the White House determined, and the DCI and
CIA agreed, that the Joint Inquiry could have no access to the contents of the PDB.
Ultimately, this bar was extended to the point where CIA personnel were not allowed to
be interviewed regarding the simple process by which the PDB is prepared. Although
the Inquiry was inadvertently given access to fragments of some PDB items early on,
this decision limited the Inquiry's ability to determine systematically what Presidents
Clinton and Bush, and their senior advisors, were being told by the Intelligence
Community agencies, and when, regarding the nature of the threat to the United States
from Usama Bin Ladin and al-Qa'ida. Despite the White House decision, the Joint
Inquiry was advised by Intelligence Community representatives of the content of an
August 2001 PDB item that is discussed in the report. This glimpse into that PDB
indicated the importance of such access [ ]

2
[
].*
-- Foreign Liaison Relationships: The DCI refused to allow the Joint Inquiry to have access to a
series of reports that had been prepared within CTC regarding the strengths and weaknesses of the
CIA's liaison relationships with a variety of foreign governments. This decision affected the
Inquiry's ability to determine the extent to which some foreign governments had or had not
cooperated and shared information with the United States in countering Bin Ladin and al-Qa'ida
prior to September 11.
-- Budget Information: Because a lack of resources was raised repeatedly by Intelligence
Community representatives throughout the Inquiry, it became important to review the budget
requests that had been made by the various agencies through the relevant years and to compare the
treatment of those requests within the agencies from which they originated, within the
Administration, and by Congress. While certain information was made available regarding agency
and Congressional action, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the White House
prevented the agencies from sharing information regarding budget requests that were submitted by
the agencies to OMB and the actions OMB took to increase or decrease those requests before they
were submitted to Congress. This limited the Inquiry's ability to determine where in the budget
process requests for additional counterterrorism resources were changed.
-- [Covert Action Programs: Covert action was an important part of CIA's overall effort to
counter the threat posed by Bin Ladin prior to September 11, 2001. [
]. The NSC denied the Joint Inquiry access to documents, thereby limiting its
ability to inquire into this area].
* National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice stated in a May 16, 2002 press briefing that, on August 6, 2001, the
President's Daily Brief (PDB) included information about Bin Ladin's methods of operation from a historical
perspective dating back to 1997. One of the methods was that Bin Ladin might choose to highjack an airliner in order
to hold passengers hostage to gain release of one of their operatives. She stated, however, that the report did not
contain specific warning information, but only a generalized warning, and did not contain information that al-Qa'ida
was discussing a particular planned attack against a specific target at any specific time, place, or by any specific
method.

3
-- NSC-Level Information: There were several areas of counterterrorism
intelligence policy development where insight into discussions involving the DCI, CIA
and other Intelligence Community officials, and personnel at the National Security
Council and White House levels would have been helpful in determining why certain
options and programs were or were not pursued in particular time frames. Access to
most information that involved NSC-level discussions was blocked, however, by the
White House. Even agency documents that were drafted in anticipation of NSC
discussion were denied to the Inquiry as "pre-decisional." The Inquiry also was denied
access to, or a briefing concerning, the findings and conclusions of the report of the
National Security Presidential Directive-5 Commission on Intelligence Reform chaired
by Lt.Gen. Brent Scowcroft.
-- Interview of the DCI: The Joint Inquiry attempted to schedule an interview of DCI
George Tenet in order to solicit his recollections, understandings and opinions
regarding a host of questions relating to policy, resource, organizational, authority,
priorities, and other issues that had been developed during the Inquiry. Such an
interview was at first delayed and then made conditional on further discussions with
DCI staff. Ultimately, the DCI testified at length in closed and open sessions before the
Joint Inquiry and the interview was denied on that basis.
-- [Interview of FBI Informant: On August 8, 2002, the FBI informed the Joint Inquiry
that two of the hijackers had numerous contacts with a long time FBI counterterrorism
informant. The Joint Inquiry made numerous requests to the FBI to interview the
informant in an effort to resolve some of the inconsistencies in the informant's reporting
and to better evaluate how effectively the FBI utilized the informant. The FBI,
supported by the Attorney General and the Administration, refused to make the
informant available for an interview or to serve a Congressional deposition notice and
subpoena on the informant, whose whereabouts were known to the FBI at the time.
The FBI also strongly objected to a Joint Inquiry interview of the informant, citing
concerns about adverse impact on FBI efforts to recruit future informants. The Joint
Inquiry instead agreed with a suggestion by FBI officials that, as an initial step, written

4
interrogatories be served on the informant. The FBI agreed to deliver those
interrogatories to the informant for a written response. Soon after, the informant
retained an attorney, who advised the Joint Inquiry that the informant would not
respond to the interrogatories. The attorney also advised the Joint Inquiry that, if
subpoenaed, the informant would be unwilling to testify without an immunity
agreement. As a result, while the Joint Inquiry interviewed and received testimony
from FBI personnel familiar with the information provided by the informant, it was
denied the opportunity to discuss that information directly with the informant].
-- NSA Technical and Contractual Information: The Joint Inquiry sought to determine
whether and how NSA is planning to cope with changing technology and requirements,
and how it is equipped to manage the allocation of scarce resources for research and
development in the counterrterrosim area. Despite numerous requests for specific
planning and other documents and briefings, NSA provided very limited responsive
information in this area.
-- CIA and NSA Documents: CIA took the position that so-called "operational cables"
from the field and certain other documents it deemed to be sensitive could be subject to
Joint Inquiry review at CIA Headquarters, but that no copies could be brought to the
Joint Inquiry's office. NSA adopted a similar position concerning its transcripts and
disseminated intelligence reports and, ultimately, almost all other materials. This
prevented the incorporation of the original documents in the Inquiry's central records
where they could be drawn upon effectively for research and reference purposes. Both
agencies did, however, allow verbatim notes to be made and removed to Inquiry
offices. This consumed many hours and slowed the Inquiry's progress. Both agencies
then agreed to allow copies to be removed from their premises if the Joint Inquiry
agreed to allow them to be stored by the agencies at the end of the Inquiry, and even
provided a draft of an agreement that would recognize this. When the Inquiry later
agreed in principle and responded

5
with a revised draft, however, the agencies decided that such an agreement was no
longer desirable and returned to their original positions.
-- Military Options: In order to evaluate allegations that the U.S. military was reluctant
to become involved in the effort against Bin Ladin prior to September 11, and to assess
the interplay between the CIA and the military in covert action and special operations
relating to counterterrorism, the Joint Inquiry asked to review documents regarding 13
military options that had been reportedly prepared by the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) in
response to a White House request. The JCS Legal Counsel, supported by the Defense
Department (DOD) General Counsel and the NSC, took the position that this request
exceeded the scope of the Joint Inquiry's authority, but provided a summary briefing
concerning the options.
Access Limited
-- Foreign Government Information at the FBI: The FBI allowed the Joint Inquiry to
review information provided by foreign governments at the FBI, but would not allow
the documents or verbatim notes to be carried to the Inquiry's offices. This limited and
delayed the Inquiry's efforts to understand the level of cooperation displayed by the
[ ] and other governments in counterterrorism efforts prior to September11.
-- Interview Policies: The Intelligence Community agencies insisted that agency
representatives - usually legal or congressional affairs - be present to monitor all
interviews of their personnel - present or former. The Inquiry took the position that
agency monitors would be excluded where an agency employee, or Joint Inquiry
personnel, decided that their presence would inhibit the full and frank discussion of any
matter. Some of the agencies "pre-briefed" personnel who were to be interviewed by
the Joint Inquiry, explaining to them what the agency position was on certain matters
and urging the employees not to range too broadly in their responses. In one instance,
after lengthy discussions with DOJ and FBI personnel, a former FBI agent was
interviewed without monitors present at his request. On occasion, agency legal

6
representatives instructed individuals not to respond to questions that the monitors
deemed would reveal pre-decisional matters or legal advice.
Access Delayed
-- Department of Justice (DOJ) Concerns: The Joint Inquiry agreed with DOJ's
position that information sealed by court order or relating directly to Grand Jury
proceedings, and evidence obtained by means of electronic surveillance conducted
under 18 U.S.C. §2510, et seq., not be provided to the Inquiry. Some previously sealed
information was, with the assistance of DOJ and by court order, eventually provided to
the Inquiry. While this agreement was not inconsistent with the goals of the Inquiry,
significant delays resulted in the first months of the Inquiry while Intelligence
Community and other U.S. Government agencies waited for DOJ to develop an
efficient process for review of all information requested by the Inquiry. Subsequently,
DOJ took the position that FBI personnel who had been involved in the Moussaoui
investigation or the September 11 investigation and who might be trial witnesses could
not be interviewed by the Joint Inquiry about those matters. This issue was not
resolved until the Congressional leaders of the Joint Inquiry met with the Attorney
General and senior Department of Justice officials in early May and expressed their
objections to the DOJ position. Other DOJ objections and concerns relating
specifically to Joint Inquiry access to and use of information relating to the Moussaoui
investigation were dealt with in federal court and are discussed in a separate section of
this Appendix, entitled "The Joint Inquiry In Court."
-- The Third Agency Rule/Internal Reviews: The Intelligence Community initially took
the position that any information from one agency that was found in the files of another
agency could not be shared with the Joint Inquiry until the originating agency had been
consulted and given its permission. This slowed the disclosure process significantly.
Based on Inquiry objections, the Community first reduced the application of this
procedural obstacle to only intelligence that

7
had not been disseminated in finished form, and finally agreed to provide the Inquiry
with access and simultaneous notice to the originating agency. In addition, the agencies
insisted on reviewing and redacting certain information from documents before they
were provided to the Inquiry, further preventing timely responses to Inquiry requests.
Finally, the agencies would not provide the Inquiry with electronic access to
information, but insisted on providing paper copies of all information. This not only
slowed production of the material, but also hindered the efficient review and utilization
of this information by the Inquiry.
-- Interview of the Deputy National Security Advisor: The Joint Inquiry requested the
opportunity to conduct an interview of the National Security Advisor to the President in
May 2002 in order to obtain a better understanding of the development of
counterterrorism policy in the Bush Administration before September 11, 2001. The
NSC resisted this and suggested in June that the Deputy National Security Advisor be
the subject instead and that written questions be provided instead of conducting an
interview. The Joint Inquiry provided written questions in July but did not receive
responses until November 2002.




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