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Report of the 9/11 Commission

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Author Topic: Report of the 9/11 Commission  (Read 12692 times)
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« Reply #1425 on: September 08, 2009, 12:36:48 am »

The 70 full-field investigations number was a generous calculation that included fund-raising investigations. It also counted each individual connected to an investigation as a separate full-field investigation. Many of these investigations should not have been included, such as the one that related to a dead person, four that concerned people who had been in long-term custody, and eight that had been closed well before August 6, 2001. Joint Inquiry interview of Elizabeth and Laura, Nov. 20, 2002; FBI report,"70 UBL Cases," undated (produced to the Joint Inquiry on Aug. 12, 2002).

The call to the UAE was originally reported by the CIA on May 16. It came from an anonymous caller. Neither the CIA nor the FBI was able to corroborate the information in the call. FBI report, Daily UBL/Radical Fundamentalist Threat Update, ITOS Threat Update Webpage, May 16, 2001.

38. See CIA, SEIB, "Bin Ladin Determined to Strike in US," Aug. 7, 2001; see also Roger Cressey interview (June 23, 2004).The Deputy Director of Central Intelligence testified that the FBI information in the PDB was omitted from the SEIB because of concerns about protecting ongoing investigations, because the information had been received from the FBI only orally, and because there were no clear, established ground rules regarding SEIB contents. John McLaughlin testimony, Apr. 14, 2004.

39. Intelligence report, Consideration by Abu Zubaydah to Attack Targets in the United States,Aug. 24, 2001.

40. George Tenet interview (July 2, 2004).

41. Condoleezza Rice testimony,Apr. 8, 2004; Condoleezza Rice meeting (Feb. 7, 2004).

42. Stephen Hadley meeting (Jan. 31, 2004).

43. It is also notable that virtually all the information regarding possible domestic threats came from human sources.The information on overseas threats came mainly from signals intelligence. Officials believed that signals intelligence was more reliable than human intelligence. Roger Cressey interview (June 23, 2004).

44. NSC memo, Clarke to Rice, al Qaeda review, Jan. 25, 2001 (attaching NSC memo,"Strategy for Eliminating the Threat from the Jihadists Networks of al Qida: Status and Prospects," Dec. 2000). Clarke had also mentioned domestic terrorist cells in connection with the possibility of reopening Pennsylvania Avenue. See NSC email, Clarke to Rice, Briefing on Pennsylvania Avenue, Mar. 23, 2001.

45. Roger Cressey interview (June 23, 2004).

46.This approach was consistent with how this same issue was addressed almost exactly a year earlier, despite the fact that by 2001 the threat level was higher than it had ever been previously. On June 30, 2000, NSC counterterrorism staffers met with INS, Customs, and FBI officials to review border and port security measures. The NSC staff 's Paul Kurtz wrote to then national security adviser Samuel Berger,"We noted while there was no information regarding potential attacks in the U.S. they should inform their officers to remain vigilant." NSC email, Kurtz to Berger, Steinberg, and Rudman, warning re: UBL threat reporting, June 30, 2000.

47. FAA briefing materials, Office of Civil Aviation Security, "The Transnational Threat to Civil Aviation," undated (slide 24).The presentation did indicate, however, that if a hijacker was intending to commit suicide in a spectacular explosion, the terrorist would be likely to prefer a domestic hijacking. Between July 27 and September 11, 2001, the FAA did issue five new Security Directives to air carriers requiring them to take some specific security measures.Two continued certain measures that had been in place for at least a year. Others related only to carrying specific passengers. See FAA security directives, SD 108-98, July 27, 2001; SD 108-00, July 27, 2001; SD 10800, July 27, 2001; SD 108-01, Aug. 21, 2001; SD 108-01, Aug. 31, 2001. In order to issue more general warnings without directing carriers to take specific action, the FAA issued Information Circulars. Of the eight such circulars issued between July 2 and September 11, 2001, five highlighted possible threats overseas. See FAA information circulars, "Possible Terrorist Threat-Arabian Peninsula," IC-2001-11, July 18, 2001; "Recent Terrorist Activity in the Middle East," IC-2001-03B, July 26, 2001; "Continued Middle Eastern Threats to Civil Aviation," IC-2001-04A, July 31, 2001; "Violence Increases in Israel," IC-2001-07A, Aug. 28, 2001; "ETA Bombs Airports in Spain," IC-2001-13,Aug. 29, 2001. One, issued on August 16, warned about the potential use of disguised weapons. FAA information circular,"Disguised Weapons," IC-2001-12, Aug. 16, 2001.

48. FAA report,"Record of Air Carrier Briefings-4/18/01 to 9/10/01," undated.

49. See Condoleezza Rice testimony, Apr. 8, 2004; NSC memo, U.S.Terrorism Alert, July 3, 2001; FBI electronic communication, Heightened Threat Advisory,Apr. 13, 2001. For the lack of NSC direction, see Roger Cressey interview (June 23, 2004).

50.Thomas Pickard interview (Apr. 8, 2004). For example, an international terrorism squad supervisor in the Washington Field Office told us he was not aware of an increased threat in the summer of 2001, and his squad did not take any special actions to respond to it.The special agent in charge of the Miami Field Office told us he did not learn of the high level of threat until after September 11. See Washington Field Office agent interview (Apr. 1, 2004); Hector Pesquera interview (Oct. 3, 2003).

51. Dale Watson interview (Jan. 6, 2004).
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