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Report of the 9/11 Commission

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Author Topic: Report of the 9/11 Commission  (Read 5328 times)
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« Reply #1440 on: September 08, 2009, 12:41:03 am »

4. Opening the Islamic Conference of Muslim leaders from around the world on October 16, 2003, then Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad said:"Today we, the whole Muslim ummah [community of believers] are treated with contempt and dishonour. Our religion is denigrated. Our holy places desecrated. Our countries are occupied. Our people are starved and killed. None of our countries are truly independent.We are under pressure to conform to our oppressors' wishes about how we should behave, how we should govern our lands, how we should think even." He added:"There is a feeling of hopelessness among the Muslim countries and their peo-ple.They feel that they can do nothing right.They believe that things can only get worse.The Muslims will forever be oppressed and dominated by the Europeans and Jews."The prime minister's argument was that the Muslims should gather their assets, not striking back blindly, but instead planning a thoughtful, long-term strategy to defeat their worldwide enemies, which he argued were controlled by the Jews. "But today the Jews rule the world by proxy.They get others to fight and die for them." Speech at the Opening of the Tenth Session of the Islamic Summit Conference, Oct. 16, 2003 (online at

5. CIA map,"Possible Remote Havens for Terrorist and Other Illicit Activity," May 2003.

6. For the numbers, see Tariq interview (Oct. 20, 2003).

7. For Pakistan playing a key role in apprehending 500 terrorists, see Richard Armitage testimony, Mar. 23, 2004.

8. For Pakistan's unpoliced areas, see Tasneem Noorani interview (Oct. 27, 2003).

9. Pakistanis and Afghanis interviews (Oct. 2003); DOD Special Operations Command and Central Command briefings (Sept. 15-16, 2004); U.S. intelligence official interview (July 9, 2004).

10. Pervez Musharraf,"A Plea for Enlightened Moderation: Muslims Must Raise Themselves Up Through Individual Achievement and Socioeconomic Emancipation," Washington Post, June 1, 2004, p. A23.

11. For a review of ISAF's role, see NATO report, "NATO in Afghanistan," updated July 9, 2004 (online at

12. United States Institute of Peace report,"Establishing the Rule of Law in Afghanistan," Mar. 2004, pp. 1-3 (online at

13. For the change, see Lakhdar Brahimi interview (Oct. 24, 2003); U.S. officials in Afghanistan interview (Oct.

2003). For the request that the United States remain, see Kandahar province local leaders interview (Oct. 21, 2003). For the effect of the United States leaving, see Karim Khalili interview (Oct. 23, 2003).

14. Some have criticized the Bush administration for neglecting Afghanistan because of Iraq. Others, including General Franks, say that the size of the U.S. military commitment in Afghanistan has not been compromised by the commitments in Iraq.We have not investigated the issue and cannot offer a judgment on it.

15. Even if the U.S. forces, stretched thin, are reluctant to take on this role, "a limited, but extremely useful, change in the military mandate would involve intelligence sharing with civilian law enforcement and a willingness to take action against drug warehouses and heroin laboratories." United States Institute of Peace report,"Establish-ing the Rule of Law in Afghanistan," Mar. 2004, p. 17.

16. For barriers to Saudi monitoring of charities, see, e.g., Robert Jordan interview (Jan. 14, 2004); David Aufhauser interview (Feb. 12, 2004).

17. For the Saudi reformer's view, see Members of majles al-shura interview (Oct. 14, 2003).

18. Neil MacFarquhar,"Saudis Support a Jihad in Iraq, Not Back Home," New York Times, Apr. 23, 2004, p.A1.

19. Prince Bandar Bin Sultan,"A Diplomat's Call for War," Washington Post, June 6, 2004, p. B4 (translation of original in Al-Watan, June 2, 2004).

20. President Clinton meeting (Apr. 8, 2004).

21. For Jordan's initiatives, see testimony of William Burns before the Subcommittee on the Middle East and Central Asia of the House International Relations Committee, Mar. 19, 2003 (online at /international_relations/108/burn0319.htm). For the report, see United Nations Development Programme report, Arab Human Development Report 2003: Building a Knowledge Society (United Nations, 2003) (online at

22. DOD memo, Rumsfeld to Myers,Wolfowitz, Pace, and Feith, "Global War on Terrorism," Oct. 16, 2003 (online at

23. For the statistics, see James Zogby, What Arabs Think:Values, Beliefs, and Concerns (Zogby International, 2002). For fear of a U.S. attack, see Pew Global Attitudes Project report, Views of a Changing World: June 2003 (Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, 2003), p. 2. In our interviews, current and former U.S. officials dealing with the Middle East corroborated these findings.

24. For polling soon after 9/11, see Pew Research Center for the People and the Press report, "America Admired,Yet Its New Vulnerability Seen as Good Thing, Say Opinion Leaders; Little Support for Expanding War on Terrorism" (online at For the quotation, see Pew Global Attitudes Project report,"War With Iraq Further Divides Global Publics But World Embraces Democratic Values and Free Markets," June 3, 2003 (online at item_id=1645&content_type_id=7).

25. For the Occidentalist "creed of Islamist revolutionaries," see, e.g., Avishai Margalit and Ian Buruma, Occi-dentalism:The West in the Eyes of Its Enemies (Penguin Press, 2004).

26.We draw these statistics, significantly, from the U.S. government's working paper circulated in April 2004 to G-8 "sherpas" in preparation for the 2004 G-8 summit.The paper was leaked and published in Al-Hayat. "U.S. Working Paper for G-8 Sherpas," Al-Hayat, Feb. 13, 2004 (online at

27. Richard Holbrooke,"Get the Message Out," Washington Post, Oct. 28, 2001, p. B7; Richard Armitage interview (Jan. 12, 2004).

28. Testimony of George Tenet, "The Worldwide Threat 2004: Challenges in a Changing Global Context," before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Feb. 24, 2004.

29. U.S. Department of Energy Advisory Board report,"A Report Card on the Department of Energy's Nonproliferation Programs with Russia," Jan. 10, 2001, p. vi.

30. For terrorists being self-funding, see United Nations report, "Second Report of the [UN] Monitoring Group, Pursuant to Security Council Resolution 1390," Sept. 19, 2002, p. 13.

31. For legal entry, see White House report, Office of Homeland Security,"The National Strategy for Homeland Security," July 2002, p. 20 (online at For illegal entry, see Chicago Council on Foreign Relations task force report, Keeping the Promise: Immigration Proposals from the Heartland (Chicago Council on Foreign Relations, 2004), p. 28.

32.The names of at least three of the hijackers (Nawaf al Hazmi, Salem al Hazmi, and Khalid al Mihdhar) were in information systems of the intelligence community and thus potentially could have been watchlisted. Had they been watchlisted, the connections to terrorism could have been exposed at the time they applied for a visa or at the port of entry.The names of at least three of the hijackers (Nawaf al Hazmi, Salem al Hazmi, and Khalid al Mihdhar), were in information systems of the intelligence community and thus potentially could have been watch-listed. Had they been watchlisted, their terrorist affiliations could have been exposed either at the time they applied for a visa or at the port of entry.Two of the hijackers (Satam al Suqami and Abdul Aziz al Omari) presented passports manipulated in a fraudulent manner that has subsequently been associated with al Qaeda. Based on our review of their visa and travel histories, we believe it possible that as many as eleven additional hijackers (Wail al Shehri, Waleed al Shehri, Mohand al Shehri, Hani Hanjour, Majed Moqed, Nawaf al Hazmi, Hamza al Ghamdi,Ahmed al Ghamdi, Saeed al Ghamdi, Ahmed al Nami, and Ahmad al Haznawi) held passports containing these same fraudulent features, but their passports have not been found so we cannot be sure. Khalid al Mihdhar and Salem al Hazmi presented passports with a suspicious indicator of Islamic extremism.There is reason to believe that the passports of three other hijackers (Nawaf al Hazmi,Ahmed al Nami, and Ahmad al Haznawi) issued in the same Saudi passport office may have contained this same indicator; however, their passports have not been found, so we cannot be sure.

33. Khallad Bin Attash, Ramzi Binalshibh, Zakariya Essabar, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, and Saeed al Ghamdi (not the individual by the same name who became a hijacker) tried to get visas and failed. Kahtani was unable to prove his admissibility and withdrew his application for admission after an immigration inspector remained unpersuaded that he was a tourist. All the hijackers whose visa applications we reviewed arguably could have been denied visas because their applications were not filled out completely. Had State visa officials routinely had a practice of acquiring more information in such cases, they likely would have found more grounds for denial. For example, three hijackers made statements on their visa applications that could have been proved false by U.S. government records (Hani Hanjour, Saeed al Ghamdi, and Khalid al Mihdhar), and many lied about their employment or educational status.Two hijackers could have been denied admission at the port of entry based on violations of immigration rules governing terms of admission-Mohamed Atta overstayed his tourist visa and then failed to present a proper vocational school visa when he entered in January 2001; Ziad Jarrah attended school in June 2000 without properly adjusting his immigration status, an action that violated his immigration status and rendered him inadmissible on each of his six subsequent reentries into the United States between June 2000 and August 5, 2001.There were possible grounds to deny entry to a third hijacker (Marwan al Shehhi). One hijacker violated his immigration status by failing to enroll as a student after entry (Hani Hanjour); two hijackers overstayed their terms of admission by four and eight months respectively (Satam al Suqami and Nawaf al Hazmi). Atta and Shehhi attended a flight school (Huffman Aviation) that the Justice Department's Inspector General concluded should not have been certified to accept foreign students, see DOJ Inspector General's report,"The INS' Contacts with Two September 11 Terrorists:A Review of the INS's Admissions of Atta and Shehhi, its Processing of their Change of Status Applications, and its Efforts to Track Foreign Students in the United States," May 20, 2002.

34. John Gordon interview (May 13, 2004).

35. For a description of a layering approach, see Stephen Flynn, America the Vulnerable: How the U.S. Has Failed to Secure the Homeland and Protect Its People from Terrorism (HarperCollins, 2004), p. 69.

36.The logical and timely rollout of such a program is hampered by an astonishingly long list of congressional mandates. The system originated in the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 and applied to all non-U.S. citizens who enter or exit the United States at any port of entry. Pub. L. No. 104-208, 110 Stat. 3009 (1996), § 110.The Data Management Improvement Act of 2000 altered this mandate by incorporating a requirement for a searchable centralized database, limiting the government's ability to require new data from certain travelers and setting a series of implementation deadlines. Pub. L. No. 106-215, 114 Stat. 337 (2000), § 2(a).The USA PATRIOT Act mandated that the Attorney General and Secretary of State "particularly focus" on having the entry-exit system include biometrics and tamper-resistant travel documents readable at all ports of entry. Pub. L. No. 107-56, 115 Stat. 272 (2001), § 1008(a). In the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act, Congress directed that, not later than October 26, 2004, the attorney general and the secretary of state issue to all non-U.S. citizens only machine-readable, tamper-resistant visas and other travel and entry documents that use biometric identifiers and install equipment at all U.S. ports of entry to allow biometric authentication of such documents. Pub. L. No. 107-173, 116 Stat. 543 (2002), § 303(b).The Act also required that increased security still facilitate the free flow of commerce and travel. Ibid. § 102(a)(1)(C).The administration has requested a delay of two years for the requirement of tamper-proof passports.Testimony of Thomas Ridge before the House Judiciary Committee, Apr. 21, 2004 (online at Program planners have set a goal of collecting information, confirming identity, providing information about foreign nationals throughout the entire immigration system, and ultimately enabling each point in the system to assess the lawfulness of travel and any security risks.

37. There are at least three registered traveler programs underway, at different points in the system, designed and run by two different agencies in the Department of Homeland Security (outside the U.S.VISIT system), which must ultimately be the basis for access to the United States.
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