[Back] - [TOC] - [Next]


3 Counterterrorism Evolves

  1. Brief of the United States, United States v. Ramzi Ahmed Yousef, Lead No. 98-1041 (2d Cir. filed Aug. 25, 2000), pp. 42-43; John Miller and Michael Stone, with Chris Mitchell, The Cell: Inside the 9/11 Plot, and Why the FBI and CIA Failed to Stop It (Hyperion, 2002), pp. 95, 99.
  2. On President Clinton's tasking the NSC, see Richard Clarke interview (Dec. 18, 2003). On the role of different U.S. government agencies, see Steve Coll, Ghost War:The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001 (Penguin, 2004), p. 251.
  3. Trial testimony of Brian Parr, United States v. Yousef, No. S12 93 CR 180 (KTD) (S. D. N. Y.), Oct. 22, 1997 (transcript p. 4694).
  4. On the process of identification, see Joseph Malone interview (May 25, 2004).
  5. United States v. Salameh, 152 F.3d 88, 107-108 (2d Cir. 1998); Miller and Stone, The Cell, pp. 104-105, 107, 109. Abouhalima had fled to the Middle East after the bombing, and was picked up by Egyptian authorities and returned to the United States in late March 1993. Brief of the United States, United States v. Mohammed A. Salameh, Lead No. 94-1312 (2d Cir. filed Jan. 17, 1997), p. 64 and n. ***.
  6. United States v. Salameh, 152 F.3d at 107-108, n. 2; United States v. Yousef, 327 F.3d 56, 78-79 (2d Cir. 2003); Miller and Stone, The Cell, p. 119; Daniel Benjamin and Steven Simon, The Age of Sacred Terror (Random House, 2002), p. 12.
  7. On Rahman's ties to the Farouq mosque, see Miller and Stone, The Cell, pp. 54-55. On Rahman's message, see United States v. Rahman, 189 F.3d 88, 104 (2d Cir. 1999); Brief for the United States, United States v. Siddig Ibrahim Siddig Ali, Lead No. 96-1044 (2d Cir. filed July 3, 1997), pp. 10, 15. See also DOS Inspector General report, "Review of the Visa-Issuance Process Phase I: Circumstances Surrounding the Issuance of Visas to Sheikh Omar Ali Ahmed Abdel Rahman," Mar. 1994, pp. 6, 8, 36. On the informant's reports, see United States v. Rahman, 189 F.3d at 106-107. On the landmarks plot, see United States v. Rahman, 189 F.3d at 108-111, 123-127; Miller and Stone, The Cell, p. 116.
  8. These prosecutions also had the unintended consequence of alerting some al Qaeda members to the U. S. government's interest in them. In February 1995, the government filed a confidential court document listing Usama Bin Ladin and scores of other people as possible co-conspirators in the New York City landmarks plot. Ali Mohamed, who was on the list, obtained a copy and faxed it to a close Bin Ladin aide for distribution. Statement of Ali Mohamed in support of change of plea, United States v. Ali Mohamed, No. S(7) 98 Cr. 1023 (S. D. N. Y.), Oct. 20, 2000 (transcript p. 29); Statements of Prosecutor and Judge, United States v. Bin Laden, No. S(7) 98 Cr. 1023 (S. D. N. Y.), Mar. 26, 2001 (transcript pp. 3338-3339); Patrick Fitzgerald interview (Jan. 28, 2004).
  9. On Ajaj's travels to Khaldan and interactions with KSM, see United States v. Salameh, 152 F.3d at 107-108. Ajaj had entered the United States on a B-2 tourist visa at New York City on September 9, 1991. INS alien file, No. A72215823, Sept. 9, 1991.
  10. On Yousef 's capture and the Manila air plot, see United States v. Yousef, 327 F.3d at 79-82. On KSM, see Joint Inquiry report (classified version), pp. 324-328; CIA analytical report, "WTC 1993:The Solid Case for al-Qa'ida Involvement," CTC 2002-40084H, July 11, 2002; Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, May 27, 2003; James Risen and David Johnston, "Threats and Reponses: Counterterrorism; Qaeda Aide Slipped Away Long Before Sept. 11 Attack," New York Times, Mar. 8, 2003, p. A12.
  11. For a general history of the FBI, supporting the subsequent text (unless otherwise noted), see Athan G. Theoharis, et al., The FBI: A Comprehensive Reference Guide (Onyx Press, 1999); the FBI's authorized history, FBI report, "History of the FBI" (online at http://www.fbi.gov/libref/historic/history/historymain.htm); the FBI's history as told by the Federation of American Scientists, "History of the FBI," updated June 18, 2003 (online at http://www.fas.org/irp/agency/doj/fbi/fbi_hist.htm). For discussion of field office autonomy, see FBI letter, Kalish to Wolf, responses to questions posed by the Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, State, and Judiciary of the House Appropriations Committee, May 24, 2004, pp. 47-48.
  12. See, e.g., Dan C. interview (Aug. 27, 2003); Ruben Garcia interview (Apr. 29, 2004); DOJ Inspector General interview of William Gore, Oct. 24, 2002.
  13. The Washington Field Office was originally assigned the East Africa bombings case because it generally has responsibility for investigating crimes overseas. When the attack was determined to be al Qaeda-related, responsibility shifted to the New York Field Office. See generally Kevin C. interview (Aug. 25, 2003). This created significant friction between agents in the respective offices. Edward Curran and Sidney Caspersen interview (Jan. 20, 2004). On the concept of the office of origin, see FBI memo, Kalish to Wolf, responses to questions from the Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, State, and Judiciary of the House Appropriations Committee, pp. 47-48; testimony of Robert S. Mueller III before the Subcommittee on the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary and Related Agencies of the House Appropriations Committee, June 18, 2003; FBI report, "Counter-terrorism Program Since September 2001," Apr. 14, 2004, p. 20.
  14. On the impact of Watergate, see generally Kathryn Olmsted, Challenging the Secret Government:The Post-Watergate Investigations of the CIA and FBI (Univ. of North Carolina Press, 1996).
  15. David M. Alpern with Anthony Marro and Stephan Lesher, "This Is Your New FBI," Newsweek, Jan. 5, 1976, p. 14.
  16. On the Levi guidelines and the Smith modifications, see John T. Elliff, "Symposium: National Security and Civil Liberties:The Attorney General's Guidelines for FBI Investigations," Cornell Law Review, vol. 69 (Apr. 1984), p. 785. On the line between church and state, see Floyd Abrams, "The First Amendment and the War against Terrorism," University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law, vol. 5 (Oct. 2002).
  17. On Pan Am bombing investigation, see Commission analysis of U.S. counterterrorism strategy from 1968 to 1993; FBI report, "History of the FBI."
  18. Louis Freeh interview (Jan. 6, 2004); Federation of American Scientists, "History of the FBI;" DOJ Inspector General report, "Federal Bureau of Investigation Casework and Human Resource Allocation," Sept. 2003, pp. iv, vi, viii, x, xiii.
  19. For quote, see FBI report, "Congressional Budget Justification Book Fiscal Year 1995," undated, p. 6. On Freeh's efforts, see Howard M. Shapiro, "The FBI in the 21st Century," Cornell International Law Journal, vol. 28 (1995), pp. 219-228; Louis Freeh interview (Jan. 6, 2004). On Freeh's budget request, see FBI report, "Congressional Budget Justification Book Fiscal Year 1995," undated.
  20. Janet Reno interview (Dec.16, 2003); Dale Watson interview (Feb. 5, 2004); Stephen Colgate interview (May 19, 2004); OMB budget examiner interview (Apr. 27, 2004).
  21. On the plan, see FBI report, "Strategic Plan: 1998-2003,'Keeping Tomorrow Safe,'" May 8, 1998. For Watson's recollections, see Dale Watson interview (Jan. 6, 2004).
  22. For the mid-1990s numbers, see FBI memo, Freeh to Reno, "Reorganization of FBI Headquarters--Establishment of Counterterrorism Division and Investigative Services Division," Apr. 22, 1999. For the 1998-2001 numbers, see DOJ Inspector General report, "Review of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Counterterrorism Program:Threat Assessment, Strategic Planning, and Resource Management," Sept. 2002, p. 67. For the failure to shift resources, see DOJ Inspector General report, "FBI Casework and Human Resource Allocation," Sept. 2003, pp. iv, vi, viii, x, xiii. For the comparison to drug agents, see testimony of Dick Thornburgh before the Subcommittee on Commerce, State, Justice, the Judiciary, and Related Agencies of the House Appropriations Committee, June 18, 2003, p. 20.
  23. Dale Watson interview (Feb. 5, 2004); Virginia Bollinger interview (Feb. 2, 2004); Robert Bryant interview (Dec. 18, 2003).
  24. On the state of information technology at FBI, see Virginia Bollinger interview (Jan. 28, 2004); Mark Miller interview (Dec. 23, 2003). On the lack of an overall assessment, see DOJ Inspector General report, "Review of the FBI's Counterterrorism Program," Sept. 2002, pp. ii-iii.
  25. For training statistics, see DOJ Inspector General report, "Review of the FBI's Counterterrorism Program," Sept. 2002, p. 74. For translation resources, see FBI report, "FY 2002 Counterterrorism Division Program Plan Summary," undated, p. 4. Since 9/11, the FBI has recruited and processed more than 30, 000 translator applicants. This has resulted in the addition of nearly 700 new translators. FBI report, "The FBI's Counterterrorism Program Since September 2001," Apr. 14, 2004. The FBI's hiring process includes language testing, a personnel security interview, polygraph, and a full background investigation. The FBI must maintain rigorous security and proficiency standards with respect to its permanent and contract employees. Even as the FBI has increased its language services cadre, the demand for translation services has also greatly increased. Thus, the FBI must not only continue to bring on board more linguists, it must also continue to take advantage of technology and best practices to prioritize its workflow, enhance its capabilities, and ensure compliance with its quality control program. FBI linguists interviews (July 31, 2003-May 10, 2004); Margaret Gulotta interview (May 10, 2004). See DOJ Inspector General report, "A Review of the FBI's Actions in Connection with Allegations Raised by Contract Linguist Sibel Edmonds," July 1, 2004; Sibel Edmonds interview (Feb. 11, 2004).
  26. Wilson Lowery interview (Jan. 28, 2004); Janet Reno testimony, Apr. 13, 2004; Helen S. interview (Dec. 29, 2003); Stephen Colgate interview (May 19, 2004); Robert Dies interview (Feb. 4, 2004).
  27. FBI report, "Director's Report on Counterterrorism," Sept. 1, 2001, pp. I-1-I-14. On FBI reorganization, see FBI memo, Freeh to Reno, "Reorganization of FBI Headquarters--Establishment of Counterterrorism Division and Investigative Services Division," Apr. 22, 1999. On Watson's observation, see Dale Watson interview (Feb. 4, 2004). On MAXCAP 05, see FBI memo, description of MAXCAP 05, undated (draft likely prepared after Aug. 31, 2001, for incoming Director Mueller). On field executives' views, see FBI report, Counterterrorism Division, International Terrorism Program, "Strategic Program Plan, FY 2001-06," undated, p. 30.
  28. International terrorism intelligence cases were designated as 199 matters; international terrorism criminal cases were designated as 265 matters. In 2003, these designations were eliminated; all international terrorism matters now receive the same designation, 315.
  29. For historical information on FISA, see Americo R. Cinquegrana, "The Walls (and Wires) have Ears:The Background and First Ten Years of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978," University of Pennsylvania Law Review, vol. 137 (1989), pp. 793, 802-805. For the statute, see 50 U.S. C. § 1801 et seq. As enacted in 1978, FISA permitted orders authorizing electronic surveillance. It did not refer to physical searches. In 1994, the statute was amended to permit orders authorizing physical searches. See Pub. L. No. 103-359, 108 Stat. 3423, 3443 (Oct. 14, 1994); 50 U.S. C. §§ 1821-1829. See generally, William C. Banks and M. E. Bowman, "Executive Authority for National Security Surveillance," American University Law Review, vol. 50 (2000), pp. 1-130.
  30. On the history of courts applying the primary purpose standard, see In re Sealed Case, 310 F.3d 717, 725-726 (FISC Ct. Rev. 2002), in which the FISC Court of Review concluded that these courts had ruled in error. See also DOJ report, "Final Report of the Attorney General's Review Team on the Handling of the Los Alamos National Laboratory Investigation" (hereinafter "Bellows Report"), May 2000, appendix D. On DOJ interpretation of FISA, see DOJ memo, Dellinger to Vatis, "Standards for Searchers Under Foreign Intelligence Act," Feb. 14, 1995; Royce Lamberth interview (Mar. 26, 2004); Bellows Report, pp. 711-712; DOJ Inspector General interview of Marion Bowman, May 28, 2003.
  31. Bellows Report, pp. 711-712; DOJ Inspector General interview of Marion Bowman, May 28, 2003.
  32. Bellows Report, pp. 712-714, n. 947, appendix D tabs 2, 3; Richard Scruggs interview (May 26, 2004); Larry Parkinson interview (Feb. 24, 2004). Because OIPR had ultimate authority to decide what was presented to the FISA Court, it wielded extraordinary power in the FISA process.
  33. The group included representatives from the FBI, OIPR, and the Criminal Division. In addition, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York was given an opportunity to comment on the procedures. The procedures that were eventually issued were agreed to by all involved in the drafting process. As a member of the Commission, Gorelick has recused herself from participation in this aspect of our work.
  34. On Reno's July 1995 memo, see DOJ Inspector General report, "A Review of the FBI's Handling of Intelligence Information Related to the September 11 Attacks," July 2004, pp. 27-34; Bellows Report, p. 709, appendix D tab 23. Some barriers were proposed by OIPR in the FISA applications and subsequently adopted by the FISC; others, less formally recorded, were believed by the FBI to be equally applicable.
  35. On the misapplication of the procedures and the role of OIPR, see Bellows Report, pp. 721-722; Marion Bowman interview (Mar. 6, 2004); Fran Fragos Townsend meeting (Feb. 13, 2004). On the OIPR as gatekeeper, see Michael Vatis interview (Jan. 21, 2004); Larry Parkinson interview (Feb. 24, 2004). On OIPR's stated defense, see David Kris interview (May 19, 2004); Richard Scruggs interview (May 26, 2004). On OIPR's threat, see Larry Parkinson interview (Feb. 24, 2004); Thomas A. interview (Mar. 16, 2004). On the lack of information flow, see Bellows Report, pp. 722, 724-725, 729-731.
  36. For Bryant's comment, see David Kris interview (Jan. 15, 2004); Bellows Report, p. 714. On barriers between agents on same squads, see Larry Parkinson interview (Feb. 24, 2004); Michael Vatis interview (Jan. 21, 2004); DOJ Inspector General interview of Thomas A., May 28, 2003. On incorrect interpretation by field agents, see Joint Inquiry report, pp. 363, 367-368; Larry Parkinson interview (Feb. 24, 2004); Michael Vatis interview (Jan. 21, 2004); DOJ Inspector General interview of Thomas A., May 28, 2003; DOJ Inspector General interview of Jane, Nov. 4, 2002.
  37. For an example of the barriers between agents, see DOJ emails, Jane to Steve B., interpreting the wall to apply to non-FISA information, Aug. 29, 2001; David Kris interview (Jan. 15, 2004). On the NSA barriers, see DOJ Inspector General interview of Jane, Nov. 4, 2002. These barriers were reinforced by caveats NSA began placing on all of its Bin Ladin-related reports and later on all of its counterterrorism-related reports--whether or not the information was subject to the attorney general's order--which required approval before the report's contents could be shared with criminal investigators. Ibid. On the several reviews of the process, see Bellows Report, pp. 709, 722; DOJ Inspector General report, "The Handling of FBI Intelligence Information Related to the Justice Department's Campaign Finance Investigation," July 1999, pp. 15-16, 255, 256, 328-330, 340, 344; GAO report, "FBI Intelligence Investigations: Coordination Within Justice on Counterintelligence Criminal Matters Is Limited," July 2001, pp. 3-5.
  38. In December 1999, NSA began placing caveats on all of its Bin Ladin reports that precluded sharing of any of the reports' contents with criminal prosecutors or FBI agents investigating criminal matters without first obtaining OIPR's permission. These caveats were initially created at the direction of Attorney General Reno and applied solely to reports of information gathered from three specific surveillances she had authorized. Because NSA decided it was administratively too difficult to determine whether particular reports derived from the specific surveillances authorized by the attorney general, NSA decided to place this caveat on all its terrorism-related reports. In November 2000, in response to direction from the FISA Court, NSA modified these caveats to require that consent for sharing the information with prosecutors or criminal agents be obtained from NSA's Customer Needs and Delivery Services group. See DOJ memo, Reno to Freeh, E. O. 12333 authorized surveillance of a suspected al Qaeda operative, Dec. 24, 1999; NSA email, William L. to Brian C., "dissemination of terrorism reporting," Dec. 29, 1999; NSA memo, Ann D. to others, "Reporting Guidance," Dec. 30. 1999; Intelligence report, Nov. 6, 2000. See also discussion of the history of the NSA caveats in the notes to Chapter 8.
  39. See DEA report, "DEA Staffing & Budget" (figures for 1972 to 2003) (online at http://www.usdoj.gov/dea/ agency/staffing.htm). For USMS staffing, see DOJ information provided to the Commission.
  40. On the number of agents, see INS newsletter, "INS Commissioner Meissner Announces Departure," Jan. 2001; INS news release, "INS to Hire More than 800 Immigration Inspectors Nationwide," Jan. 12, 2001; Gregory Bednarz prepared statement, Oct. 9, 2003, p. 5. On the INS's main challenges, see, e.g., Eric Holder interview (Jan. 28, 2004); Jamie Gorelick interview (Jan. 13, 2004); Doris Meissner interview (Nov. 25, 2003). On the White House views, see, e.g., White House press release, "Fact Sheet on Immigration Enforcement Act," May 3, 1995. On DOJ's concerns, see INS newsletter, Remarks of Attorney General Reno on Oct. 24, 2000, Jan. 2001, pp. 16, 26. To assess congressional views, we reviewed all conference and committee reports relating to congressional action on INS budget requests for fiscal years 1995 through 2001 and all Senate and House immigration hearings from 1993 to 2001. On outdated technology, see Gus de la Vina interview (Nov. 19, 2003); Doris Meissner interview (Nov. 25, 2003).
  41. On Meissner's response, see Doris Meissner interview (Nov. 25, 2003). On the lookout unit, see Tim G. interview (Oct. 1, 2002). On the number of denials of entry, see Majority Staff Report, Hearing on "Foreign Terrorists in America: Five Years after the World Trade Center" before the Subcommittee on Technology, Terrorism, and Government Information of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Feb. 24, 1998, p. 145.
  42. Majority Staff Report, Hearing on "Foreign Terrorists in America: Five Years after the World Trade Center," Feb. 24, 1998, p. 152; 8 U.S. C. § 1534(e)(1)(A). On the low level of removals, see Daniel Cadman interview (Oct. 9, 2003); Rocky Concepcion interview (June 15, 2004).
  43. On the 1986 plan, see INS report, Investigations Division, "Alien Terrorists and Undesirables: A Contingency Plan," May 1986; Daniel Cadman interview (Oct. 17, 2003). On the 1995 plan, see INS memo, Bramhall to Bednarz and Hurst, "Draft Counter-Terrorism Strategy Outline," Aug. 11, 1995. On the 1997 plan, see INS email, Cadman to others, "EAC briefing document," Dec. 5, 1997 (attachment titled "Counterterrorism/National Security Strategy and Casework Oversight"). On the work of the National Security Unit and the Intelligence Unit, see Daniel Cadman interview (Oct. 17, 2003); Cliff Landesman interview (Oct. 27, 2003).
  44. For number of agents on Canadian border, the Canadian situation generally, and the inspector general's recommendations, see INS report, "Northern Border Strategy," Jan. 9, 2001; DOJ Inspector General report, "Follow-up Review of the Border Patrol Efforts Along the Northern Border," Apr. 2000 (inspection plan). On terrorists entering the United States via Canada, see, e.g., INS record, Record of Deportable Alien, Abu Mezer, June 24, 1996. Mezer was able to stay in the United States despite apprehensions for his illegal entries along the northern border.
  45. The inspectors' views are drawn from our interviews with 26 border inspectors who had contact with the 9/11 hijackers. On the incomplete INS projects, see Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act, Pub. L. No. 104-208, 110 Stat. 3009 (1996), §§ 110, 641.
  46. For the 1996 law, see 8 U.S. C. § 1357 (1996). On unauthorized immigration, see Migration Policy Institute report, "Immigration Facts: Unauthorized Immigration to the United States," Oct. 2003 (online at http://www.migrationpolicy.org/pubs/two_unauthorized_immigration_us.pdf). On the initiation of city noncooperation, see New York Mayor Ed Koch's 1987 order prohibiting city line workers, but not police or the Department of Corrections, from transmitting information respecting any alien to federal immigration authorities. On backlogs, see testimony of Dr. Demetrios G. Papademetriou before the Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims of the House Judiciary Committee, Mar. 11, 2004. On the overwhelmed INS, see James Ziglar testimony, Jan. 26, 2004.
  47. On the relationship between the FBI and state and local police forces, see William Bratton et al. interview (Nov. 20, 2003); David Cohen interview (Feb. 4, 2004). On the New York JTTF, see Mary Jo White, "Prosecuting Terrorism in New York," Middle East Quarterly, spring 2001 (online at http://www.meforum.org/article/25). On the pre-9/11 number of JTTFs, see Louis Freeh prepared statement for the Joint Inquiry, Oct. 8, 2002, p. 18. On the effectiveness of JTTFs, see Washington Field Office agent interview (Aug.4, 2003); Phoenix JTTF member interview (Oct. 20, 2003); Phoenix Field Office agent interview (Oct. 21, 2003); Art C. interview (Dec. 4, 2003).
  48. Treasury report, "1995 Highlights of The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms," undated (online at http://www.atf.gov/pub/gen_pub/annualrpt/1995/index.htm); ATF report, "ATF Snapshot," Jan. 30, 1998 (online at http://www.atf.gov/about/snap1998.htm).
  49. Dale Watson interview (Feb. 4, 2004); Frank P. interview (Aug. 26, 2003); Dan C. interview (Aug. 27, 2003); Louis Freeh interview (Jan. 8. 2004).
  50. See Federal Aviation Reauthorization Act, Pub. L. No. 104-264, 110 Stat. 3213 (1996), codified at 49 U.S. C. § 40101; Federal Aviation Authorization Act, H. R. Rep. No. 104-848, 104th Cong., 2d sess. (1996) (notes on conference substitute for § 401). On responsibility for protection, see 49 U.S. C. § 44903(b). On sabotage, see FAA report, Aviation Security Advisory Committee, "Domestic Security Baseline Final Report," Dec. 12, 1996; FAA report, "Civil Aviation Security: Objectives and Priorities," Mar. 18, 1999 (staff working paper). See also Jane Garvey prepared statement, May 22, 2003; Report of the President's Commission on Aviation Security and Terrorism (Pan Am/Lockerbie Commission), May 15, 1990, pp. 113-114; Final Report of the White House Commission on Aviation Safety and Security (Gore Commission), Feb. 12, 1997. While the sabotage of commercial aircraft, including Pan Am 103 in 1998, had claimed many lives, hijackings had also been deadly, including the 1985 hijacking of an Egypt Air flight in which 60 people were killed and 35 injured; the 1986 hijacking of Pan Am 73 in which 22 people were killed and 125 injured; and the 1996 hijacking of an Ethiopian Airlines flight in which 123 people were killed. See FAA report, "Civil Aviation Security Reference Handbook," May 1999. Commissioners Ben-Veniste, Gorelick, and Thompson have recused themselves from our work on aviation security matters.
  51. See GAO report, "Aviation Security:Additional Actions Needed to Meet Domestic and International Challenges," Jan. 27, 1994; GAO report, "Aviation Security: Urgent Issues Need to Be Addressed," Sept. 11, 1996; GAO report, "Aviation Security: Slow Progress in Addressing Long-Standing Screener Performance Problems," Mar. 16, 2000; GAO report, "Aviation Security: Long-Standing Problems Impair Airport Screeners' Performance," June 28, 2000; testimony of Kenneth M. Mead, DOT Inspector General, Joint Hearing on Actions Needed to Improve Aviation Security before the Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, Restructuring and the District of Columbia of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, Sept. 25, 2001. On rules regulating access to security sensitive areas of commercial airports, see FAA regulations, "Airport Security," 14 C. F. R. § 107; FAA report, "Air Carrier Standard Security Program," May 2001.
  52. The FAA maintained formal agreements with the CIA, FBI, Department of State, Department of Defense, and NSA to receive data of interest as outlined in the agreement. In addition, the FAA posted liaisons with the CIA, FBI, and Department of State to facilitate the flow of intelligence and threat information. See Claudio Manno interview (Oct. 1, 2003); Matt K. interview (Feb. 13, 2004). FAA civil aviation security officials reported that the agency's intelligence watch received about 200 pieces of intelligence per day. See Claudio Manno interview (Oct. 1, 2003). The analysis regarding the passage of FBI information was based on a review of the FAA's Intelligence Case Files. The FBI analyst who worked on the 1998 tasking indicated that the information was shared with the FAA liaison to the Bureau, but the liaison did not recall having seen it. Cathal Flynn interview (Sept. 9, 2003); Matt K. interview (Feb. 13, 2004).
  53. Regarding intelligence reports, the Daily Intelligence Summary (DIS) prepared by the FAA's Office of Civil Aviation Intelligence was reviewed first by an assistant to Acting Deputy Administrator Belger, who would inform him of any information that she felt merited his attention. Belger in turn would determine whether the information needed to be raised with Administrator Garvey. Garvey told us that she maintained an open door policy and counted on her security staff to keep her informed on any pressing issues. Jane Garvey interview (Oct. 21, 2003); Monte Belger interview (Nov. 24, 2003); Cathal Flynn interview (Sept. 9, 2003); Shirley Miller interview (Mar. 30, 2004); Claudio Manno interview (Oct. 1, 2003). Regarding the intelligence unit, see Nicholas Grant interview (May 26, 2004); Claudio Manno interview (Oct. 1, 2003); Mike Canavan interview (Nov. 4, 2003); Alexander T. Wells, Commercial Aviation Safety (McGraw-Hill, 2001), p. 308.
  54. On the threat to civil aviation, see Lee Longmire interview (Oct. 28, 2003). On CAPPS, also known as CAPS (Computer Assisted Profiling System), see FAA security directive, "Threat to Air Carriers," SD 97-01, Oct. 27, 1997. The profile was derived from information on the Passenger Name Record and did not include factors such as race, creed, color, or national origin. In addition to those chosen by the algorithm, a number of other passengers were selected at random, both to address concerns about discrimination and to deter terrorists from figuring out the algorithm and gaming the system. On no-fly lists, see FAA security directive, "Threat to U.S. Air Carriers," SD 95, Apr. 24, 2000. Some of the individuals on the no-fly list were in U.S. custody as of 9/11. See Kevin G. Hall, Alfonso Chardy, and Juan O. Tamayo, "Mix-Up Almost Permitted Deportation of Men Suspected of Terrorist Activities," Miami Herald, Sept. 19, 2001; FAA security directive, "Threat to U.S. Aircraft Operators," SD 108-1, Aug. 28, 2001. On the Gore Commission, see Final Report of the White House Commission on Aviation Safety and Security, Feb. 12, 1997, p. 28. On the TIPOFF database (used to screen visa applicants and persons seeking permission to enter the United States against the names of known or suspected terrorists), see DOS cable, State 182167, "Fighting Terrorism:Visas Viper Procedures," Oct. 19, 2001. Finally, on the watchlist, officials told us that large lists were difficult to implement, particularly when they weren't accompanied by numeric data such as date of birth that would enable an air carrier to distinguish the terrorist from others around the world who had his or her name. In addition, the U.S. intelligence community was required to approve the "no-fly" listing of an individual in order to protect sources and methods. Matt Kormann interview (Feb. 13, 2004).
  55. On selectees, see James Padgett interview (Oct. 7, 2003). Their bags were either screened for explosives or held off their flight until they were confirmed to be aboard. See FAA security directive, "Threat to Air Carriers," SD 97-01 Oct. 27, 1997. Under the previous noncomputerized profiling system, selectees were subject to secondary screening of their carry-on belongings, and checked baggage. See FAA security directive, "Threat to Air Carriers," SD 96-05, Aug. 19, 1996.
  56. FAA report, "Air Carrier Standard Security Program," May 2001; FAA regulations, "Screening of Passengers and Property," 14 C. F. R. § 108.9 (1999); Leo Boivin interview (Sept. 17, 2003).
  57. "Knives with blades under 4 inches, such as Swiss Army Knives, scout knives, pocket utility knives, etc. may be allowed to enter the sterile area. However, some knives with blades under 4 inches could be considered by a reasonable person to be a 'menacing knife' and/or may be illegal under local law and should not be allowed to enter the sterile area." See FAA regulations, Air Carriers Checkpoint Operations Guide, Aug. 1999; see also Air Transport Association Regional Airlines Association report, "Checkpoint Operations Guide," Aug. 1999; Cathal Flynn interview (Sept. 9, 2003); Lee Longmire interview (Oct. 28, 2003); Leo Boivin interview (Sept. 17, 2003). A 1994 FAA assessment of the threat to civil aviation in the United States stated that "system vulnerabilities also exist with respect to hijackings... aircraft can be hijacked with either fake weapons or hoax explosive devices. Cabin crew or passengers can also be threatened with objects such as short blade knives, which are allowable on board aircraft." See FAA report, "The Threat to U.S. Civil Aviation in the United States," Sept. 1994.
  58. On random and continuous screening, see Janet Riffe interview (Feb. 26, 2004); FAA report, "Air Carrier Standard Security Program," May 2001. On the 9/11 hijackers, see Intelligence report, interrogation of Ramzi Binalshibh, Oct. 1, 2002; FAA records, Intelligence Case File 98-96.
  59. Courtney Tucker interview (June 3, 2004); Kenneth Mead prepared statement, May 22, 2003. Some air carrier officials, however, enjoyed a strong reputation for leadership in aviation security, including United Airlines' Ed Soliday. Bruce Butterworth interview (Sept. 29, 2003); Cathal Flynn interview (Sept. 9, 2003); Steven Jenkins interview (Feb. 24, 2004).
  60. Mike Morse interview (Sept. 15, 2003). Regarding training, see FAA report, "Air Carrier Standard Security Program," May 2001.
  61. On a hardened cockpit door making little difference, see Tim Ahern interview (Oct. 8, 2004). For regulations governing the doors, see FAA regulations, "Miscellaneous Equipment" (emergency exit), 14 C. F. R. § 121.313 (2001); FAA regulations, "Closing and locking of flight crew compartment door," 14 C.F.R. § 121.587 (2001). Also compromising cockpit security was the use of common locks (one key fit the cockpits of all Boeing aircraft) and the absence of procedures to properly manage and safeguard cockpit keys. Michael Woodward interview (Jan. 25, 2004). For the quote on reinforced cockpit doors, see Byron Okada, "Air Rage Prompts Call for Safety Measures: The FAA Is Expected to Release a Report Today," Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Jan. 10, 2001, p. 1.
  62. James Underwood interview (Sept. 17, 2004); Mike Canavan interview (Nov. 4, 2003).
  63. Jane Garvey interview (Oct. 21, 2003).
  64. As defined by statute, covert action "means an activity or 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, but does not include--(1) activities the primary purpose of which is to acquire intelligence[.]" 50 U.S.C. § 413b(e). Executive Order 12333, titled "United States Intelligence Activities," terms covert action "special activities," defined as "activities conducted in support of national foreign policy objectives abroad which are planned and executed so that the role of the United States Government is not apparent or acknowledged publicly, and functions in support of such activities[.]" E. O. 12333 § 3.4(h). Pursuant to that order, the CIA has primary responsibility for covert action; another nonmilitary agency may conduct covert action only if the president determines that it "is more likely to achieve a particular objective." Ibid. § 1.8(e).
  65. See 50 U.S. C. § 401a(4).
  66. DCI report, "National Foreign Intelligence Program Historical Data FY 1985 to FY 2003," Feb. 11, 2004.
  67. For quote, see Joint Inquiry testimony of Michael Hayden, June 18, 2002; see also Michael Hayden interview (Dec. 10, 2003).
  68. Michael Hayden interview (Dec. 10, 2003).
  69. For the CIA's early years, see John Ranelagh, The Agency:The Rise and Decline of the CIA (Simon & Schuster, 1986). For the Agency's more recent history, see Robert M. Gates, From the Shadows:The Ultimate Insider's Story of Five Presidents and How They Won the Cold War (Simon & Schuster, 1996).
  70. Regarding the dissolution of the OSS and creation of the CIG, see Michael Warner, Central Intelligence: Origin and Evolution (Center for the Study of Intelligence, 2001); Executive Order 9621, "Termination of the Office of Strategic Services and Disposition of its Functions," Sept. 20, 1945; "Presidential Directive on Coordination of Foreign Intelligence Activities," Jan. 22, 1946 (11 Fed. Reg. 1337, 1339).
  71. Regarding fears of creating a U.S. Gestapo, see Amy Zegart, Flawed by Design:The Evolution of the CIA, JCS and NSC (Stanford Univ. Press, 1999), p. 268, n. 6.
  72. National Security Act of 1947, Pub. L. No. 80-253, § 102(d)(3), codified at 50 U.S. C. sect; § 403-3(d)(1).
  73. On plausible deniability, see, e.g., Ranelagh, The Agency, pp. 341-345; Evan Thomas, The Very Best Men: Four Who Dared:The Early Years of the CIA (Simon & Schuster, 1995), pp. 230-235.
  74. James Pavitt interview (Jan. 8, 2004).
  75. Steve Kappes interview (May 7, 2004); James Pavitt interview (Jan. 8, 2004).
  76. Jami Miscik interview (Aug. 29, 2003).
  77. Mary McCarthy, Fritz Ermarth, and Charles Allen briefing (Aug. 14, 2003).
  78. See Tom Mangold, Cold Warrior: James Jesus Angleton, the CIA's Master Spy Hunter (Simon & Schuster, 1991).
  79. Ruth David interview (June 10, 2003).
  80. "According to the 2002 Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System statistics, American colleges granted only six degrees in Arabic in the survey year." Joint Inquiry report (unclassified version), p. 344.
  81. Leo Hazelwood interview (Aug. 25, 2003); Duane Clarridge interview (Sept. 16, 2003).
  82. Charles Allen interview (Sept. 22, 2003); Duane Clarridge interview (Sept. 16, 2003); David Carey interview (Oct. 31, 2003); Leo Hazelwood interview (Aug. 25, 2003); John Helgerson interview (Sept. 5, 2003); Robert Vickers interview (Sept. 17, 2003); CIA Inspector General report, "The Agency's Counterterrorism Effort," Oct. 1994.
  83. Cofer Black testimony, Apr. 13, 2004.
  84. James Pavitt interview (Jan. 8, 2004).
  85. George Tenet testimony, Mar. 24, 2004; George Tenet testimony, Apr. 14, 2004.
  86. Richard Armitage interview (Jan. 12, 2004).
  87. See Dana Priest, The Mission:Waging War and Keeping Peace with America's Military (W. W. Norton, 2003).
  88. Michael Sheehan interview (Dec. 16, 2003).
  89. See DOS report, Bureau of Consular Affairs, "1990 Report of the Visa Office," Oct. 1991; DOS Inspector General report, "Review of the Visa-Issuing Process; Phase I: Circumstances Surrounding the Issuance of Visas to Sheik Omar Ahmed Ali Abdel Rahman," Mar. 1994; Mary Ryan interviews (Sept. 29, 2003; Oct. 9, 2003); DOS briefing materials, presentation on consular systems delivered to the Information Resources Management Program Board, Apr. 26, 1995; DOS report, "History of the Department of State During the Clinton Presidency (1993-2001)," undated (online at http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ho/pubs/c6059.htm); Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Pub. L. No. 103-236 (1994), § 140(a).
  90. See Gordon N. Lederman, Reorganizing the Joint Chiefs of Staff:The Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986 (Greenwood, 1999).
  91. William Cohen interview (Feb. 5, 2004); John Hamre interview (Dec. 9, 2003); Hugh Shelton interview (Dec. 5, 2004); Cohen Group meeting (Dec. 12, 2003).
  92. See Monterey Institute of International Studies report, "Nunn-Lugar-Domenici Domestic Preparedness and WMD Civil Support Teams," Oct. 2001 (online at http://cns.miis.edu/research/cbw/120city.htm); National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1997, Pub. L. No. 104-201, 110 Stat. 2422 (1996); DOD report, "Domestic Preparedness Program in the Defense Against Weapons of Mass Destruction," May 1, 1997 (online at http://www.defenselink.mil/pubs/domestic/toc.html).
  93. John Hamre interview (Dec. 9, 2003); Henry Allen Holmes interview (Nov. 10, 2003); Brian Sheridan interview (Feb. 25, 2004).
  94. Charles Allen interview (Jan. 27, 2004).
  95. Commission analysis of U.S. counterterrorism strategy from 1968 to 1993.
  96. President Reagan, "Remarks at the Annual Convention of the American Bar Association," July 8, 1985 (online at http://www.reagan.utexas.edu/resource/speeches/1985/70885a.htm).
  97. See Report of the President's Special Review Board (Tower Commission) (GPO, 1987); Theodore Draper, A Very Thin Line:The Iran-Contra Affairs (Simon & Schuster, 1991).
  98. James Pavitt interview (Jan. 8, 2004).
  99. President Clinton, "Address to the Nation on the Strike on Iraqi Intelligence Headquarters," June 26, 1993.
  100. President Clinton, "Address Before a Joint Session of the Congress on the State of the Union," Jan. 24, 1995; President Clinton, "Message to the Congress Transmitting Proposed Legislation To Combat Terrorism," Feb. 9, 1995; President Clinton, "Message to the Congress Transmitting Proposed Legislation To Combat Terrorism," May 3, 1995.
  101. Presidential Decision Directive/NSC-39, "U.S. Policy on Counterterrorism," June 21, 1995.
  102. President Clinton, "Remarks by the President in a Congressional Meeting," July 29, 1996.
  103. President Clinton, "Remarks Announcing the Second Term National Security Team and an Exchange With Reporters," Dec. 5, 1996.
  104. Presidential Decision Directive/NSC-62, "Protection Against Unconventional Threats to the Homeland and Americans Overseas," May 22, 1998; Presidential Decision Directive/NSC-63, "Critical Infrastructure Protection," May 22, 1998.
  105. President Clinton, "Commencement Address at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland," May 22, 1998.
  106. See Ernest R. May, "Intelligence: Backing into the Future," Foreign Affairs, Summer 1992.
  107. For Congress's domestic orientation, see Lee H. Hamilton, How Congress Works and Why You Should Care (Indiana Univ. Press, 2004), pp.18-19. For presidential focus prior to 9/11, see President Clinton, "Commencement Address at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland," May 22, 1998; President Clinton, "Keeping America Secure for the 21st Century," Jan. 22, 1999.
  108. Hamilton, How Congress Works, p. 17. Our review of the classified schedules of authorization from 1995 to 2001 found that Congress generally supported the top line requests made by the administration for intelligence, never reducing it by more than 2 or 3 percent; however, the congressional oversight committees did reallocate the administration's requests significantly, sometimes increasing programs like counterterrorism that they believed were being underfunded. On the intelligence budget, see George Tenet prepared statement, Mar. 24, 2004, pp. 23-26. The DCI added that frustrations with getting additional funding requests arose mainly from the administration. See ibid.
  109. Joint Committee on the Organization of Congress, Final Report, Dec. 1993; "Contract with America," 1994; Statement of Rep. Saxby Chambliss, Hearing on Intelligence Gaps in Counterterrorism before the Special Oversight Panel on Terrorism of the House Armed Services Committee, Sept. 5, 2002.
  110. Hamilton, How Congress Works, p. 106; Richard Durbin interview (Apr. 27, 2004); Dianne Feinstein interview (June 1, 2004); Peter Hoekstra interview (June 2, 2004); Chris Shays interview (June 2, 2004); Dana Priest, "Congressional Oversight of Intelligence Criticized," Washington Post, Apr. 27, 2004, p. A1. For Tenet quote, see George Tenet testimony, Mar. 24, 2004.
  111. For neglect of airline security, see Commission analysis of the Congressional Daily Digest and the Congressional Record using the search term "aviation security." See also FAA briefing materials, "FAA Hearing/Briefing Activity Prior to September 11, 2001," undated. For the focus on the Southwest border, see Commission analysis of the hearing records of the subcommittees on immigration of the House and Senate Judiciary committees from 1993 through 2001. On restricting the FBI's appropriations, see Robert Dies interview (Feb. 4, 2004); Stephen Colgate interview (May 19, 2004). On sanctions on Pakistan, see Strobe Talbott interview (Jan. 15, 2004); Karl Inderfurth interview (Feb. 18, 2004); Christina Rocca interview (Jan. 29, 2004). On the lack of time for oversight, see Hamilton, How Congress Works, p. 112; see also Center for Strategic and International Studies meeting (July 23, 2003); Jay Rockefeller meeting (Oct. 16, 2003). On the Senate Appropriations Committee, the long-serving Chair (Ted Stevens) and Ranking Minority Member (Daniel Inouye) of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee conduct at least weekly oversight sessions of the intelligence community, always behind closed doors, the effectiveness of which we cannot judge.
  112. Although some members of the House sought the creation of a Select Committee on Terrorism in the beginning of 2001, the Speaker asked the intelligence ccommittee to set up a terrorism working group instead. Under Rep. Saxby Chambliss and Rep. Jane Harman, it held several briefings before 9/11 and became a subcommittee of the Intelligence Committee immediately afterward.
  113. Rep. Christopher Shays of Connecticut, chairman of the National Security Subcommittee of the Government Reform Committee, held 12 wide-ranging hearings on terrorism between 1999 and July 2001, with special attention on domestic preparedness and response to terrorist attack. Though the intelligence oversight panels' work was largely secret, the intelligence community's annual worldwide threat testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence was public testimony (typically followed by a closed session). From 1997 through 2001, the threat of terrorism rose on the priority list from third (1997-1998) to second (1999-2000) to first in 2001. See Commission analysis of congressional hearings on terrorism.
  114. Congress created three commissions in 1998. One, chaired jointly by former senators Gary Hart and Warren Rudman, examined national security challenges for the twenty-first century. This commission included stark warnings about possible domestic terrorist attacks and recommended a new institution devoted to identifying and defending vulnerabilities in homeland security. See Phase III Report of the U.S. Commission on National Security/21st Century, "Road Map for National Security: Imperative for Change," Feb. 15, 2001. A second, chaired by former governor James G. Gilmore of Virginia, studied domestic preparedness to cope with attacks using weapons of mass destruction and presented five reports. See, e.g., Fifth Annual Report to the President and the Congress of the Advisory Panel to Assess Domestic Response Capabilities for Terrorism Involving Weapons of Mass Destruction, "Forging America's New Normalcy: Securing our Homeland, Preserving our Liberty," Dec. 15, 2003. The third, chaired by L. Paul Bremer, the former State Department counterterrorism coordinator, with vice chair Maurice Sonnenberg, a member of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, focused specifically on terrorist threats and what could be done to prepare for them. See Report of the National Commission on Terrorism, "Countering the Threat of International Terrorism," June 2000.


© 2004-2012, David A. Desrosiers. unauthorized reproduction of this work is forbidden by law.