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Kelly Wallace: 'Very general information'

CNN White House Correspondent Kelly Wallace
CNN White House Correspondent Kelly Wallace  

(CNN) -- Arguments are flaring over accusations that the White House was aware of numerous reports that foreshadowed the September 11 attacks, and that the administration and federal agencies failed to act on those warnings. The Bush administration says no information had anticipated the horrific events of that day.

CNN White House Correspondent Kelly Wallace spoke to CNN anchor Miles O'Brien on Saturday about the controversy.

WALLACE: Well, very important to note a couple of things there, Miles, to [say] number one, this administration only knew of a possibility -- a possibility -- that Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network could consider hijacking an American airplane.

Again, it was based on very general information. Nothing specific. No specifics about time, place, or really method of attack. So that's number one.

The bigger question that a lot of lawmakers are raising is how the administration, in terms of the intelligence community, perhaps didn't connect some of the dots. We know about a memo that an FBI agent in Phoenix put out in July warning that Middle Eastern students could be taking flight classes in the United States and could be linked to Osama bin Laden. We know, of course, there was an arrest in August of Zacarias Moussaoui. He was under suspicion and taking flight classes in the United States.

So a bigger concern about how maybe the intelligence community didn't put together some of these dots. But again, the administration is very much saying it had no specific warning about what happened on September 11.




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