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9/11 panel: U.S. was 'struggling' against terror threat

Excerpts from Staff Report 11 on the intelligence community


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Staff members of the September 11 commission read findings of their report during Wednesday's hearing.
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Staff statement 11:  Intelligence community performanceexternal link
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George J. Tenet

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Below is the conclusion of Staff Report No. 11, which was released Wednesday morning by the staff of the commission investigating the September 11, 2001 attacks:

"Our investigation so far has found the intelligence community struggling to collect on and analyze the phenomena of transnational terrorism through the mid- to late-1990s.

  • "While many dedicated officers worked day and night for years to piece together the growing body of evidence on al Qaeda and to understand the threats, in the end it was not enough to gain the advantage before the 9/11 attacks."
  • "While there were many reports on (Osama) Bin Laden and his growing al Qaeda organization, there was no comprehensive estimate of the enemy, either to build consensus or clarify differences."
  • "With the important exception of attacks with chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear weapons, the methods developed for decades to warn of surprise attacks were not applied to the problem of warning against terrorist attacks."
  • "In intelligence collection, despite many excellent efforts, there was not a comprehensive review of what the community knew, what it did not know, followed by the development of a community-wide plan to close those gaps."
  • "The DCI (CIA Director George Tenet) labored within -- and was accountable for -- a community of loosely associated agencies and departmental offices that lacked the incentives to cooperate, collaborate and share information. Like his predecessors, he focused his energies on where he could add the greatest value -- the CIA, which is a fraction of the nation's overall intelligence capability. As a result, a question remains: Who is in charge of intelligence?"

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