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David Ensor

David Ensor is CNN's national security correspondent. Based in Washington, D.C., he reports on the U.S. intelligence community and on national security issues such as terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and strategic foreign policy debates. Ensor reports for CNN's Washington, D.C.-based America Bureau, a unit that combines the network’s Justice Department, homeland security and national security beats to examine the state of the nation’s security.

Ensor was the first to report that the CIA had notified the FBI as far back as January 2000 that two men who later were among the Sept. 11 hijackers – Nawaf Al-Hazmi and Khalid Al-Midhar – had attended a terrorists' meeting in Malaysia that same month. Together with CNN's Dana Bash, Ensor broke the story on the specific language of warnings about the Sept. 11 attacks intercepted the day before, but not translated until after the attacks. He also broke the story of the family connection between a suspect in the October 2000 bombing of the USS Cole and one of the suicide bombers in the U.S. Embassy bombing in Nairobi, Kenya.

In December 2005, Ensor obtained the first television interview with John Negroponte, director of national intelligence. In 2005 for CNN Presents' "Winning the War on Terror," Ensor reported on the tactics and strategies of Britain, France, Israel and Spain battling terrorism. His 2005 documentary program "Dead Wrong," also for CNN Presents, chronicled mistakes made by U.S. intelligence and by Bush administration policymakers as they sought to prove Iraq had weapons of mass destruction prior to the war.

In June 2004, CNN Presents broadcast "Warsaw Rising: The Forgotten Soldiers of World War II," a documentary prepared by Ensor and Kathy Slobogin, the program's managing editor. The program, which won a National Headliner Award, also earned wide praise from critics, including columnist Anne Applebaum of the Washington Post, who called it "unsettling" and "a chance to listen while the survivors of this little-known tragedy of the war finally tell their story." In addition, Ensor was awarded a Knight's Cross by the president of Poland, in recognition of the program's quality and its impact on Poland's image worldwide.

In 2001, Ensor reported a groundbreaking series on the National Security Agency, covering the "deafness" threat posed by new technologies and encryption techniques, as well as the NSA's "drowning in data" problem. He has also profiled a spy interrogator, a Chechen warlord and a U.S. double agent.

Ensor was also among the recipients of the 2002 National Headliner award presented to CNN for investigative reporting on the Sept. 11 attacks and their aftermath.

Before joining CNN in August 1998, Ensor served as diplomatic correspondent of ABC News, based at the U.S. State Department, where he covered Middle East diplomacy, U.S. troops in Bosnia and other major international stories. From 1992-1995, Ensor reported from Moscow for ABC News, covering two coup attempts, the collapse of communism and the first war in Chechnya. He was based in Rome from 1985-1990, reporting on terrorism and the travels of Pope John Paul II.

In the early 1980s, Ensor was Warsaw bureau chief of ABC News from 1982-1985 and reported on martial law, the reemergence of the Solidarity movement and the eventual collapse of communism in Poland. Before this, while based in Washington, D.C., he reported from Argentina during the Falklands War, Cuba, El Salvador, Nicaragua and the Soviet Union. From 1975-80, he was a reporter in Washington, D.C., for National Public Radio.

He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Ensor earned a bachelor's degree with honors in European history from the University of California, Berkeley.


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