Attack on World Trade Center and Pentagon and U.S. War on Terrorism

Reportage 11-24 September 2001

Materials presented chronologically.

Eggen, Dan, and Vernon Loeb. "U.S. Intelligence Points to Bin Laden Network." Washington Post, 12 Sep. 2001, A1. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

According to senior U.S. officials, "[t]he U.S. government has strong evidence from multiple sources" that the terrorists who carried out the suicide attacks in New York and Washington "were connected to Saudi fugitive Osama bin Laden."

Cannistraro, Vincent. "Undetected At Home." Washington Post, 13 Sep. 2001, A31. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

"There is little doubt now that bin Laden's terrorist cadre, learning exponentially as it suffers losses, has employed the intelligence technique of deception to mislead the United States. Bin Laden no longer transfers funds electronically and no longer communicates with subordinates over telephones, relying on couriers to disseminate funds and instructions. Meanwhile, one can surmise that bin Laden is deliberately providing disinformation over open communication channels, expecting his adversaries to be listening."

Alvarez, Lizette. "Spying on Terrorists and Thwarting Them Gains New Urgency." New York Times, 14 Sep. 2001. [http://www.nytimes.com]

"Hoping to prevent future terrorist attacks, House and Senate lawmakers expressed broad support [on 13 September 2001] for funneling more money to intelligence operations, beefing up spy networks and creating one agency to handle terrorism."

Woodward, Bob, and Vernon Loeb. "CIA's Covert War on Bin Laden." Washington Post, 14 Sep. 2001, A1. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

Government sources have said that "[t]he CIA has been authorized since 1998 to use covert means to disrupt and preempt terrorist operations planned abroad by Saudi extremist Osama bin Laden under a [classified] directive [presidential finding] signed by President Bill Clinton and reaffirmed by President Bush this year."

Cohen, Richard. "Anatomy of a Failure." Washington Post, 15 Sep. 2001, A27. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

"It is the first obligation of the [U.S.] government ... to protect the people of the United States. It is fair to say [in the wake of 9/11] that the government failed in that obligation.... The intelligence failures that produced ... horrific consequences were ... bipartisanly arrived at.... What's missing, key members of Congress told me, are the human assets that might have brought some warning about what was being planned."

Risen, James. "Lawmakers See Need to Loosen Rules on C.I.A." New York Times, 16 Sep. 2001. [http://www.nytimes.com]

"The Congressional leaders who oversee the nation's intelligence system have concluded that America's spy agencies should be allowed to combat terrorism with more aggressive tactics, including the hiring of unsavory foreign agents. The [9/11] attacks ... also revived discussion of reversing the United States' 25-year ban on using covert agents to assassinate foreigners."

Bruce, Ian. "Spy Base in Yorkshire Listens in on bin Laden's Phone Calls." Herald (London), 17 Sep. 2001. [http://www.theherald.co.uk]

"Britain is playing a key role in the hunt for Osama bin Laden ... via the top-secret electronic spy base at Menwith Hill in Yorkshire. Every phone call, fax, internet and microwave transmission in or out of Afghanistan is being monitored by the site's joint UK-US Echelon surveillance system to try to locate bin Laden and his closest lieutenants."

Friedman, George. "The Intelligence War." Stratfor.com, 17 Sep. 2001. [http://www.stratfor. com]

"Summary: Attention is turning to the need for an intense, covert war in which the American intelligence community will play a leading role. At the same time, there is a crisis of confidence concerning the ability of the intelligence community to wage that war. The most important and frequently neglected part of intelligence -- analysis -- thus far has received scant attention. Without increased resources and freedom directed toward the intelligence analyst, a quantum increase in operational effectiveness will not be possible."

Chinni, Dante. "Why It's Hard for CIA to Fight Terrorism." Christian Science Monitor, 20 Sep. 2001. [http://www.csmonitor.com]

"[A] push is under way to 'unshackle' the CIA -- allowing it to engage in assassinations, hire 'unsavory' agents, and do whatever else it can to infiltrate Islamic extremist groups. But behind the move to revamp the nation's intelligence-gathering operations lie a host of practical problems that will make any secret war difficult to win, or even to begin."

Weiner, Tim, and David Cay Johnston. "Roadblocks Cited in Efforts to Trace bin Laden's Money." New York Times, 20 Sep. 2001. [http://www.nytimes.com]

According to federal officials, "[a] six-year struggle to uncover Osama bin Laden's financial network failed because American officials did not skillfully use the legal tools they had, did not realize they needed stronger weapons, and faced resistance at home and abroad."

Friedman, George. "Intel-Sharing a Snag for Coalition." Stratfor.com, 21 Sep. 2001. [http:// www.stratfor.com]

"Summary: The United States and Europe will comprise the core of an emerging global anti-terrorism coalition. But the highly sensitive nature of intelligence-gathering and the pursuit of national priorities will make for an uneasy transatlantic partnership. The result will be enhanced, but still limited, sharing of intelligence as the European Union and United States pursue their own priorities."

Bonner, Raymond. "Europe Moves Against Those Tied to Attacks." New York Times, 22 Sep. 2001. [http://www.nytimes.com]

"The pursuit of the network behind the terrorist attacks in the United States [has] spread across Europe..., with arrests of four people in Britain and seven men in France and the issuing of two arrest warrants in Germany."

Scarborough, Rowan. "Intercepts Foretold of 'Big Attack.'" Washington Times, 22 Sep. 2001. [http://www.washtimes.com]

According to a senior administration official, "[t]he day before terrorists struck the United States, its intelligence agencies detected discussions between Osama bin Laden's lieutenants of an impending 'big attack'.... The official said ... that the detection was not discovered until days after the Sept. 11 assault.... The time lapse is typical of intelligence analyses, in which computers sift through loads of that day's collection to find valuable material."

Clark, James, Tony Allen-Mills, and Stephen Grey. "SAS Troops Clash with Taliban Unit Deep Inside Afghanistan." Sunday Times (London), 23 Sep. 2001. [http://www.sunday-times.co.uk]

"SAS troops in Afghanistan have been fired upon by Taliban soldiers.... Nobody was hurt, military sources said, adding that the gunfire had been 'more symbolic than directed'. They suggested that the small SAS team had 'spooked' Taliban soldiers near Kabul, who had fired indiscriminately before fleeing.... SAS troopers, together with members of MI6 and the CIA, are working with the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance in the search for Osama Bin Laden."

Frantz, Douglas, with Raymond Bonner. "A Top Boss in Europe, an Unseen Cell in Gaza and Decoys Everywhere." New York Times, 23 Sep. 2001. [http://www.nytimes.com]

"Officials in Europe, the United States and Pakistan say they have identified new elements of the bin Laden terrorist network, including a top lieutenant in Europe and a previously undisclosed cell in the Gaza Strip."

Warrick, Joby, et al. "FBI Agents Ill-Equipped to Predict Terror Acts." Washington Post, 23 Sep. 2001, A1. [http://www. washingtonpost.com]

The 9/11 attacks found the FBI "ill-equipped and unprepared. An agency that must track terrorists who rely heavily on technology lacks computers that can quickly access the Internet. Boxes of evidence have piled up in previous terrorist plots, but the FBI has not had translators to decipher them. It lacks Arab agents who can penetrate terrorist cells and has too few veterans who see connections among foreign suspects and far-flung sites."

Woolsey, R. James. "The Iraqi Connection: Blood Baath." The New Republic, 24 Sep. 2001. [http://www.thenewrepublic.com]

"In the immediate aftermath of [the 9/11] attacks, attention has focused on terrorist chieftain Osama bin Laden. And he may well be responsible. But intelligence and law enforcement officials investigating the case would do well to at least consider another possibility: that the attacks ... were sponsored, supported, and perhaps even ordered by Saddam Hussein."

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