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

Reportage to 31 December 2001

Materials presented chronologically.

Dobbs, Michael. "Myths Over Attacks on U.S. Swirl Through Islamic World: Many Rumors Lay Blame on an Israeli Conspiracy." Washington Post, 13 Oct. 2001, A22, [http://www. washingtonpost.com]

"Israeli agents did it. That, at least, is a theory widely discussed and believed in the Islamic world concerning who organized the suicide attacks of Sept. 11.... A slight twist to the theory has been provided by the Voice of Palestine radio, which is controlled by Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Authority. Earlier this week, the station reported, without providing any source, that the Mossad at least had advance knowledge of the hijackings, and that U.S. law enforcement officials had arrested three Mossad agents in connection with the attacks."

Ignatius, David. "War in the Shadows." Washington Post, 14 Oct. 2001, B7. [http://www. washingtonpost.com]

"[T]he CIA is trying to build a global 'intelligence coalition' similar to the overt military and diplomatic alliance the Bush administration has gathered since Sept. 11. The aim of this coalition is to penetrate the terrorist network, disrupt its operations and, in the sort of language favored by President Bush, 'take it down.'"

Pincus, Walter. "Terrorist Dragnet 'Ran Out of Time.'" Washington Post, 15 Oct. 2001, A6. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

"Last summer, after the CIA received credible specific warnings that Osama bin Laden was planning a major attack against U.S. targets, the agency clandestinely worked with police and security services in 20 foreign countries to arrange the arrest and interrogation of 12 al Qaeda operatives. This kind of dragnet, known in intelligence terms as 'disruption,' is the prime technique employed by U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies to handle terrorist threats when the time, place and target remain unknown....

"The mixed success of disruption is what has intelligence officials nervous as they try to respond to new intelligence suggesting that additional terrorist attacks are imminent. Since Sept. 11, the CIA has arranged for 230 people in more than 40 countries who are suspected of being part of al Qaeda or associated terrorist networks to be jailed and questioned, according to intelligence sources. In this country, the FBI has detained about 700 individuals as part of what Justice Department officials have described as an effort to disrupt al Qaeda networks operating across the country. But current and former intelligence officials warn that even such zealous efforts are not 100 percent fail-safe."

Livingston, Robert Gerald. "Germany's Intelligence Failure." Washington Post, 19 Oct. 2001, A29. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

"Plotting for the strikes against the World Trade Center and the Pentagon was initially centered in Germany. Three of the four killer aircraft pilots -- including the apparent ringleader Mohamed Atta -- lived for as long as nine years in the port city of Hamburg, where they studied at technical colleges and constituted an al Qaeda 'sleeper' cell. During their long stay, none of them was spotted by German intelligence."

Ricks, Thomas E., and Vernon Loeb. "Special Forces Open Ground Campaign." Washington Post, 19 Oct. 2001, A1. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

Defense Officials said on 18 October 2001, that "U.S. Special Forces have begun the ground phase of America's war against terrorism in Afghanistan, operating in small numbers in southern Afghanistan in support of the CIA's effort in the Taliban heartland."

Hitz, Frederick P. "Not Just a Lack of Intelligence, a Lack of Skills." Washington Post, 21 Oct. 2001, B3. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

"[T]he solution to our intelligence problem isn't going to be ... simple. America's new terrorism target puts us in the same difficult and challenging position we were in 55 years ago, when we were trying to penetrate the Soviet Union with insufficient Russian language capabilities and little understanding of the tough totalitarian hide we were trying to pierce." Clark comment: This is a broad-brush but well-thought-out look at some of the issues surrounding the question of how the CIA can get ready to wage its part of the war on terrorism.

Woodward, Bob. "CIA Told to Do 'Whatever Necessary' to Kill Bin Laden." Washington Post, 21 Oct. 2001, A1.

"President Bush last month signed an intelligence order ['finding'] directing the CIA to undertake its most sweeping and lethal covert action since the founding of the agency in 1947, explicitly calling for the destruction of Osama bin Laden and his worldwide al Qaeda network, according to senior government officials."

Helm, Toby. "Germany Clashes with America over Intelligence." Telegraph (London), 25 Oct. 2001. [http://www.news.telegraph.co.uk]

"An intense dispute has flared up between America and Germany over which nation's intelligence services are most to blame for failing to prevent the terrorist attacks of September 11. The row ... has surfaced during a trip to Washington and New York by Otto Schily, the German interior minister."

Reuters. "France to Send Spy Planes, More Ships to Help U.S." New York Times, 25 Oct. 2001. [http://www.nytimes.com]

"France has beefed up its military involvement in the U.S.-led conflict with Afghanistan by contributing spy planes and more ships, French President Jacques Chirac said" on 25 October 2001.

Gellman, Barton. "CIA Weighs 'Targeted Killing' Missions." Washington Post, 28 Oct. 2001, A1. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

"Armed with new authority from President Bush for a global campaign against al Qaeda, the Central Intelligence Agency is contemplating clandestine missions expressly aimed at killing specified individuals."

Loeb, Vernon, and Marc Kaufman. "CIA Sent Aircraft to Rescue Slain Leader." Washington Post, 29 Oct. 2001, A8. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

U.S. officials said on 28 October 2001 that "[a]n unmanned aircraft operated by the CIA attacked a Taliban convoy [on 26 October 2001] in a desperate attempt to save guerrilla commander Abdul Haq, but the airstrike failed to keep Taliban forces from capturing and executing the Pashtun leader."

Carroll, Thomas Patrick. "Aftermath of September 11: Espionage for Grown-Ups." Human Events, 29 Oct. 2001. [http://www.humaneventsonline.com]

"Covert operations against Islamism and Islamist terrorism must ... be the CIA's top priority. The second priority, whatever it is, needs to be a distant second.... [During the 1990s, a] lack of direction from the top, [a] treating of the intelligence community as a handy source for anything about which policymakers might be curious, was debilitating and must not be repeated. The mission of the CIA is to steal secrets and engage in covert operations, and to do so only when no other option exists."

Risen, James, and Judith Miller. "Pakistani Intelligence Had Links to Al Qaeda, U.S. Officials Say." New York Times, 29 Oct. 2001. [http://www.nytimes.com]

According to U.S. officials, Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) "has had an indirect but longstanding relationship with Al Qaeda.... The intelligence service even used Al Qaeda camps in Afghanistan to train covert operatives for use in a war of terror against India, the Americans say."

Risen, James, and Tim Weiner. "3 New Allies Help C.I.A. in Its Fight Against Terror." New York Times, 30 Oct. 2001. [http://www.nytimes.com]

According to U.S. officials, a top CIA Directorate of Operations official traveled to Damascus in October "to talk to Syrian intelligence officials about helping the United States investigate and defeat Osama bin Laden's terrorist network.... The Damascus meeting follows a meeting in London between State Department and C.I.A. officials and the chief of Libyan intelligence.... [O]fficials have indicated that Libya's possible cooperation on counterterrorism efforts was ... broached.... Since Sept. 11, C.I.A. officials have [also] opened communication lines with intelligence officials from ... Sudan."

Risen, James, and David Johnston. "In Overheard Calls, Terrorists Spoke of Major Attack, Officials Say." New York Times, 2 Nov. 2001. [http://www.nytimes.com]

"Government officials intercepted telephone conversations in recent days in which members of Osama bin Laden's terrorist network, Al Qaeda, spoke urgently of an imminent attack against American targets even larger than the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, senior government officials say."

Risen, James. "Secret C.I.A. Site in New York Was Destroyed on Sept. 11." New York Times, 4 Nov. 2001. [http://www.nytimes.com]

According to government officials, the CIA's "clandestine New York station was destroyed in the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Center.... The ... station was in the 47-story building at 7 World Trade Center.... All of the agency's employees at the site were safely evacuated soon after the hijacked planes hit the twin towers, the officials said."

Gordon, Michael R. "Special Forces Hunt Al Qaeda on the Ground." New York Times, 15 Nov. 2001. [http://www.nytimes.com]

Senior U.S officials said on 15 November 2001 that "[m]ore than 100 American commandos are in southern Afghanistan, driving around in special vehicles and carrying out covert operations against the Taliban and Al Qaeda leaders."

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