Washington, DC – On Tuesday the Central Intelligence Agency released a report detailing mistakes made by the agency prior to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, including the failure of top agency officials to sufficiently comprehend the threats facing the nation in the summer of 2001.
The report by the agency’s Inspector General also showed that CIA leaders allowed bureaucratic red tape to impede the CIA’s efforts to capture al-Qaeda terrorists – despite promises in the late 1990s of a robust war against terror.
Among the agency’s errors, according to the report: Failure to appreciate the role played by terrorist mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammad; and failure to act, despite knowledge in 2000 by as many as 60 agency officers, that two of the September 11 hijackers may have been in the United States.
The 19-page report is an executive summary of a classified report provided previously to Congressional intelligence committees. It recommends that a special board be created to study pre-911 failures.
The following is the comment of Senator Feinstein, a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence:
“I view this report on accountability as very important. It really provides a guide for the Senate and House Intelligence Committees, and the oversight that they must pursue. It is very clear that the team of Inspector Generals found major problems, and they recommended a series of accountability boards. I believe those boards should be held – not to blame, but to assure that reforms are in fact in place. We need to remedy gaps in our intelligence collection, and improve management of our operational capabilities.”