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Main article: 9/11 Commission Report Chapter 3

Legal processes were the primary method for responding to these early manifestations of a new type of terrorism.Our overview of U.S. capabilities for dealing with it thus begins with the nation’s vast complex of law enforcement agencies.

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The Justice Department and the FBIEdit

At the federal level, much law enforcement activity is concentrated in the Department of Justice. For countering terrorism, the dominant agency under Justice is the Federal Bureau of Investigation Wikipedia.The FBI does not have a general grant of authority but instead works under specific statutory authorizations. Most of its work is done in local offices called field offices.There are 56 of them, each covering a specified geographic area, and each quite separate from all others. Prior to 9/11, the special agent in charge was in general free to set his or her office’s priorities and assign personnel accordingly.[1]

The office’s priorities were driven by two primary concerns.First, performance in the Bureau was generally measured against statistics such as numbers of arrests, indictments, prosecutions, and convictions. Counterterrorism and counterintelligence work, often involving lengthy intelligence investigations that might never have positive or quantifiable results, was not career-enhancing. Most agents who reached management ranks had little counterterrorism experience. Second, priorities were driven at the local level by the field offices, whose concerns centered on traditional crimes such as white-collar offenses and those pertaining to drugs and gangs. Individual field offices made choices to serve local priorities, not national priorities.[2]

The Bureau also operates under an “office of origin” system.To avoid duplication and possible conflicts, the FBI designates a single office to be in charge of an entire investigation. Because the New York Field Office indicted [[Bin Ladin]] prior to the East Africa bombings, it became the office of origin for all Bin Ladin cases, including the East Africa bombings and later the [[attack on the USS Cole]]. Most of the FBI’s institutional knowledge on Bin Ladin and al Qaeda resided there.This office worked closely with the U.S.Attorney for the Southern District of New York to identify, arrest, prosecute, and convict many of the perpetrators of the attacks and plots. Field offices other than the specified office of origin were often reluctant to spend much energy on matters over which they had no control and for which they received no credit.[3]

The FBI’s domestic intelligence gathering dates from the 1930s.With World War II Wikipedia looming, President Franklin D.Roosevelt Wikipedia ordered FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover Wikipedia to investigate foreign and foreign-inspired subversion—Communist, Nazi, and Japanese.Hoover added investigation of possible espionage, sabotage, or subversion to the duties of field offices. After the war, foreign intelligence duties were assigned to the newly established Central Intelligence Agency Wikipedia. Hoover jealously guarded the FBI’s domestic portfolio against all rivals. Hoover felt he was accountable only to the president, and the FBI’s domestic intelligence activities kept growing. In the 1960s, the FBI was receiving significant assistance within the United States from the CIA and from Army Intelligence. The legal basis for some of this assistance was dubious.

Decades of encouragement to perform as a domestic intelligence agency abruptly ended in the 1970s.Two years after Hoover’s death in 1972, congres

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sional and news media investigations of the Watergate Wikipedia scandals of the Nixon administration Wikipedia expanded into general investigations of foreign and domestic intelligence by the Church and Pike committees.[4] They disclosed domestic intelligence efforts, which included a covert action program that operated from 1956 to 1971 against domestic organizations and, eventually, domestic dissidents. The FBI had spied on a wide range of political figures, especially individuals whom Hoover wanted to discredit (notably the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.), and had authorized unlawful wiretaps and surveillance.The shock registered in public opinion polls, where the percentage of Americans declaring a “highly favorable” view of the FBI dropped from 84 percent to 37 percent.The FBI’s Domestic Intelligence Division was dissolved.[5]

In 1976, Attorney General Edward Levi adopted domestic security guidelines to regulate intelligence collection in the United States and to deflect calls for even stronger regulation. In 1983,Attorney General William French Smith revised the Levi guidelines to encourage closer investigation of potential terrorism. He also loosened the rules governing authorization for investigations and their duration. Still, his guidelines, like Levi’s, took account of the reality that suspicion of “terrorism,” like suspicion of “subversion,” could lead to making individuals targets for investigation more because of their beliefs than because of their acts. Smith’s guidelines also took account of the reality that potential terrorists were often members of extremist religious organizations and that investigation of terrorism could cross the line separating state and church.[6]

In 1986, Congress authorized the FBI Wikipedia to investigate terrorist attacks against Americans that occur outside the United States. Three years later, it added authority for the FBI to make arrests abroad without consent from the host country.Meanwhile, a task force headed by Vice President George H.W. Bush Wikipedia had endorsed a concept already urged by Director of Central Intelligence William Casey—a Counterterrorist Center,where the FBI, the CIA Wikipedia,and other organizations could work together on international terrorism.While it was distinctly a CIA entity, the FBI detailed officials to work at the Center and obtained leads that helped in the capture of persons wanted for trial in the United States.

The strengths that the FBI brought to counterterrorism were nowhere more brilliantly on display than in the case of Pan American Flight 103, bound from London to New York,which blew up over Lockerbie, Scotland Wikipedia, in December 1988, killing 270 people. Initial evidence pointed to the government of Syria and, later, Iran.The Counterterrorist Center reserved judgment on the perpetrators of the attack. Meanwhile, FBI technicians, working with U.K. security services, gathered and analyzed the widely scattered fragments of the airliner. In 1991, with the help of the Counterterrorist Center, they identified one small fragment as part of a timing device—to the technicians, as distinctive as DNA. It was a Libyan device.Together with other evidence, the FBI put together a

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case pointing conclusively to the Libyan government. Eventually Libya acknowledged its responsibility.[7] Pan Am 103 became a cautionary tale against rushing to judgment in attributing responsibility for a terrorist act. It also showed again how—given a case to solve—the FBI remained capable of extraordinary investigative success.

FBI Organization and PrioritiesEdit

In 1993, President Clinton Wikipedia chose Louis Freeh as the Director of the Bureau. Freeh, who would remain Director until June 2001, believed that the FBI’s work should be done primarily by the field offices.To emphasize this view he cut headquarters staff and decentralized operations.The special agents in charge gained power, influence, and independence.[8]

Freeh recognized terrorism as a major threat. He increased the number of legal attaché offices abroad, focusing in particular on the Middle East. He also urged agents not to wait for terrorist acts to occur before taking action. In his first budget request to Congress after the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, he stated that “merely solving this type of crime is not enough; it is equally important that the FBI thwart terrorism before such acts can be perpetrated.” Within headquarters, he created a Counterterrorism Division that would complement the Counterterrorist Center at the CIA and arranged for exchanges of senior FBI and CIA counterterrorism officials. He pressed for more cooperation between legal attachés and CIA stations abroad.[9]

Freeh’s efforts did not, however, translate into a significant shift of resources to counterterrorism. FBI, Justice, and Office of Management and Budget officials said that FBI leadership seemed unwilling to shift resources to terrorism from other areas such as violent crime and drug enforcement; other FBI officials blamed Congress and the OMB for a lack of political will and failure to understand the FBI’s counterterrorism resource needs. In addition, Freeh did not impose his views on the field offices.With a few notable exceptions, the field offices did not apply significant resources to terrorism and often reprogrammed funds for other priorities.[10]

In 1998, the FBI issued a five-year strategic plan led by its deputy director, Robert “Bear” Bryant. For the first time, the FBI designated national and economic security,including counterterrorism,as its top priority.Dale Watson,who would later become the head of the new Counterterrorism Division, said that after the East Africa bombings,“the light came on” that cultural change had to occur within the FBI.The plan mandated a stronger intelligence collection effort. It called for a nationwide automated system to facilitate information collection, analysis,and dissemination.It envisioned the creation of a professional intelligence cadre of experienced and trained agents and analysts.If successfully implemented, this would have been a major step toward addressing terrorism systematically, rather than as individual unrelated cases. But the plan did not succeed.[11]

First, the plan did not obtain the necessary human resources. Despite des

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ignating “national and economic security” as its top priority in 1998, the FBI did not shift human resources accordingly.Although the FBI’s counterterrorism budget tripled during the mid-1990s, FBI counterterrorism spending remained fairly constant between fiscal years 1998 and 2001. In 2000, there were still twice as many agents devoted to drug enforcement as to counterterrorism.[12]

Second, the new division intended to strengthen the FBI’s strategic analysis capability faltered. It received insufficient resources and faced resistance from senior managers in the FBI’s operational divisions.The new division was supposed to identify trends in terrorist activity, determine what the FBI did not know, and ultimately drive collection efforts.However, the FBI had little appreciation for the role of analysis.Analysts continued to be used primarily in a tactical fashion—providing support for existing cases.Compounding the problem was the FBI’s tradition of hiring analysts from within instead of recruiting individuals with the relevant educational background and expertise.[13]

Moreover, analysts had difficulty getting access to the FBI and intelligence community information they were expected to analyze.The poor state of the FBI’s information systems meant that such access depended in large part on an analyst’s personal relationships with individuals in the operational units or squads where the information resided. For all of these reasons, prior to 9/11 relatively few strategic analytic reports about counterterrorism had been completed. Indeed, the FBI had never completed an assessment of the overall terrorist threat to the U.S. homeland.[14]

Third, the FBI did not have an effective intelligence collection effort. Collection of intelligence from human sources was limited, and agents were inadequately trained. Only three days of a 16-week agents’ course were devoted to counterintelligence and counterterrorism, and most subsequent training was received on the job.The FBI did not have an adequate mechanism for validating source reporting, nor did it have a system for adequately tracking and sharing source reporting, either internally or externally.The FBI did not dedicate sufficient resources to the surveillance and translation needs of counterterrorism agents. It lacked sufficient translators proficient in Arabic and other key languages, resulting in a significant backlog of untranslated intercepts.[15]

Finally, the FBI’s information systems were woefully inadequate. The FBI lacked the ability to know what it knew: there was no effective mechanism for capturing or sharing its institutional knowledge. FBI agents did create records of interviews and other investigative efforts, but there were no reports officers to condense the information into meaningful intelligence that could be retrieved and disseminated.[16]

In 1999, the FBI created separate Counterterrorism and Counterintelligence divisions.Dale Watson, the first head of the new Counterterrorism Division, recognized the urgent need to increase the FBI’s counterterrorism capability. His plan, called MAXCAP 05, was unveiled in 2000: it set the goal

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of bringing the Bureau to its “maximum feasible capacity” in counterterrorism by 2005. Field executives told Watson that they did not have the analysts, linguists, or technically trained experts to carry out the strategy. In a report provided to Director Robert Mueller in September 2001, one year after Watson presented his plan to field executives, almost every FBI field office was assessed to be operating below “maximum capacity.”The report stated that “the goal to ‘prevent terrorism’ requires a dramatic shift in emphasis from a reactive capability to highly functioning intelligence capability which provides not only leads and operational support, but clear strategic analysis and direction.”[17]

Legal Constraints on the FBI and “the Wall"Edit

The FBI had different tools for law enforcement and intelligence.[18] For criminal matters, it could apply for and use traditional criminal warrants. For intelligence matters involving international terrorism, however, the rules were different. For many years the attorney general could authorize surveillance of foreign powers and agents of foreign powers without any court review, but in 1978 Congress passed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Wikipedia.[19]This law regulated intelligence collection directed at foreign powers and agents of foreign powers in the United States. In addition to requiring court review of proposed surveillance (and later, physical searches), the 1978 act was interpreted by the courts to require that a search be approved only if its “primary purpose” was to obtain foreign intelligence information. In other words, the authorities of the FISA law could not be used to circumvent traditional criminal warrant requirements.The Justice Department interpreted these rulings as saying that criminal prosecutors could be briefed on FISA information but could not direct or control its collection.[20]

Throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, Justice prosecutors had informal arrangements for obtaining information gathered in the FISA process, the understanding being that they would not improperly exploit that process for their criminal cases. Whether the FBI shared with prosecutors information pertinent to possible criminal investigations was left solely to the judgment of the FBI.[21]

But the prosecution of Aldrich Ames Wikipedia for espionage in 1994 revived concerns about the prosecutors’ role in intelligence investigations.The Department of Justice’s Office of Intelligence Policy and Review (OIPR) is responsible for reviewing and presenting all FISA applications to the FISA Court. It worried that because of the numerous prior consultations between FBI agents and prosecutors, the judge might rule that the FISA warrants had been misused. If that had happened,Ames might have escaped conviction. Richard Scruggs, the acting head of OIPR, complained to Attorney General Janet Reno about the lack of information-sharing controls. On his own, he began imposing information sharing procedures for FISA material. The Office of Intelligence Policy and Review became the gatekeeper for the flow of FISA information to criminal prosecutors.[22]

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In July 1995, Attorney General Reno issued formal procedures aimed at managing information sharing between Justice Department prosecutors and the FBI.They were developed in a working group led by the Justice Department’s Executive Office of National Security, overseen by Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick.[23] These procedures—while requiring the sharing of intelligence information with prosecutors—regulated the manner in which such information could be shared from the intelligence side of the house to the criminal side.

These procedures were almost immediately misunderstood and misapplied. As a result, there was far less information sharing and coordination between the FBI and the Criminal Division in practice than was allowed under the department’s procedures. Over time the procedures came to be referred to as “the wall.” The term “the wall” is misleading, however, because several factors led to a series of barriers to information sharing that developed.[24] The Office of Intelligence Policy and Review became the sole gatekeeper for passing information to the Criminal Division.Though Attorney General Reno’s procedures did not include such a provision, the Office assumed the role anyway, arguing that its position reflected the concerns of Judge Royce Lamberth, then chief judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.The Office threatened that if it could not regulate the flow of information to criminal prosecutors, it would no longer present the FBI’s warrant requests to the FISA Court.The information flow withered.[25]

The 1995 procedures dealt only with sharing between agents and criminal prosecutors, not between two kinds of FBI agents, those working on intelligence matters and those working on criminal matters. But pressure from the Office of Intelligence Policy Review, FBI leadership, and the FISA Court built barriers between agents—even agents serving on the same squads. FBI Deputy Director Bryant reinforced the Office’s caution by informing agents that too much information sharing could be a career stopper.Agents in the field began to believe—incorrectly—that no FISA information could be shared with agents working on criminal investigations.[26]

This perception evolved into the still more exaggerated belief that the FBI could not share any intelligence information with criminal investigators, even if no FISA procedures had been used. Thus, relevant information from the National Security Agency and the CIA often failed to make its way to criminal investigators. Separate reviews in 1999, 2000, and 2001 concluded independently that information sharing was not occurring, and that the intent of the 1995 procedures was ignored routinely.[27] We will describe some of the unfortunate consequences of these accumulated institutional beliefs and practices in chapter 8.

There were other legal limitations. Both prosecutors and FBI agents argued that they were barred by court rules from sharing grand jury information, even though the prohibition applied only to that small fraction that had been presented to a grand jury, and even that prohibition had exceptions. But as inter

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preted by FBI field offices, this prohibition could conceivably apply to much of the information unearthed in an investigation.There were also restrictions, arising from executive order, on the commingling of domestic information with foreign intelligence. Finally the NSA began putting caveats on its Bin Ladin–related reports that required prior approval before sharing their contents with criminal investigators and prosecutors. These developments further blocked the arteries of information sharing.[28]

Other Law Enforcement AgenciesEdit

The Justice Department is much more than the FBI. It also has a U.S.Marshals Service, almost 4,000 strong on 9/11 and especially expert in tracking fugitives, with much local police knowledge.The department’s Drug Enforcement Administration had, as of 2001, more than 4,500 agents.[29] There were a number of occasions when DEA agents were able to introduce sources to the FBI or CIA for counterterrorism use.

The Immigration and Naturalization Service Wikipedia (INS), with its 9,000 Border Patrol agents, 4,500 inspectors, and 2,000 immigration special agents, had perhaps the greatest potential to develop an expanded role in counterterrorism. However, the INS was focused on the formidable challenges posed by illegal entry over the southwest border, criminal aliens, and a growing backlog in the applications for naturalizing immigrants.The White House, the Justice Department, and above all the Congress reinforced these concerns. In addition, when Doris Meissner became INS Commissioner in 1993, she found an agency seriously hampered by outdated technology and insufficient human resources.Border Patrol agents were still using manual typewriters; inspectors at ports of entry were using a paper watchlist; the asylum and other benefits systems did not effectively deter fraudulent applicants.[30]

Commissioner Meissner responded in 1993 to the World Trade Center bombing by providing seed money to the State Department’s Consular Affairs Bureau to automate its terrorist watchlist, used by consular officers and border inspectors. The INS assigned an individual in a new “lookout” unit to work with the State Department in watchlisting suspected terrorists and with the intelligence community and the FBI in determining how to deal with them when they appeared at ports of entry. By 1998, 97 suspected terrorists had been denied admission at U.S. ports of entry because of the watchlist.[31] How to conduct deportation cases against aliens who were suspected terrorists caused significant debate.The INS had immigration law expertise and authority to bring the cases, but the FBI possessed the classified information sometimes needed as evidence, and information-sharing conflicts resulted. New laws in 1996 authorized the use of classified evidence in removal hearings, but the INS removed only a handful of the aliens with links to terrorist activity (none identified as associated with al Qaeda) using classified evidence.[32] Midlevel INS employees proposed comprehensive counterterrorism pro

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posals to management in 1986, 1995, and 1997. No action was taken on them. In 1997, a National Security Unit was set up to handle alerts, track potential terrorist cases for possible immigration enforcement action, and work with the rest of the Justice Department. It focused on the FBI’s priorities of Hezbollah and Hamas, and began to examine how immigration laws could be brought to bear on terrorism. For instance, it sought unsuccessfully to require that CIA security checks be completed before naturalization applications were approved.[33] Policy questions, such as whether resident alien status should be revoked upon the person’s conviction of a terrorist crime, were not addressed. Congress, with the support of the Clinton administration,doubled the number of Border Patrol agents required along the border with Mexico to one agent every quarter mile by 1999. It rejected efforts to bring additional resources to bear in the north.The border with Canada had one agent for every 13.25 miles. Despite examples of terrorists entering from Canada, awareness of terrorist activity in Canada and its more lenient immigration laws, and an inspector general’s report recommending that the Border Patrol develop a northern border strategy, the only positive step was that the number of Border Patrol agents was not cut any further.[34]

Inspectors at the ports of entry were not asked to focus on terrorists. Inspectors told us they were not even aware that when they checked the names of incoming passengers against the automated watchlist, they were checking in part for terrorists. In general, border inspectors also did not have the information they needed to make fact-based determinations of admissibility.The INS initiated but failed to bring to completion two efforts that would have provided inspectors with information relevant to counterterrorism—a proposed system to track foreign student visa compliance and a program to establish a way of tracking travelers’ entry to and exit from the United States.[35] In 1996, a new law enabled the INS to enter into agreements with state and local law enforcement agencies through which the INS provided training and the local agencies exercised immigration enforcement authority. Terrorist watchlists were not available to them. Mayors in cities with large immigrant populations sometimes imposed limits on city employee cooperation with federal immigration agents.A large population lives outside the legal framework. Fraudulent documents could be easily obtained. Congress kept the number of INS agents static in the face of the overwhelming problem.[36]

The chief vehicle for INS and for state and local participation in law enforcement was the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), first tried out in New York City in 1980 in response to a spate of incidents involving domestic terrorist organizations.This task force was managed by the New York Field Office of the FBI, and its existence provided an opportunity to exchange information and, as happened after the firstWorldTrade Center bombing,to enlist local officers, as well as other agency representatives, as partners in the FBI investigation. The FBI expanded the number of JTTFs throughout the 1990s, and by

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9/11 there were 34.While useful, the JTTFs had limitations.They set priorities in accordance with regional and field office concerns, and most were not fully staffed. Many state and local entities believed they had little to gain from having a full-time representative on a JTTF.[37]

Other federal law enforcement resources, also not seriously enlisted for counterterrorism, were to be found in the Treasury Department. Treasury housed the Secret Service, the Customs Service, and the Bureau of Alcohol,Tobacco, and Firearms. Given the Secret Service’s mission to protect the president and other high officials, its agents did become involved with those of the FBI whenever terrorist assassination plots were rumored. The Customs Service deployed agents at all points of entry into the United States. Its agents worked alongside INS agents, and the two groups sometimes cooperated. In the winter of 1999–2000, as will be detailed in chapter 6, questioning by an especially alert Customs inspector led to the arrest of an al Qaeda terrorist whose apparent mission was to bomb Los Angeles International Airport.

The Bureau of Alcohol,Tobacco, and Firearms was used on occasion by the FBI as a resource.The ATF’s laboratories and analysis were critical to the investigation of the February 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center and the April 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.[38] Before 9/11, with the exception of one portion of the FBI, very little of the sprawling U.S. law enforcement community was engaged in countering terrorism. Moreover, law enforcement could be effective only after specific individuals were identified, a plot had formed, or an attack had already occurred. Responsible individuals had to be located, apprehended, and transported back to a U.S. court for prosecution. As FBI agents emphasized to us, the FBI and the Justice Department do not have cruise missiles.They declare war by indicting someone.They took on the lead role in addressing terrorism because they were asked to do so.[39]


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11. For a general history of the FBI, supporting the subsequent text (unless otherwise noted), see Athan G. Theoharis, et al., The FBI: A Comprehensive Reference Guide Wikipedia (Onyx Press, 1999); the FBI’s authorized history, FBI report,“History of the FBI” (online at []); the FBI’s history as told by the Federation of American Scientists, “History of the FBI,” updated June 18, 2003 (online at []).For discussion of field office autonomy,see FBI letter,Kalish to Wolf, responses to questions posed by the Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, State, and Judiciary of the House Appropriations Committee, May 24, 2004, pp. 47–48.

12. See, e.g., Dan C. interview (Aug. 27, 2003); Ruben Garcia interview (Apr. 29, 2004); DOJ Inspector General interview of William Gore, Oct. 24, 2002.

13.The Washington Field Office was originally assigned the East Africa bombings case because it generally has responsibility for investigating crimes overseas.When the attack was determined to be al Qaeda–related, responsibility shifted to the New York Field Office. See generally Kevin C. interview (Aug. 25, 2003).This created significant friction between agents in the respective offices. Edward Curran and Sidney Caspersen interview (Jan. 20, 2004). On the concept of the office of origin, see FBI memo, Kalish to Wolf, responses to questions from the Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, State, and Judiciary of the House Appropriations Committee, pp. 47–48; [[testimony of Robert S. Mueller III before the Subcommittee on the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary and Related Agencies of the House Appropriations Committee]], June 18, 2003; FBI report,“[[Counterterrorism Program Since September 2001]],”Apr. 14, 2004, p. 20.

14. On the impact of Watergate Wikipedia, see generally Kathryn Olmsted, Challenging the Secret Government:The Post-Watergate Investigations of the CIA and FBI Wikipedia (Univ. of North Carolina Press, 1996).

15.David M.Alpern with Anthony Marro and Stephan Lesher,“This Is Your New FBI,” Newsweek, Jan.5, 1976, p. 14.

16. On the Levi guidelines and the Smith modifications, see John T. Elliff,“[[Symposium: National Security and Civil Liberties:The Attorney General’s Guidelines for FBI Investigations]],” Cornell Law Review, vol. 69 (Apr. 1984), p. 785. On the line between church and state, see Floyd Abrams,“The First Amendment and the War against Terrorism Wikipedia,” University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law, vol. 5 (Oct. 2002).

17. On Pan Am bombing Wikipedia investigation, see [[Commission analysis of U.S. counterterrorism strategy from 1968 to 1993]]; FBI report,“History of the FBI Wikipedia.”

18. Louis Freeh interview (Jan. 6, 2004); Federation of American Scientists,“History of the FBI;” DOJ Inspector General report,“Federal Bureau of Investigation Casework and Human Resource Allocation,” Sept. 2003, pp. iv, vi, viii, x, xiii.

19. For quote, see FBI report,“Congressional Budget Justification Book Fiscal Year 1995,” undated, p. 6. On Freeh’s efforts, see Howard M. Shapiro, “The FBI in the 21st Century,” Cornell International Law Journal, vol. 28 (1995), pp. 219–228; Louis Freeh interview (Jan. 6, 2004). On Freeh’s budget request, see FBI report,“Congressional Budget Justification Book Fiscal Year 1995,” undated.

20. Janet Reno interview (Dec.16, 2003); Dale Watson interview (Feb. 5, 2004); Stephen Colgate interview (May 19, 2004); OMB budget examiner interview (Apr. 27, 2004).

21. On the plan, see FBI report,“Strategic Plan: 1998–2003,‘Keeping Tomorrow Safe,’”May 8, 1998. For Watson’s recollections, see Dale Watson interview (Jan. 6, 2004).

22.For the mid-1990s numbers,see FBI memo,Freeh to Reno,“[[Reorganization of FBI Headquarters—Establishment of Counterterrorism Division and Investigative Services Division]],” Apr. 22,1999.For the 1998–2001 numbers, see DOJ Inspector General report,“[[Review of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Counterterrorism Program: Threat Assessment, Strategic Planning, and Resource Management]],” Sept. 2002, p. 67. For the failure to shift resources, see DOJ Inspector General report,“FBI Casework and Human Resource Allocation,” Sept. 2003, pp. iv, vi, viii, x, xiii. For the comparison to drug agents, see [[testimony of Dick Thornburgh before the Subcommittee on Commerce, State, Justice, the Judiciary, and Related Agencies of the House Appropriations Committee]], June 18, 2003, p. 20.

23. Dale Watson interview (Feb. 5, 2004);Virginia Bollinger interview (Feb. 2, 2004);Robert Bryant interview (Dec. 18, 2003).

24. On the state of information technology at FBI, see Virginia Bollinger interview (Jan. 28, 2004);[[Mark Miller interview]] (Dec. 23, 2003).On the lack of an overall assessment, see DOJ Inspector General report,“[[Review of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Program]],” Sept. 2002, pp. ii–iii.

25.For training statistics, see DOJ Inspector General report,“Review of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Program,” Sept.2002,p. 74.For translation resources, see FBI report,“FY 2002 Counterterrorism Division Program Plan Summary,” undated, p. 4. Since 9/11, the FBI has recruited and processed more than 30,000 translator applicants.This has resulted in the addition of nearly 700 new translators. FBI report,“[[The FBI’s Counterterrorism Program Since September 2001]],”Apr. 14, 2004.The FBI’s hiring process includes language testing, a personnel security interview, polygraph, and a full background investigation.The FBI must maintain rigorous security and proficiency standards with respect to its permanent and contract employees. Even as the FBI has increased its language services cadre, the demand for translation services has also greatly increased.Thus, the FBI must not only continue to bring on board more linguists, it must also continue to take advantage of technology and best practices to prioritize its workflow, enhance its capabilities, and ensure compliance with its quality control program. FBI linguists interviews (July 31,2003–May 10, 2004);Margaret Gulotta interview (May 10, 2004). See DOJ Inspector General report,“[[A Review of the FBI’s Actions in Connection with Allegations Raised by Contract Linguist Sibel Edmonds]],” July 1, 2004; Sibel Edmonds interview (Feb. 11, 2004).

26.Wilson Lowery interview (Jan. 28, 2004); Janet Reno testimony,Apr. 13, 2004; Helen S. interview (Dec. 29, 2003); Stephen Colgate interview (May 19, 2004); Robert Dies interview (Feb. 4, 2004).

27. FBI report,“Director’s Report on Counterterrorism,” Sept. 1, 2001, pp. I-1–I-14. On FBI reorganization, see FBI memo, Freeh to Reno,“[[Reorganization of FBI Headquarters—Establishment of Counterterrorism Division and Investigative Services Division]],”Apr. 22, 1999. On Watson’s observation, see Dale Watson interview (Feb. 4, 2004). On MAXCAP 05, see FBI memo, description of MAXCAP 05, undated (draft likely prepared after Aug. 31, 2001, for incoming Director Mueller). On field executives’ views, see FBI report, Counterterrorism Division, International Terrorism Program,“Strategic Program Plan, FY 2001–06,” undated, p. 30.

28. International terrorism intelligence cases were designated as 199 matters; international terrorism criminal cases were designated as 265 matters. In 2003, these designations were eliminated; all international terrorism matters now receive the same designation, 315.

29. For historical information on FISA, see Americo R. Cinquegrana,“[[The Walls (and Wires) have Ears:The Background and First TenYears of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978]],” University of Pennsylvania Law Review, vol. 137 (1989), pp. 793, 802–805. For the statute, see 50 U.S.C. §§ 1801 et seq. As enacted in 1978, FISA permitted orders authorizing electronic surveillance. It did not refer to physical searches. In 1994, the statute was amended to permit orders authorizing physical searches. See Pub. L. No. 103-359, 108 Stat. 3423, 3443 (Oct. 14, 1994); 50 U.S.C. §§ 1821–1829. See generally, William C. Banks and M. E. Bowman, “[[Executive Authority for National Security Surveillance]],” American University Law Review, vol. 50 (2000), pp. 1–130.

30. On the history of courts applying the primary purpose standard, see In re Sealed Case, 310 F.3d 717,725–726 (FISC Ct. Rev. 2002), in which the FISC Court of Review concluded that these courts had ruled in error. See also DOJ report,“[[Final Report of the Attorney General’s Review Team on the Handling of the Los Alamos National Laboratory Investigation]]” (hereinafter “Bellows Report”),May 2000, appendix D. On DOJ interpretation of FISA, see DOJ memo,Dellinger toVatis,“Standards for Searchers Under Foreign Intelligence Act,” Feb. 14, 1995;Royce Lamberth interview (Mar. 26, 2004); Bellows Report, pp. 711–712; DOJ Inspector General interview of Marion Bowman, May 28, 2003.

31. Bellows Report, pp. 711–712; DOJ Inspector General interview of Marion Bowman, May 28, 2003.

32. Bellows Report, pp. 712–714, n. 947, appendix D tabs 2, 3; Richard Scruggs interview (May 26, 2004); Larry Parkinson interview (Feb. 24, 2004). Because OIPR had ultimate authority to decide what was presented to the FISA Court, it wielded extraordinary power in the FISA process.

33.The group included representatives from the FBI, OIPR, and the Criminal Division. In addition, the [[U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York]] was given an opportunity to comment on the procedures.The procedures that were eventually issued were agreed to by all involved in the drafting process. As a member of the Commission, Gorelick has recused herself from participation in this aspect of our work.

34. On Reno’s July 1995 memo, see DOJ Inspector General report,“[[A Review of the FBI’s Handling of Intelligence Information Related to the September 11 Attacks]],” July 2004, pp. 27–34; Bellows Report, p. 709, appendix D tab 23. Some barriers were proposed by OIPR in the FISA applications and subsequently adopted by the FISC; others, less formally recorded, were believed by the FBI to be equally applicable.

35. On the misapplication of the procedures and the role of OIPR, see Bellows Report, pp. 721–722; [[Marion Bowman interview]] (Mar. 6, 2004); Fran Fragos Townsend meeting (Feb. 13, 2004). On the OIPR as gatekeeper, see Michael Vatis interview (Jan. 21, 2004); Larry Parkinson interview (Feb. 24, 2004).On OIPR’s stated defense, see David Kris interview (May 19, 2004); Richard Scruggs interview (May 26, 2004). On OIPR’s threat, see [[Larry Parkinson interview]] (Feb. 24, 2004);Thomas A. interview (Mar. 16, 2004). On the lack of information flow, see Bellows Report, pp. 722, 724–725, 729–731.

36.For Bryant’s comment,see David Kris interview (Jan. 15,2004);Bellows Report,p.714.On barriers between agents on same squads, see Larry Parkinson interview (Feb. 24, 2004);Michael Vatis interview (Jan. 21, 2004); DOJ Inspector General interview of Thomas A., May 28, 2003. On incorrect interpretation by field agents, see [[Joint Inquiry report]],pp. 363, 367–368; Larry Parkinson interview (Feb. 24, 2004);MichaelVatis interview (Jan. 21, 2004); DOJ Inspector General interview of Thomas A., May 28, 2003; DOJ Inspector General interview of Jane, Nov. 4, 2002.

37. For an example of the barriers between agents, see DOJ emails, Jane to Steve B., interpreting the wall to apply to non-FISA information,Aug. 29, 2001;David Kris interview (Jan. 15, 2004).On the NSA barriers, see DOJ Inspector General interview of Jane, Nov. 4, 2002.These barriers were reinforced by caveats NSA began placing on all of its Bin Ladin–related reports and later on all of its counterterrorism-related reports—whether or not the information was subject to the attorney general’s order—which required approval before the report’s contents could be shared with criminal investigators. Ibid. On the several reviews of the process, see Bellows Report, pp. 709, 722; DOJ Inspector General report,“The Handling of FBI Intelligence Information Related to the Justice Department’s Campaign Finance Investigation,” July 1999, pp. 15–16, 255, 256, 328–330, 340, 344; GAO report, “FBI Intelligence Investigations:Coordination Within Justice on Counterintelligence Criminal Matters Is Limited,” July 2001, pp. 3–5.

38. In December 1999, NSA began placing caveats on all of its Bin Ladin reports that precluded sharing of any of the reports’ contents with criminal prosecutors or FBI agents investigating criminal matters without first obtaining OIPR’s permission.These caveats were initially created at the direction of Attorney General Reno and applied solely to reports of information gathered from three specific surveillances she had authorized.Because NSA decided it was administratively too difficult to determine whether particular reports derived from the specific surveillances authorized by the attorney general,NSA decided to place this caveat on all its terrorism-related reports.In November 2000, in response to direction from the FISA Court, NSA modified these caveats to require that consent for sharing the information with prosecutors or criminal agents be obtained from NSA’s Customer Needs and Delivery Services group. See DOJ memo, Reno to Freeh, E.O. 12333 authorized surveillance of a suspected al Qaeda operative, Dec. 24, 1999; NSA email,William L. to Brian C.,“dissemination of terrorism reporting,” Dec. 29, 1999; NSA memo,Ann D. to others,“Reporting Guidance,”Dec. 30. 1999; Intelligence report,Nov. 6, 2000. See also discussion of the history of the NSA caveats in the notes to Chapter 8.

39. See DEA report, “DEA Staffing & Budget” (figures for 1972 to 2003) (online at [ agency/staffing.htm]). For USMS staffing, see DOJ information provided to the Commission.

40. On the number of agents, see INS newsletter,“INS Commissioner Meissner Announces Departure,” Jan. 2001; INS news release,“INS to Hire More than 800 Immigration Inspectors Nationwide,” Jan. 12, 2001; Gregory Bednarz prepared statement, Oct. 9, 2003, p. 5. On the INS’s main challenges, see, e.g., Eric Holder interview (Jan. 28, 2004); Jamie Gorelick interview (Jan. 13, 2004);Doris Meissner interview (Nov. 25, 2003).On the White House views, see, e.g.,White House press release,“Fact Sheet on Immigration Enforcement Act,”May 3, 1995. On DOJ’s concerns, see INS newsletter, Remarks of Attorney General Reno on Oct. 24, 2000, Jan. 2001, pp. 16, 26.To assess congressional views, we reviewed all conference and committee reports relating to congressional action on INS budget requests for fiscal years 1995 through 2001 and all Senate and House immigration hearings from 1993 to 2001. On outdated technology, see Gus de la Vina interview (Nov. 19, 2003);Doris Meissner interview (Nov. 25, 2003).

41. On Meissner’s response, see Doris Meissner interview (Nov. 25, 2003). On the lookout unit, see Tim G. interview (Oct. 1, 2002). On the number of denials of entry, see Majority Staff Report, Hearing on “Foreign Terrorists in America: FiveYears after the World Trade Center” before the Subcommittee on Technology,Terrorism, and Government Information of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Feb. 24, 1998, p. 145.

42. Majority Staff Report, Hearing on “Foreign Terrorists in America: Five Years after the World Trade Center,” Feb. 24, 1998, p. 152; 8 U.S.C. § 1534(e)(1)(A). On the low level of removals, see Daniel Cadman interview (Oct. 9, 2003); Rocky Concepcion interview (June 15, 2004).

43. On the 1986 plan, see INS report, Investigations Division, “Alien Terrorists and Undesirables: A Contingency Plan,” May 1986; Daniel Cadman interview (Oct. 17, 2003). On the 1995 plan, see INS memo, Bramhall to Bednarz and Hurst,“Draft Counter-Terrorism Strategy Outline,”Aug. 11, 1995. On the 1997 plan, see INS email, Cadman to others,“EAC briefing document,”Dec. 5, 1997 (attachment titled “Counterterrorism/National SecuNOTES TO CHAPTER 3 475 rity Strategy and Casework Oversight”). On the work of the National Security Unit and the Intelligence Unit, see Daniel Cadman interview (Oct. 17, 2003); Cliff Landesman interview (Oct. 27, 2003).

44.For number of agents on Canadian border, the Canadian situation generally, and the inspector general’s recommendations, see INS report,“Northern Border Strategy,” Jan. 9, 2001; DOJ Inspector General report,“Followup Review of the Border Patrol Efforts Along the Northern Border,” Apr. 2000 (inspection plan). On terrorists entering the United States via Canada, see, e.g., INS record,Record of Deportable Alien,Abu Mezer, June 24, 1996. Mezer was able to stay in the United States despite apprehensions for his illegal entries along the northern border.

45.The inspectors’ views are drawn from our interviews with 26 border inspectors who had contact with the 9/11 hijackers. On the incomplete INS projects, see Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act, Pub. L. No. 104-208, 110 Stat. 3009 (1996), §§ 110, 641.

46. For the 1996 law, see 8 U.S.C. § 1357 (1996). On unauthorized immigration, see Migration Policy Institute report, “Immigration Facts: Unauthorized Immigration to the United States,” Oct. 2003 (online at []). On the initiation of city noncooperation, see New York Mayor Ed Koch’s 1987 order prohibiting city line workers, but not police or the Department of Corrections, from transmitting information respecting any alien to federal immigration authorities. On backlogs, see testimony of Dr. Demetrios G. Papademetriou before the [[Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims of the House Judiciary Committee]], Mar. 11, 2004. On the overwhelmed INS, see James Ziglar testimony, Jan. 26, 2004.

47. On the relationship between the FBI and state and local police forces, see William Bratton et al. interview (Nov. 20, 2003);David Cohen interview (Feb. 4, 2004).On the New York JTTF, see Mary Jo White,“Prosecuting Terrorism in NewYork,” Middle East Quarterly, spring 2001 (online at []). On the pre- 9/11 number of JTTFs, see Louis Freeh prepared statement for the Joint Inquiry, Oct. 8, 2002, p. 18. On the effectiveness of JTTFs, see Washington Field Office agent interview (Aug.4, 2003); Phoenix JTTF member interview (Oct. 20, 2003); Phoenix Field Office agent interview (Oct. 21, 2003);Art C. interview (Dec. 4, 2003).

48.Treasury report, “1995 Highlights of The Bureau of Alcohol,Tobacco and Firearms,” undated (online at []); ATF report, “ATF Snapshot,” Jan. 30, 1998 (online at []).

49. Dale Watson interview (Feb. 4, 2004);Frank P. interview (Aug. 26, 2003);Dan C. interview (Aug. 27, 2003); Louis Freeh interview (Jan. 8. 2004).

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