RealNews

Panel's Reports Describe an Agency Institutionally Unable to Handle a Terrorist Threat

Before Sept. 11, 2001, some F.B.I. analysts who had been hired to assess terror threats worked as “ubersecretaries,” answering telephones and performing data-entry jobs. New agents in their 16-week training course received only three days on intelligence and terrorism. Because of antiquated computer systems agents did not know what cases were under investigation by other agents in their own offices, much less other cities. These were among the findings of two preliminary staff reports issued on Tuesday by the independent commission on the Sept. 11 attacks. The reports — one focused on the F.B.I. before Sept. 11, the other on how the bureau and the C.I.A. responded to threats in the summer of 2001 — depicted the F.B.I. as a stumbling, dysfunctional bureaucracy when handling terrorism threats in the years before the attacks. Full Story

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