RealNews

Al Qaeda Unchecked for Years, Panel Says

U.S. intelligence services failed to recognize the emergence of the al Qaeda terrorist network until more than a decade after it was founded in 1988, playing down a tide of reports that documented the danger posed by the group, according to findings released yesterday by the commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The CIA’s Counterterrorist Center never developed a plan to deal with the possibility that terrorists might use airplanes as weapons despite growing evidence during the 1990s that terrorist groups had attempted or were planning such plots, the commission’s staff also found. CIA Director George J. Tenet acknowledged yesterday that he did not brief President Bush, FBI leaders or Cabinet members after he was informed in late August 2001 of the arrest of Zacarias Moussaoui, who would later be charged as a conspirator in the terror attacks. The briefing for Tenet was titled “Islamic Extremist Learns to Fly.” Full Story

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