From: Otis Willie
Subject: Senate committee finds FBI officials inept in terror investigation prior to Sep
Organization: The American War Library
NNTP-Posting-Date: Wed, 28 Aug 2002 14:58:24 EDT
Date: Wed, 28 Aug 2002 18:58:24 GMT
Senate committee finds FBI officials inept in terror investigation
prior to Sept. 11
(EXCERPT) Wed Aug 28, 8:16 AM ET
NEW YORK - A Senate committee has concluded that FBI ( news - web
sites) supervisors in Washington made errors that stopped field agents
from following up on evidence that could have foretold the Sept. 11
attacks, according to a preliminary report obtained by The New York
The report by the 19-member Senate Judiciary Committee ( news - web
sites) will be made public next month, but the Times obtained a draft
copy on Tuesday.
It focuses on errors in the case of Zacarias Moussaoui, the only
person accused directly in the hijacked-airliner attacks of Sept. 11.
But it also points to a broader FBI culture that allowed the mistakes,
the newspaper reported.
When Minnesota agents arrested Moussaoui last summer, they believed he
was a terrorist who might use a commercial airplane as a weapon, so
agents tried to obtain a search warrant under the 1978 foreign
Intelligence Surveillance Act.
FBI officials in Washington denied the request, apparently unaware
that the federal act clearly permitted a warrant in that case, the
When agents searched Moussaoui's computer after Sept. 11 they found
information on commercial airplanes, crop dusting and a telephone
number for a suspected al-Qaida member in Germany, officials said.
Also, an agent in Phoenix, Arizona, informed bureau supervisors in
Washington of a threat from an unusual number of young Arab men
seeking flight training in the United States.
Sen. Arlen Specter ( news, bio, voting record), a Republican member of
the committee and an author of the report, called the intelligence by
field agents a "veritable blueprint of 9/11," the Times said.
The FBI had not seen the report and had no comment.
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