... But in the counterterrorism business there is no such thing as 100
percent success-there will never be. 

Some of what terrorists plan and do will remain hidden. The al Qa'ida
practice is to keep their most lethal plots within a small, tightly knit
group of fanatics. This is not an impossible target, but it is among our

Total success against such targets is impossible. Some attackers will
continue to get through us. 

It may be comforting on occasion to think that if we could find the one
process that went wrong, then we could remedy that failing and return to
the sense of safety we enjoyed prior to 9/11. The reality is that we
were vulnerable to suicidal terrorist attacks and we remain vulnerable
to them today. That is not a pleasant fact for Americans to live with,
but it is the case. There are no easy fixes. We will continue to look
incisively at our own processes and to listen to others in an ongoing
effort to do our jobs better. But we must also be honest with ourselves
and with the public about the world in which we live.

The fight against international terrorism will be long and difficult.


(See also yesterday's Infocon News Item 1):


Written Statement for the Record of the
Director of Central Intelligence
Before the
Joint Inquiry Committee


17 October 2002 

I welcome the opportunity to be here today and to be part of an inquiry
that is vital to all Americans. On September 11th, nearly three thousand
innocent lives were taken in brutal acts of terror. For the men and
women of American Intelligence, the grief we feel-the grief we share
with so many others-is only deepened by the knowledge of how hard we
tried-without success-to prevent this attack.

It is important for the American people to understand what CIA and the
Intelligence Community were doing to try to prevent the attack that
occurred - and to stop attacks, which al-Qa'ida has certainly planned
and remains determined to attempt.

What I want to do this morning, as explicitly as I can, is to describe
the war we have waged for years against al-Qa'ida - the level of effort,
the planning, the focus, and the enormous courage and discipline shown
by our officers throughout the world. It is important for the American
people to understand how knowledge of the enemy translated into action
around the globe-including the terrorist sanctuary of Afghanistan-before
September 11.

It is important to put our level of effort into context - to understand
the tradeoffs in resources and people, we had to make - the choices we
consciously made to ensure that we maintained an aggressive
counterterrorist effort.

We need to understand that in the field of intelligence, long-term
erosions of resources cannot be undone quickly when emergencies arise.
And we need to explain the difference that sustained investments in
intelligence-particularly in people-will mean for our country's future.

We need to be honest about the fact that our homeland is very difficult
to protect. For strategic warning to be effective, there must be a
dedicated program to address the vulnerabilities of our free and open
society. Successive administrations, commissions, and the Congress have
struggled with this. 

To me, it is not a question of surrendering liberty for security, but of
finding a formula that gives us the security we need to defend the
liberty we treasure. Not simply to defend it in time of peace, but to
preserve it in time of war-a war in which we must be ready to play
offense and defense simultaneously. That is why we must arrive-soon-at a
national consensus on Homeland Security. 

We need to be honest about our shortcomings, and tell you what we have
done to improve our performance in the future. There have been thousands
of actions in this war-an intensely human endeavor-not all of which were
executed flawlessly. We made mistakes. 

Nevertheless, the record will show a keen awareness of the threat, a
disciplined focus, and persistent efforts to track, disrupt, apprehend,
and ultimately bring to justice Bin Ladin and his lieutenants. 

Somehow lost in much of the debate since September 11 is one
unassailable fact: The US intelligence community could not have surged,
as it has in the conflict in Afghanistan, and engaged in an
unprecedented level of operations around the world, if it was as mired
as some have portrayed.

It is important for the American people to know that, despite the
enormous successes we have had in the past year-indeed over many
years-al-Qa'ida continues to plan and will attempt more deadly strikes
against us. There will be more battles won and, sadly, more battles
lost. We must be honest about that, too.

Finally, we need to focus on the future, and consider how the knowledge
we have gained in this war will be applied. 

These are some of the themes that I hope you will reflect on as you
listen to this testimony today.

Let me begin by describing the rise of Usama Bin Ladin and the
Intelligence Community's Response.

We recognized early on the threat posed by Usama Bin Ladin and his

As that threat developed, we tracked it and we reported it to Executive
Branch policymakers, Congress, and, when feasible, directly to the
American people.

We reacted to the growing threat by conducting energetic, innovative,
and increasingly risky operations to combat it. We went on the

And this effort mattered. It saved lives-perhaps in the thousands. And
it prepared the field for the rapid successes in Afghanistan last
The Early Years: Terrorist Financier (1986-1996)

The first rule of warfare is "know your enemy." My statement documents
our knowledge and analysis of Bin Ladin, from his early years as a
terrorist financier to his leadership of a worldwide network of
terrorism based in Afghanistan. 

Bin Ladin gained prominence during the Afghan war for his role in
financing the recruitment, transportation, and training of Arab
nationals who fought alongside the Afghan mujahedin against the Soviets
during the 1980s.

While we knew of him, we have no record of any direct US Government
contact with Bin Ladin at that time.

Bin Ladin came to the attention of the CIA as an emerging terrorist
threat during his stay in Sudan from 1991 to 1996. 
CIA reported that during Bin Ladin's five-year residence in Sudan he
combined business with jihad under the umbrella of al-Qa'ida. 

In May 1993, for example, al-Qa'ida financed the travel of more than 300
Afghan war veterans to Sudan after the Pakistani government launched a
crackdown against foreign Islamic extremists based in Pakistan.

By January 1994, al-Qa'ida had begun financing at least three terrorist
training camps in northern Sudan. Among the trainers were Egyptian,
Algerian, Tunisian, and Palestinian extremists.

Islamic extremists, who in December 1992 bombed a hotel housing US
servicemen in Aden, Yemen, said Bin Ladin financed their group.

We learned in 1996 that Bin Ladin sent members to Somalia in 1993 to
work as advisors with Somali warlord Aideed in opposing US forces sent
there in support of Operation Restore Hope. Bin Ladin later publicly
claimed responsibility for this activity, and CIA has confirmed his
involvement in Somalia. 

After Bin Ladin had left Sudan we learned that al-Qa'ida had attempted
to acquire material used in pursuing a chemical, biological,
radiological, nuclear (CBRN) capability and had hired a Middle Eastern
physicist to work on nuclear and chemical projects in Sudan. 
As Bin Ladin's prominence grew in the early 1990's, it became clear to
CIA that it was not enough simply to collect and report intelligence
about him.

As early as 1993, our units watching him began to propose action to
reduce his organization's capabilities. 
I must pause here. In an open forum I cannot describe what authorities
we sought or received. But it is important that the American people
understand two things. 

The first is about covert action in general: CIA can only pursue such
activities with the express authorization of the President. 

The second point is that, when such proposals are considered, it is
always because we or policymakers identify a threatening situation, a
situation to which we must pay far more attention and one in which we
must run far greater risks. As long ago as 1993, we saw such a situation
with Usama Bin Ladin. 
By the time Bin Ladin left Sudan in 1996 and relocated himself and his
terror network to Afghanistan, the Intelligence Community was taking
strong action to stop him. 

We established a special unit-known as the Bin Ladin Issue Station-with
CIA, NSA, FBI and other officers specifically to get more-and more
actionable-intelligence on Bin Ladin and his organization. We took this
step because we knew that traditional approaches alone would not be
enough for this target. 

We monitored his whereabouts and increased our knowledge about him and
his organization with information from our own assets and from many
foreign intelligence services.

We were working hard on an aggressive program to disrupt his finances,
degrade his ability to engage in terrorism, and, ultimately, to bring
him to justice.

We must remember that, despite this heightened attention, Bin Ladin was
in the mid-1990s only one of four areas of concentration within our
Counter-Terrorist Center, CTC.

In addition to the Bin Ladin Issue Station, we had a group working
against Hizballah; a group working Egyptian Islamic Jihad, al-Gama'at,
and Palestinian rejectionists; and a group working on an assortment of
smaller terrorist groups, such as Shining Path in Peru, Abu Sayef in the
Philippines, and the Tamil Tigers of Sri Lanka. 

Taliban Sanctuary Years: Becoming a Strategic Threat 

Beginning in January 1996, we began to receive reports that Bin Ladin
planned to move from Sudan. Confirming these reports was especially
difficult because of the closure in February of the US Embassy as well
as the CIA station in Khartoum for security reasons.

We have read the allegations that, around this time, the Sudanese
Government offered to surrender Bin Ladin to American custody.

Mr. Chairman, CIA has no knowledge of such an offer. 
Later in 1996, it became clear that he had moved to Afghanistan. From
that safehaven, he defined himself publicly as a threat to the United
States. In a series of declarations, he made clear his hatred for
Americans and all we represent.

In July 1996, Bin Ladin described the killing of Americans in the Khobar
Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia in June 1996 as the beginning of a war
between Muslims and the United States.

One month later, in August 1996, Bin Ladin issued a religious edict or
fatwa entitled "Declaration of War," authorizing attacks against Western
military targets on the Arabian Peninsula.

In February 1998, six months prior to the US Embassy bombings in East
Africa, al-Qa'ida-under the banner of the "World Islamic Front for Jihad
Against Jews and Crusaders"-issued another fatwa stating that all
Muslims have a religious duty "to kill Americans and their allies, both
civilian and military" worldwide. 
By the time of the 1998 East Africa bombings, al-Qa'ida had established
its intention to inflict mass casualties and a modus operandi
emphasizing careful planning and exhaustive field preparations, which
Bin Ladin saw as a prerequisite for the type of spectacular operations
he had in mind.

For example, when asked in a November 1996 interview why his
organization had not yet conducted attacks in response to its August
fatwa statement, Bin Ladin replied, "If we wanted to carry out small
operations, it would have been easy to do so after the statements, but
the nature of the battle requires qualitative operations that affect the
adversary, which obviously requires good preparation." 
The East Africa bombings in August 1998 and the attack on the USS Cole
in October 2000 succeeded because of al-Qa'ida's meticulous preparation
and effective security practices.

CIA analysts looked at captured al-Qa'ida targeting studies and training
materials around the time of the East Africa and USS Cole attacks. They
published an in-depth intelligence study of al-Qa'ida's terrorist
operations that revealed that much of the terrorists' advance planning
involved careful, patient, and meticulous preparation. 
Beyond the conventional threat, we were also becoming increasingly
concerned-and therefore stepped up our warning-about al-Qa'ida's
interest in acquiring unconventional weapons, not only chemical or
biological elements, but nuclear materials as well.

In a December 1998 interview, Bin Ladin called the acquisition of these
weapons a "religious duty" and noted, "How we would use them is up to

We reported in 1998 that an extremist associated with Al-Qa'ida said Bin
Ladin was seeking a "Hiroshima."

As early as July 1993, in testimony to the House Foreign Affairs
Committee, DCI Woolsey warned of the Intelligence Community's heightened
sensitivity to the prospect that a terrorist incident could involve
weapons of mass destruction (WMD). In February 1996, in testimony to the
Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, DCI Deutch expressed his
concern about the growing lethality, sophistication, and wide-ranging
nature of the terrorist threat, and that terrorists would push this
trend to its most "awful extreme by employing weapons of mass
destruction." I made similar warnings to these committees as early as
1998, when I pointed to Bin Ladin's attempts to purchase or manufacture
biological and chemical weapons for an attack against US facilities.

CIA analysts published two in-depth assessments on al-Qa'ida's CBRN
capabilities in 1999. 
The terrorist plotting, planning, recruiting, and training that Bin
Ladin and al-Qa'ida did in the late 1990s were aided immeasurably by the
sanctuary the Taliban provided. 

Afghanistan had served as a place of refuge for international terrorists
since the 1980s. The Taliban actively aided Bin Ladin by assigning him
guards for security, permitting him to build and maintain terrorist
camps, and refusing to cooperate with efforts by the international
community to extradite him.

In return, Bin Ladin invested vast amounts of money in Taliban projects
and provided hundreds of well-trained fighters to help the Taliban
consolidate and expand their control of the country. 

While we often talk of two trends in terrorism-state-supported and
independent-in Bin Ladin's case with the Taliban we had something
completely new: a terrorist sponsoring a state. 
Afghanistan provided Bin Ladin a relatively safe operating environment
to oversee his organization's worldwide terrorist activities. 

Militants who received training there were sent afterwards to fight in
jihads in Kashmir, Chechnya, or Bosnia.

The al-Qa'ida/Taliban training camps formed the foundation of a
worldwide network by sponsoring and encouraging Islamic extremists from
diverse locations to forge long-standing ideological, logistical, and
personal ties.

Extremists in the larger camps received basic training in the use of
small arms and guerrilla tactics. In the smaller camps, militants
received more advanced and specialized training in subjects like
explosives, poisons, and assassination techniques.

Clandestine and counterintelligence tradecraft courses included basic
instruction on how to establish secure, cell-based, clandestine
organizations to support insurgencies or terrorist operations.

Indoctrination in extremist religious ideas was emphasized and included
the repetition of ideas that the United States is evil, and that the
regimes of Arab countries are not true believers in Islam and should be
overthrown as a religious duty.

Some of the Afghan camps provided the militants instruction in the
production and use of toxic chemicals and biological toxins. 
In summary, what Bin Ladin created in Afghanistan after he relocated
there in 1996 was a sophisticated adversary-as good as any that CIA has
ever operated against. 

Going to War against al-Qa'ida-"The Plan"

As the Intelligence Community improved its understanding of the threat,
and as the threat grew, we refocused and intensified our efforts to
track, disrupt, and bring the terrorists to justice. 

By 1998, the key elements of the CIA's strategy against Bin Ladin and
al-Qa'ida-inside Afghanistan and globally-placed us in a strongly
offensive posture. They included: 

Hitting al-Qa'ida's infrastructure; 

Working with foreign security services to carry out arrests; 

Disrupting and weakening UBL's businesses and finances; 

Recruiting or exposing operatives; and 

Pursuing a multi-track approach to bring Bin Ladin himself to justice,
including working with foreign services, developing a close relationship
with US federal prosecutors, increasing pressure on the Taliban, and
enhancing our capability to capture him. 
CIA's policy-and-objectives statement for the FY 1998 budget submission
to Congress-which was prepared in early 1997-reflects this determination
to go on the offensive against terrorism.

The submission outlined our Counterterrorist Center's (CTC's) offensive
operations, listing as their goals to "render the masterminds, disrupt
terrorist infrastructure, infiltrate terrorist groups, and work with
foreign partners."

It highlighted efforts to work with the FBI in a bold program to destroy
the infrastructure of major terrorist groups worldwide.

The FY 1999 submission-prepared in early 1998-continued the trend in
requesting a substantial funding increase for offensive operations
against terrorism.

The FY 2000 budget submission prepared in early 1999 described Bin Ladin
as "the most significant individual sponsor of Sunni Islamic extremist
and terrorist activity in the world today." Our FY 2000 submission noted
our use of a wide range of operational techniques, joint operations with
foreign partners, and the recruitment of well-placed agents.

Commenting on the Bin Ladin-dedicated Issue Station in CTC, the FY 2000
submission noted that, "This Station, staffed with CIA, FBI, DOD, and
NSA officers, has succeeded in identifying assets and members of Bin
Ladin's organization, and nearly 700 intelligence reports have been
disseminated about his operations." 
Despite these clear intentions, and the daring activities that went with
them, I was not satisfied that we were doing all we could against this
target. In 1998, I told key leaders at CIA and across the Intelligence
Community that we should consider ourselves "at war" with Usama Bin
Ladin. I ordered that no effort or resource be spared in prosecuting
this war. In early 1999, I ordered a baseline review of CIA's
operational strategy against Bin Ladin. 

In spring 1999, CTC produced a new comprehensive operational plan of
attack against the Bin Ladin/al-Qa'ida target inside and outside

This new strategy was previewed to senior CIA management by the end of
July 1999. By mid-September, it had been briefed to CIA operational
level personnel, and to NSA, the FBI, and other partners. 

CIA then began to put in place the elements of this operational
strategy, which structured the Agency's counterterrorist activity until
September 11th, 2001. 
This strategy-which we called "The Plan"-built on what CTC was
recognized as doing well-collection, quick reaction to operational
opportunities, renditions, disruptions, and analysis. Its priority was
plain: to capture and bring to justice Bin Ladin and his principal

The Plan included a strong and focused intelligence collection program
to track-and then act against-Bin Ladin and his associates in terrorist
sanctuaries. It was a blend of aggressive human source collection-both
unilateral and with foreign partners-and technical collection. 

To execute the Plan, CTC developed a program to select and train the
right officers and put them in the right places. We moved talented and
experienced officers into the Center. We also initiated a nation-wide
program to identify, vet and hire qualified personnel for
counterterrorist assignments in hostile environments. We sought native
fluency in the languages of the Middle East and South Asia, combined
with police, military, business, technical, or academic experience. In
addition, we established an eight-week advanced Counterterrorist
Operations Course to share the tradecraft we had developed and refined
over the years.

The parts of "the Plan" focused on Afghanistan faced some daunting
impediments (some of which would change after 9/11). For example:

The US Government had no official presence in Afghanistan, and relations
with the Taliban were seriously strained. Both factors made it more
difficult to gain access to Bin Ladin and al-Qa'ida personnel.

US policy stopped short of replacing the Taliban regime, limiting the
ability of the US Government to exert pressure on Bin Ladin.

US relations with Pakistan, the principal access point to Afghanistan,
were strained by the Pakistani nuclear tests in 1998 and the military
coup in 1999. 
Collection Profile

Despite these facts, our surge in collection operations paid off. 

Our human intelligence (HUMINT) reporting on the difficult Bin
Ladin/al-Qa'ida target increased from roughly 600 reports in 1998 to 900
reports in the first nine months of 2001.

Our HUMINT sources against the terrorism target grew by more than 50
percent between 1999 and 9/11.

Working across agencies, and in some cases with foreign services, we
designed and built several collection systems for specific use against
al-Qa'ida inside Afghanistan. 

By 9/11, a map would show that these collection programs and human
networks were in place in such numbers to nearly cover Afghanistan. This
array meant that, when the military campaign to topple the Taliban and
destroy al-Qa'ida began last October, we were able to support it with an
enormous body of information and a large stable of assets. 
The realm of human source collection frequently is divided between
"liaison reporting" (that which we get from cooperative foreign
intelligence services) and "unilateral reporting" (that which we get
from agents we run ourselves). Even before "the Plan," our vision for
HUMINT on terrorism was simple: we had to get more of both types. The
figures for both rose every year after 1998. And in 1999, for the first
time, the volume of reporting on terrorism from unilateral assets
exceeded that from liaison sources-a trend which has continued in
subsequent years.

The integration of technical and human sources has been key to our
understanding of-and our actions against-international terrorism. It was
this combination-this integration-that allowed us years ago to confirm
the existence of numerous al-Qa'ida facilities and training camps in

On a virtually daily basis, analysts and collection officers from NSA,
NIMA, and CIA came together to interactively employ satellite imagery,
communications information, and human source reporting. 

This integration also supported military targeting operations prior to
September 11, including the cruise missile attack against the al-Qa'ida
training camp complex in northeastern Afghanistan in August 1998. In
addition, it helped to provide baseline data for the US Central
Command's target planning against al-Qa'ida facilities and
infrastructure throughout Afghanistan. 
Countering Al-Qa'ida's Global Presence

Even while targeting UBL and al-Qa'ida in their Afghan lair, we did not
ignore its cells of terror spread across the globe. Especially in
periods of peak threat reporting, we accelerated our work to shake up
and destroy al-Qa'ida cells wherever we could find them.

This took resources-operations officers, desk officers, analysts,
translators - throughout the Intelligence Community and law enforcement

We also mobilized intelligence services around the globe. 
By 1999, the intensive nature of our operations was disrupting elements
of Bin Ladin's international infrastructure. We believe that our efforts
dispelled al-Qa'ida's impression that it could organize and operate with
impunity. Our operations sent the message that the United States was not
only going after al-Qa'ida for crimes it had committed, but also was
actively seeking out and pursuing terrorists from al-Qa'ida and other
groups engaged in planning future attacks whenever and wherever we could
find them. 

By 11 September, CIA (in many cases with the FBI) had rendered 70
terrorists to justice around the world. 

During the Millennium threat period, we told senior policymakers to
expect between five and fifteen attacks, both here and overseas. The CIA
overseas and the FBI in the US organized an aggressive, integrated
campaign to disrupt al-Qaida using human assets, technical operations,
and the hand-off of foreign intelligence to facilitate FISA court

Over a period of months, there was close, daily consultation that
included Director Freeh, the National Security Adviser, and the Attorney
General. We identified 36 additional terrorist agents at the time around
the world. We pursued operations against them in 50 countries. Our
disruption activities succeeded against 21 of these individuals, and
included arrests, renditions, detentions, surveillance, and direct

We assisted the Jordanian government in dealing with terrorist cells
that planned to attack religious sites and tourist hotels. We helped
track down the organizers of these attacks and helped render them to

We mounted disruption and arrest operations against terrorists in 8
countries on four continents, which also netted information that allowed
us to track down even more suspected terrorists.

During this same period, unrelated to the Millennium threats, we
conducted multiple operations in East Asia, leading to the arrest or
detention of 45 members of the Hizballah network.

In the months after the Millennium experience-in October 2000-we lost a
serious battle, when USS Cole was bombed and 17 brave American sailors
The efforts of American intelligence to strike back at a deadly enemy
continued through the Ramadan period in the winter of 2000, another
phase of peak threat reporting. 

Terrorist cells planning attacks against US and foreign military and
civilian targets in the Persian Gulf region were broken up, capturing
hundreds of pounds of explosives and other weapons-including
anti-aircraft missiles. These operations also netted proof that some
Islamic charitable organizations had been either hijacked or created to
provide support to terrorists operating in other countries.

We succeeded in bringing a major Bin Ladin terrorist facilitator to
justice with the cooperation of two foreign governments. This individual
had provided documents and shelter to terrorists traveling through the
Arabian Peninsula.

We worked with numerous European governments, such as the Italians,
Germans, French, and British to identify and shatter terrorist groups
and plans against American and local interests in Europe. 
Fusion and Sharing-the Intelligence Community and Law Enforcement

Taking the fight to Bin Ladin and al-Qa'ida was not just a matter of
mobilizing CTC, or even CIA. This was an interagency-and
international-effort. Two things which are critical to this effort are:
fusion and sharing.

The Counterterrorist Center (CTC) at CIA was created in 1986 to enable
the fusion of all sources of information in a single, action-oriented
unit. Not only do we fuse every source of reporting on terrorists from
US and foreign collectors, we also fuse analysis and operations. This
fusion gives us the speed that we must have to seize fleeting
opportunities in the shadowy world of terrorism. Based on this proven
philosophy, by 2001 the Center had more than 30 officers from more than
a dozen agencies on board, ten percent of its staff complement at that

No matter how much is fused within CTC, no matter how large CTC may be,
there are still key counterterrorist players outside it, making the
sharing of knowledge essential. Interview anyone in CTC, and he or she
will likely tell you of work they are doing with counterparts across
CIA-especially in the field-or with NSA, NIMA, FBI, or today with a
Special Forces unit in Kandahar or Bagram. 
It is also clear that, when errors occur-when we miss information or
opportunities-it is often because our sharing and fusion are not as
strong as they need to be. Communication across bureaucracies, missions,
and cultures is among our most persistent challenges in the fast-paced,
high-pressure environment of counterterrorism. I will return to this
issue later in my testimony when I present some prescriptions for the

One of the most critical alliances in the war against terrorism is that
between CIA and FBI. This alliance in the last few years has produced
achievements that simply would not have been possible if some of the
recent media stories of all-out feuding were true.

An FBI officer has been serving as deputy to the Chief of CTC since the
mid-1990s, and FBI reciprocated by making a CIA officer deputy in the
Bureau's Counter-Terrorist Division.

In the Bin Ladin Issue Station itself, FBI officers were detailed there
soon after it opened in 1996, with the presence growing to four officers
by September 2001. 
There are abundant examples of close FBI-CIA partnership in

After the first World Trade Center bombing, FBI headed the investigation
and CTC created an interagency task force to develop intelligence leads
for the FBI. At FBI request, CIA obtained intelligence from a foreign
service on Ramzi Yousef, who subsequently was convicted for the attack.

After we received a rash of reports in 1998 threatening attacks in the
United States, CIA worked together with FBI to provide advisories for
local law enforcement agencies. One such episode occurred when CIA
provided reporting of a plot to hijack a plane on the east coast of the
United States to attempt to free the "Blind Shaykh" from prison. The
report also said that there had been a successful test to elude security
at a major airport. 

Also in 1998, FBI and CIA worked closely in the wake of the East Africa
bombings to disrupt a planned attack on another U.S. Embassy in Africa.
In a three-day period, more than 20 al-Qa'ida operatives were arrested
in that country. 
Of course, the relationship is not perfect, and frictions occasionally
arise. A 1994 CIA Inspector General report noted that interactions
between the two organizations were too personality dependent. This has
been particularly so when the two were pursuing different missions in
the same case: FBI trying to develop a case for courtroom prosecution,
and CIA trying to develop intelligence to assess and counter a threat. 

In 2001 (before 9/11), the CIA IG found significant improvement, citing,
for example, the Center's assistance to the FBI in two dozen renditions
in 1999-2000. 

Director Freeh and I worked on this very hard. We had quarterly meetings
of our senior leadership teams. Through training and other means,
coordination between our Chiefs of Station overseas and legal attaches
was significantly improved. Today, Bob Mueller and I are working to
deepen our cooperation, not only at headquarters, but in the field. We
both understand that despite different missions and cultures, we need to
build a system of seamless cooperation that is institutionalized. 
Increasing the difficulty of inter-agency communications is an
unfortunate phenomenon known as "the Wall." It has been mentioned before
in these hearings-the complex system of laws and rules (and perceptions
about them) that impede the flow of information between the arenas of
intelligence and criminal prosecution. The "Wall" slows and sometimes
stops the flow of information-something we simply cannot afford. The
Patriot Act has helped alleviate this.

Runup to 9/11-Our Operations
The third period of peak threat was in the spring and summer 2001. As
with the Millennium and Ramadan 2000, we increased the tempo of our
operations against al-Qa'ida. We stopped some attacks and caused the
terrorists to postpone others. 

We helped to break up another terrorist cell in Jordan and seized a
large quantity of weapons, including rockets and high explosives. 

Working with another foreign partner, we broke up a plan to attack US
facilities in Yemen.

In June, CIA worked with a Middle Eastern partner to arrest two Bin
Ladin operatives planning attacks on US facilities in Saudi Arabia. 

In June and July, CIA launched a wide-ranging disruption effort against
Bin Ladin's organization, with targets in almost two-dozen countries.
Our intent was to drive up Bin Ladin's security concerns and lead his
organization to delay or cancel its attacks. We subsequently received
reporting that attacks were delayed, including an attack against the US
military in Europe. 

In July, a different Middle East partner helped bring about the
detention of a terrorist who had been directed to begin an operation to
attack the US Embassy or cultural center in European capital. 

Also in the summer of 2001, local authorities, acting on our
information, arrested an operative described as Bin Ladin's man in East

We assisted another foreign partner in the rendition of a senior Bin
Ladin associate. Information he provided included plans to kidnap
Americans in three countries, and carry out hijackings. 

We provided intelligence to a Latin American service on a band of
terrorists considering hijackings and bombings. An FBI team detected
explosives residue in their hotel rooms. 
Runup to 9/11-the Watchlist Issue

During the period of the Millennium threats, one of our operations, and
one of our mistakes, occurred during our accelerating efforts against
Bin Ladin's organization-when we glimpsed two of the individuals who
later became 9/11 hijackers, Khalid al- Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi. 

In December 1999, CIA, FBI, and the Department of State received
intelligence on the travels of suspected al-Qa'ida operatives to Kuala
Lumpur, Malaysia. CIA saw the Kuala Lumpur gathering as a potential
source of intelligence about a possible al-Qa'ida attack in Southeast
Asia. We initiated an operation to learn why those suspected terrorists
were traveling to Kuala Lumpur. Khalid and Nawaf were among those
travelers, although at the time we knew nothing more about them except
that Khalid had been at a suspected al-Qa'ida logistics facility in
Yemen. We arranged to have them surveilled. 

In early January 2000, we managed to obtain a photocopy of al-Mihdhar's
passport as he traveled to Kuala Lumpur. It showed a US multiple-entry
visa issued in Jeddah on 7 April 1999 and expiring on 6 April 2000. We
learned that his full name is Khalid bin Muhammad bin 'Abdallah

We had at that point the level of detail needed to watchlist him-that
is, to nominate him to State Department for refusal of entry into the US
or to deny him another visa. Our officers remained focused on the
surveillance operation, and did not do this.

At this early stage, the first days of January 2000, CIA briefed the
FBI, informally, about the surveillance operation in Kuala Lumpur. We
noted in an internal CIA communication on 5 January 2000 that we had
passed a copy of al-Mihdhar's passport-with its US visa-to the FBI for
further investigation. A CTC officer at the FBI wrote an e-mail in
January 2000 reporting that he briefed FBI officers on the surveillance
operation, noting suspicious activity but no evidence of an impending

The relative importance of al-Mihdhar and al-Hazmi at this time should
be kept in perspective. Neither al-Mihdhar nor al-Hazmi at the time of
their travel to Kuala Lumpur were identified as key al-Qa'ida members or
associates. Thus, at this point, their significance to us was that they
might lead us to others or to threat information. During this period
when all CIA facilities were involved in dealing with the Millennium
Threat, there was particular CTC focus on three separate groups of
al-Qa'ida personnel:

Those known to have been already involved in a terrorist attack such as
the East Africa embassy bombings, or suspected of being involved in
planning a reported attack (e.g., East Africa embassy bombing suspect
Abdul Rahman al-Muhajir);

Senior al-Qa'ida personnel outside Afghanistan known to be directors or
coordinators of terrorist operations, or senior money couriers, liaison
officers or manipulators of NGO's and businesses supporting terrorist
groups (e.g., terrorist operational planner Abu Zubaydah); and

Senior al-Qa'ida personnel inside Afghanistan, particularly those close
to Bin Ladin who might know of his attack or travel plans (e.g., Bin
Ladin deputy Muhammad Atef). 
Surveillance began with the arrival of Khalid al-Mihdhar on 5 January
2000, and ended on 8 January, when he left Kuala Lumpur. Surveillance
indicated that the behavior of the individuals was consistent with
clandestine activity-they did not conduct any business or tourist
activities while in Kuala Lumpur, and they used public telephones and
cyber cafes exclusively.

Other individuals were also positively identified by the surveillance

Later in 2001 an individual was identified as Saeed Muhammad Bin Yousaf
(aka Khallad), who became a key planner in the October 2000 USS Cole
bombing. Because of his later connection with the Cole bombing and other
serious plotting, we believe he was the most important figure to attend
the Kuala Lumpur meeting.

Another individual identified by surveillance was Malaysian citizen
Ahmad Sajuli Abdul Rahman. During the period, 6-8 January, Sajuli took
the al-Qa'ida visitors around Kuala Lumpur. Two years later, Sajuli has
been arrested and has admitted being part of the logistics unit for
Jemaah Islamiah, an affiliate of al-Qa'ida. 

Yazid Sufaat, a Malaysian chemist who, it was later determined, was
directed by a terrorist leader to make his apartment available to the
al-Qa'ida operatives. He is now under arrest. 

Sufaat's name would later be connected to that of Zacarias Moussaoui.

To this day, we still do not know what was discussed at the Kuala Lumpur
meeting. Al-Mihdhar and al-Hazmi remained there a few days. On 8 January
2000, they traveled to another Southeast Asian country with Khallad. We
learned in March 2000 that al-Hazmi flew from that country to Los
Angeles on January 15, 2000. We did not learn that al-Midhar was on the
same flight until August, 2001. 

Our receipt of the information in March should have triggered the
thought to watchlist al-Hazmi, but no CTC officer recalls even having
seen the cable on his travel to LA when it arrived. 
Al-Mihdhar departed the US on 10 June 2000 and obtained a new passport
and US visa, possibly for operational security reasons. Al-Mihdhar
applied for this new US visa in Jeddah in 13 June and stated that he had
never traveled to the US before. On 4 July 2001, he returned to the US,
entering in New York. 

During August 2001, CIA had become increasingly concerned about a major
terrorist attack on US interests, and I directed a review of our files
to identify potential threats. CTC reviewed its holdings on al-Mihdhar
because of his connections to other terrorists. In the course of that
review, CTC found that al-Mihdhar and al-Hazmi had entered the US on 15
January 2000. It determined that al-Mihdhar departed the US on 10 June
2000 and reentered on 4 July 2001. CTC found no record of al-Hazmi's
departure from the US. 

On 23 August, CIA sent a message-marked "immediate"-to the Department of
State, INS, Customs, and the FBI requesting to enter al-Mihdhar and
al-Hazmi, Bin Ladin-related individuals, into VISA/VIPER, TIPOFF and
TECS. The message said that CIA recommends that al-Mihdhar and al-Hazmi
be watchlisted immediately. 
There are at least two points before August 2001 when these individuals
were on our scope with sufficient information to have been watchlisted.
During the intense operations to thwart the Millennium and Ramadan
threats, the watchlist task in the case of these two al-Qaida operatives
slipped through. The error exposed a weakness in our internal training
and an inconsistent understanding of watchlist thresholds. Corrective
steps have been taken.

The CIA and the State Department are cooperating to transform the TIPOFF
all-source watchlist into a National Watchlist Center. This center will
serve as the point of contact and coordination for all watchlists in the
US Government. 

We have increased managerial review of the system to reduce the chance
that watchlist opportunities will be missed in the crush of other urgent

We have designed a database and assembled a team to consolidate
information on the identities of known and suspected terrorists, and to
flag any that has not been passed to the proper audience.

We have lowered the threshold for nominating individuals for the
watchlist and clarified that threshold for our officers

We have lowered the threshold for dissemination of information that used
to be held closely as "operational." 
These corrective steps notwithstanding, we must not underestimate our
enemies' capabilities. 

We know that the plot was extremely resilient.

We know that al-Qa'ida deliberately chose young men who had no record of
affiliation with terrorist activities; 17 of the 19 hijackers were clean
in this respect.

We know that al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar tried to become pilots but
abandoned the effort because of poor technical and English language
skills. By the end of 2000, a replacement pilot for Flight 77, Hani
Hanjur, was in the United States.

We know that Ramzi bin Al-Shib tried on multiple occasions to get into
the US and failed, and yet the plot continued.

Finally, we know that Zacarias Moussaoui was arrested but refused to
provide information on the plot. 
Runup to 9/11-the Warning Issue

In the months leading up to 9/11, we were convinced Bin Ladin meant to
attack Americans, meant to kill large numbers, and that the attack could
be at home, abroad, or both. And we reported these threats urgently. 

Our collection sources "lit up" during this tense period. They indicated
that multiple spectacular attacks were planned, and that some of these
plots were in the final stages. 

Some of the reporting implicated known al-Qaida operatives. 

The reports suggested that the targets were American, although some
reporting simply pointed to the West or Israel.

But the reporting was maddeningly short on actionable details. The most
ominous reporting, hinting at something large, was also the most vague.
The only occasions in this reporting where there was a geographic
context, either explicit or implicit, it appeared to point abroad,
especially to the Middle East. 

By long established doctrine, we disseminated these raw reports
immediately and widely to policymakers and action agencies such as the
military, State Department, the FAA, FBI, Department of Transportation,
the INS, and others. 

This reporting, by itself, stood as a dramatic warning of imminent
Our analysts worked to find linkages among the reports, as well as links
to past terrorist threats and tactics. We considered whether al-Qa'ida
was feeding us this reporting-trying to create panic through
disinformation-yet we concluded that the plots were real. When some
reporting hinted that an attack had been delayed, we continued to stress
that there were, indeed, multiple attacks planned and that several
continued on track. And when we grew concerned that so much of the
evidence pointed to attacks overseas, we noted that Bin Ladin's
principal ambition had long been to strike our homeland. Nevertheless
with specific regard to the 9/11 plot, we never acquired the level of
detail that allowed us to translate our strategic concerns into
something we could act on. 

The Intelligence Community Counterterrorism Board also issued several
threat advisories during the summer 2001. These advisories-the fruit of
painstaking analytical work-contained phrases like "al-Qa'ida is most
likely to attempt spectacular attacks resulting in numerous casualties,"
and "al-Qa'ida is prepared to mount one or more terrorist attacks at any

A sign that our warnings were being heard-both from our analysis and
from the raw intelligence we disseminated-was that the FAA issued two
alerts to air carriers in the summer of 2001. 

Our warnings complemented strategic warnings we had been delivering for
years about the real threat of terrorism to America.

Recall, Mr. Chairman, my testimony in open session before your committee
on February 2, 1999 when I told you "there is not the slightest doubt
that Usama Bin Ladin, his worldwide allies, and his sympathizers are
planning further attacks against us." I told you "he will strike
wherever in the world he thinks we are vulnerable" and that we were
"concerned that one or more of Bin Ladin's attacks could occur at any

In February 2000, I testified in open session that, "Everything we have
learned recently confirms our conviction that (UBL) wants to strike
further blows against America" and that he could strike "without
additional warning." 

Again in 2001 I told you that "terrorists are seeking out 'softer'
targets that provide opportunities for mass casualties" and that Bin
Ladin is "capable of planning multiple attacks with little or no

In a National Intelligence Estimates in 1995 we warned, "As an open and
free democracy, the United States is particularly vulnerable to various
types of terrorist attacks. Several kinds of targets are especially at
risk: National symbols such as the White House and the Capitol, and
symbols of US capitalism such as Wall Street; power grids,
communications switches, water facilities, and transportation
infrastructure-particularly civil aviation, subway systems, cruise
lines, and petroleum pipelines; places where large numbers of people
congregate, such as large office buildings, shopping centers, sports
arenas, and airport and other transportation terminals." 

The same estimate also said, "We assess that civil aviation will figure
prominently among possible terrorist targets in the United States. This
stems from the increasing domestic threat posed by foreign terrorists,
the continuing appeal of civil aviation as a target, and a domestic
aviation security system that has been the focus of media attention: We
have evidence that individuals linked to terrorist groups or state
sponsors have attempted to penetrate security at US airports in recent
years. The media have called attention to, among other things,
inadequate security for checked baggage. Our review of the evidence
obtained thus far about the plot uncovered in Manila in early 1995,
suggests the conspirators were guided in their selection of the method
and venue of attack by carefully studying security procedures in place
in the region. If terrorists operating in this country are similarly
methodical, they will identify serious vulnerabilities in the security
system for domestic flights." 

In a National Intelligence Estimate in 1997, we said "Civil aviation
remains a particularly attractive target for terrorist attacks in light
of the fear and publicity the downing of an airliner would evoke and the
revelations last summer of the vulnerability of the US air transport
Message Received

In February 1997, the White House Commission on Aviation Safety and
Security reported that:

"The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Central Intelligence Agency,
and other intelligence sources have been warning that the threat of
terrorism is changing in two important ways. First, it is no longer just
an overseas threat from foreign terrorists. People and places in the
United States have joined the list of targets, and Americans have joined
the ranks of terrorists. The bombings of the World Trade Center in New
York and the Federal Building in Oklahoma City are clear examples of the
shift, as is the conviction of Ramzi Yousef for attempting to bomb
twelve American airliners out of the sky over the Pacific Ocean. The
second change is that in addition to well-known, established terrorist
groups, it is becoming more common to find terrorists working alone or
in ad-hoc groups, some of whom are not afraid to die in carrying out
their designs."

In its publication, "Criminal Acts against Civil Aviation 2000, " the
FAA stated:

"Although Bin Ladin is not known to have attacked civil aviation, he has
both the motivation and the wherewithal to do so. Bin Ladin's
anti-Western and anti-American attitudes make him and his followers a
significant threat to civil aviation, especially U.S. civil aviation."

In discussing the plot by convicted World Trade Center bomber Ramzi
Yousef to place explosive devices on as many as 12 U.S. airliners flying
out of the Far East, the FAA's report points out that at least one other
accused participant in the conspiracy remains at large, and 

"There are concerns that this individual or others of Yousef's ilk who
may possess similar skills pose a continuing threat to civil aviation
interests - Increased awareness and vigilance are necessary to deter
future incidents - be they from terrorists or non-terrorists. It is
important to do the utmost to prevent such acts rather than to lower
security measures by interpreting the statistics as indicating a
decreasing threat."

We have heard the allegation that our analysts erred by not explicitly
warning that hijacked aircraft might be used as weapons. Your staff has
been given access to over half a million pages of documents and
interviewed hundreds of intelligence officials in their efforts to
investigate this complex issue. The documents we provided show some 12
reports, spread over seven years, which pertain to possible use of
aircraft as weapons in terrorist attacks. 

We disseminated those reports to the appropriate agencies-such as the
FAA, Department of Transportation, and FBI-as they came in. Moreover, we
also provided sanitized versions of intelligence reports that were about
threats to civil aviation so they could be distributed more widely
through the airline industry. 

But if one goes back and collects the reports over the same period that
pertained to possible truck bombs, car bombs, assassinations,
kidnappings, or attacks using chemical, biological, radiological or
nuclear devices, those lists would have been far longer. A quick scan of
such reporting since 1996, for example, showed about 20 times as many
reports concerning car bombs and about five times as many reports
concerning weapons of mass destruction. 
To evaluate our work on al-Qa'ida before 9/11 objectively, it is
essential that you look at three issues: global geopolitical issues we
were grappling with - including counterterrorism; resource changes
throughout the 1990s that affected our ability to fight the
counterterrorism fight; and the overall health of US intelligence during
this period. It is simply not enough to look at al-Qa'ida in isolation. 

The last decade saw a number of conflicting and competing trends:
military forces deployed to more locations than ever in our nation's
history; a growing counterproliferation and counterterrorism threat;
constant tensions in the Mid East and, to deal with these and a host of
other issues, far fewer intelligence dollars and manpower. At the end of
the Cold War, the Intelligence Community, like much of the National
Security Community, was asked by both Congress and successive
Administrations to pay the price of the "peace dividend." 

The cost of the "peace dividend" was that during the 1990s our
Intelligence community funding declined in real terms - reducing our
buying power by tens of billions of dollars over the decade. We lost
nearly one in four of our positions. This loss of manpower was
devastating, particularly in our two most manpower intensive activities:
all-source analysis and human source collection. By the mid-1990s,
recruitment of new CIA analysts and case officers had come to a virtual
halt. NSA was hiring no new technologists during the greatest
information technology change in our lifetimes. It is absolutely
essential that we understand that both Congress and the Executive Branch
for most of the decade embraced the idea that we could "surge" our
resources to deal with emerging intelligence challenges, including
threats from terrorism. And surge we did. 

As I "declared war" against al-Qa'ida in 1998 - which was in the
aftermath of the East Africa embassy bombings - we were in our fifth
year of round-the-clock support to Operation Southern Watch in Iraq.

Just three months earlier, we were embroiled in answering questions on
the India and Pakistan nuclear tests and trying to determine how we
could surge more people to understanding and countering weapons of mass
destruction proliferation.

In early 1999, we surged more than 800 analysts and redirected
collection assets from across the Intelligence Community to support the
NATO bombing campaign against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. 
During this time of increased military operations around the globe, the
Defense Department was also reducing its tactical intelligence units and
funding. This caused the Intelligence Community to stretch our
capabilities to the breaking point - because national systems were
covering the gaps in tactical intelligence. It is always our policy to
give top priority to supporting military operations. 

While we grappled with this multitude of high priority, overlapping
crises, we had no choice but to modernize selective intelligence systems
and infrastructure in which we'd deferred necessary investments while we
downsized - or we would have found ourselves out of business. We had a
vivid example of the cost of deferring investments a few years ago when
NSA lost all communications between the headquarters and its field
stations and we were unable to process any of that information for
several days. We have a more current example of the cost of deferred
investments today as we struggle to recapitalize our aging satellite
constellation - another "return" on the peace dividend, given that
conscious decisions to accept risk and defer replacing these systems
were made in the mid-1990s. At the same time, we added the National
Imagery and Mapping Agency to the Intelligence Community along with
enormous funding shortfalls required to merge and modernize its
geospatial and imagery functions. 

Throughout the Intelligence Community during this period we made
difficult resource reallocation decisions to try to rebuild critical
mission areas affected by the funding cuts. For example,

In CIA we launched a program to rebuild our Clandestine Service. This
meant overhauling our recruitment and training practices and our
infrastructure. We launched similar initiatives to rebuild our analytic
depth and expertise, and to re-acquire our leading edge in technology.
Although we will not be given credit for these efforts in the war on
terrorism, they most assuredly contributed to that effort. 

NSA made the hard decision to cut additional positions to free up pay
and benefit dollars to patch critical infrastructure problems and to
modestly attempt to capitalize on the technology revolution. 
But with the al-Qa'ida threat growing more ominous, and with our
resources devoted to countering it clearly inadequate, we began taking
money and people away from other critical areas to improve our efforts
against terrorism. 

Despite the resource reductions and the enormous competing demands for
our attention, we managed to triple Intelligence Community-wide funding
for counterterrorism from fiscal year 1990 to 1999. The Counterterrorism
Center's resources nearly quadrupled in that same period. As your own
Joint Inquiry Staff charts show, we had significantly reallocated both
dollars and people inside our programs to work the terrorism problem.
This inquiry has singled out CIA resources specifically and I want to
address it specifically.

>From a budget perspective, the last part of the 1990s reflects CIA's
efforts to shift to a wartime footing against terrorism. CIA's budget
had declined 18 percent in real terms during the decade and we suffered
a loss of 16 percent of our personnel. Yet in the midst of that stark
resource picture, CIA's funding level for counterterrorism just prior to
9/11 was more than 50 percent above our FY 1997 level. CTC personnel
increased by over 60% for that same period. The CIA consistently
reallocated and sought additional resources for this fight. In fact, in
1994, the budget request for counterterrorism activities equaled less
than four percent of the total CIA program. In the FY 2002 CIA budget
request we submitted prior to 9/11, counterterrorism activities
constituted almost 10 percent of the budget request. During a period of
budget stringency when we were faced with rebuilding essential
intelligence capabilities, I had to make some tough choices. Although
resources for virtually everything else in CIA was going down,
counterterrorism resources were going up. 

But after the US embassies in Africa were bombed, we knew that neither
surging our resources nor internal realignments were sufficient to fund
a war on terrorism. So in the fall of 1998, I asked the Administration
to increase intelligence funding by more than $2.0 billion annually for
fiscal years 2000-2005 and I made similar requests for FY 2001-2005 and
FY 2002-2007. Only small portions of these requests were approved.
Counterterrorism funding and manpower needs were number one on every
list I provided to Congress and the Administration and, indeed, it was
at the top of the funding list approved by Speaker Gingrich in FY1999,
the first year in which we received a significant infusion of new money
for US intelligence capabilities during the decade of the 90s. 

That supplemental and those that followed it, that you supplied, were
essential to our efforts - they helped save American lives. But we knew
that we could not count on supplemental funds to build multi-year
programs and that's why we worked so hard to reallocate our resources
and to seek five year funding increases. Many of you on this Committee
and the Appropriations Committees understood this problem very well. You
were enormously helpful to us. And we are grateful. 

I want to conclude with a couple of comments about manpower. In CIA
alone, I count the equivalent of 700 officers working counterterrorism
in August 2001 at both headquarters and in the field. That number does
not include the people who were working to penetrate either technically
or through human sources a multitude of threat targets from which we
could derive intelligence on terrorists. Nor does it include friendly
liaison services and coalition partners. You simply cannot gauge the
level of effort by counting only the people who had the words
"al-Qa'ida" or "bin Ladin" in their position description. 

We reallocated all the people we could given the demands placed on us
for intelligence on a number of the highest priority issues like
chemical, nuclear and biological proliferation and support to
operational military forces, and we surged thousands of people to fight
this fight when the threat was highest. But when we realized surging
wasn't sufficient, we began a sustained drumbeat both within the
Administration and here on the Hill that we had to have more people and
money devoted to this fight. 

We can argue for the rest of the day about the exact number of people we
had working this problem but what we never said, was that the numbers we
had were enough. Our officers told your investigators that they were
always shorthanded. They were right. America may never know the names of
those officers, but America should know they are heroes. They worked
tirelessly for years to combat bin Ladin and al-Qa'ida and have
responded to the challenge of combating terrorism all during this time,
with remarkable intensity. Their dedication, professionalism and
creativity stopped many al-Qa'ida plots in their tracks - they saved
countless American lives. Most of them are still in this fight - are
essential to this fight - and they honor us by their continued service. 

Thanks to the last two emergency supplementals and the Administration's
FY03 budget request, which both Houses approved during the past week, we
have begun to move aggressively to reverse the funding shortfalls that
have had such an impact on the nation's intelligence capabilities. But
we have hardly scratched the surface in our efforts to recover from the
manpower reductions, and we cannot reconstitute overnight the cadre of
seasoned case officers and assets overseas, or the expert team of
analysts we've lost. It will take many more years to recover from the
capabilities we lost during the resource decline of the 1990s. 


Success against the terrorist target must be measured against all
elements of our nation's capabilities, policies and will. The
intelligence community and the FBI are important parts of the equation,
but by no means the only parts. We need a national, integrated strategy
in our fight against terrorism that incorporates both offense and
defense. The strategy must be based on three pillars:

Continued relentless effort to penetrate terrorist groups, whether by
human or technical means, whether alone or in partnership with others. 

Second, intelligence, military, law enforcement, and diplomacy must stay
on the offense continually against terrorism around the world. We must
disrupt and destroy the terrorists' operational chain of command and
momentum, deny them sanctuary anywhere and eliminate their sources of
financial and logistical support. 
Nothing did more for our ability to combat terrorism than the
President's decision to send us into the terrorist's sanctuary. By going
in massively, we were able to change the rules for the terrorists. Now
they are the hunted. Now they have to spend most of their time worrying
about their survival. Al-Qa'ida must never again acquire a sanctuary. 

Third, on defense, we need systematic security improvements to protect
our country's people and infrastructure and create a more difficult
operating environment for terrorists. The objective is to understand our
vulnerabilities better than the terrorist do, take action to reduce
those vulnerabilities, to increase the costs and risks for terrorists to
operate in the United States and, over time, make those costs
unacceptable to them.

We have learned an important historic lesson: We can no longer race from
threat to threat, resolve it, disrupt it and then move on. Targets at
risk remain at risk. 

In 1993, the first attack on the World Trade Center did, in comparative
terms, modest damage. A plot around the same time to attack New York
City tunnels and landmarks was broken up. We all breathed a sigh of
relief and moved on, focusing the effort mostly on bringing perpetrators
to justice. The terrorists came back.

At the Millennium, a young terrorist panicked at a Canada-US border
crossing and his plan to attack an airport in Los Angeles was exposed
and thwarted. We breathed another sigh of relief and prepared for his
trial. Al Qa'ida's plan has only been delayed.

Last winter, another young terrorist on an airliner ineptly tried to
detonate explosives in his shoes and was stopped by alert crew and
passengers. At this point, we're smarter-we started checking everyone's
shoes for explosives. It is not nearly enough. 

In the last year, we have gone on high alert several times for good
reason, only to have no attack occur. We all breathed a sigh of relief
and thought, "maybe it was a false alarm." It wasn't.

We must design systems that reduce both the chances of an attack getting
through and its impact if it does. We must address both the threat and
our vulnerability. We must not allow ourselves to mentally "move on"
while this enemy is still at large. 
I strongly support the President's proposal to create a Department of
Homeland Security. The nation very much needs the single focus that this
department will bring to homeland security. We have a foreign
intelligence community and law enforcement agencies, but we have not had
a cohesive body responsible and empowered for homeland security. The
President's proposal closes that gap while building bridges between all
three communities.

The Department's most important role will be to correlate threat
warnings and assessments about evolving terrorist strategies with a
fine-grained understanding of the vulnerabilities of all sectors of the
homeland and translate that into a system of protection for the people
and infrastructure of the United States. 
While the Department will be vital to our homeland defense, the most
valued resource for our work against terrorism has always been and will
forever be our people. 

Moving from this necessary organizational change, I cannot emphasize
enough our overwhelming need to recruit and train the intelligence
officers we need to win this war.

Terrorists have a tactical advantage. They can pick and choose any
target they please, who are willing to sacrifice their lives, and who
don't care how many innocents they hurt or kill have tactical advantage.
Developing the intelligence to combat them is manpower intensive. With
the personnel we have invested in counterterrorism today, we can do much
more than we could before 9/11, but more are still needed. I remind you
that we lost nearly 1-in-4 of our positions since the end of the Cold

Our people also need better ways to communicate. Moreover, we also need
systems that enable us to share critical information quickly across
bureaucratic boundaries. Systems to put our intelligence in front of
those who need it wherever they may be, whatever their specific
responsibilities for protecting the American people from the threat of
terrorist attack. That means we must move information in ways and to
places it has never before had to move. We are improving our
collaborative systems. We need to improve our multiple communications
links-both within the Intelligence Community and now in the Homeland
Security community as well. Building, maintaining, and constantly
updating this system will require a massive, sustained budget infusion,
separate from our other resource needs.

Now, more than ever before, we need to make sure our customers get from
us exactly what they need - which generally means exactly what they want
- fast and free of unnecessary restrictions. Chiefs of police across the
country express understandable frustration at what they do not know. But
there's something else: Intelligence officers in the federal government
want to get their hands on locally collected data. Each could often use
what the other may already have collected. The proposed Department of
Homeland Security will help develop this vertical sharing of
information. So, too, will the Intelligence Community's experience in
supporting our armed forces. We're going to have to put that experience
to work in "supporting the mayor." We don't have the luxury of an

One last point with regard to our human talent. As critical as terrorism
is, our people will not concentrate solely on counterterrorism. Even in
the last year, when national attention was focused on terror, other
events occurred which demanded the attention of experienced intelligence
officers. The risk of an Indian-Pakistani war and the deterioration of
the situation in the Mid East are just two examples. The Intelligence
Community must keep skilled, experienced officers on all such issues. 


Our effectiveness has increased since September 11, and the Intelligence
Community will continue to pursue a strategy of bringing the war to the

But in the counterterrorism business there is no such thing as 100
percent success-there will never be.

Some of what terrorists plan and do will remain hidden. The al Qa'ida
practice is to keep their most lethal plots within a small, tightly knit
group of fanatics. This is not an impossible target, but it is among our

Total success against such targets is impossible. Some attackers will
continue to get through us. 

It may be comforting on occasion to think that if we could find the one
process that went wrong, then we could remedy that failing and return to
the sense of safety we enjoyed prior to 9/11. The reality is that we
were vulnerable to suicidal terrorist attacks and we remain vulnerable
to them today. That is not a pleasant fact for Americans to live with,
but it is the case. There are no easy fixes. We will continue to look
incisively at our own processes and to listen to others in an ongoing
effort to do our jobs better. But we must also be honest with ourselves
and with the public about the world in which we live.

The fight against international terrorism will be long and difficult.

It will require the patience and diligence that the President has asked

It will require resources-sustained over a multi-year period-to
re-capitalize our intelligence infrastructure on a pace that matches the
changing technical and operational environment we face.

It will also require countries that have previously ignored the problem
of terrorism or refused to cooperate with us to step up and choose
It will require all of us across the government to follow the example of
the American people after September 11 - to come together, to work as a
team, and pursue our mission with unyielding dedication and unrelenting
fidelity to our highest ideals. We owe those who died on September 11
and all Americans no less.

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