A Review of the FBI's Handling of Intelligence Information Related to the September 11 Attacks

Special Report
(November 2004), Released Publicly June 2006
Office of the Inspector General

Table of Contents


  1. Introduction
  2. OIG investigation
  3. Organization of the OIG report


  1. Introduction
    1. Introduction to international terrorism
    2. The FBI’s role in protecting against international terrorism

  2. The FBI’s organizational structure with respect to international terrorism
    1. Counterterrorism Program
      1. Organization of the Counterterrorism Division
      2. Management of counterterrorism cases at FBI Headquarters
    2. Field offices and counterterrorism investigations
    3. The Department’s Office of Intelligence Policy and Review

  3. The wall between intelligence and criminal terrorism investigations
    1. Introduction
      1. The “primary purpose” standard
      2. Institutional divide between criminal and intelligence investigations
      3. The Ames case and concerns about the primary purpose standard
      4. The 1995 Procedures
      5. Additional restrictions on sharing intelligence information
      6. Reports evaluating the impact of the 1995 Procedures
    2. FISA Court’s concern about accuracy of FISA applications
      1. Errors in FISA applications
      2. FISA Court’s new requirements regarding the wall
      3. Additional FISA errors and DOJ OPR’s investigation
    3. Deputy Attorney General Thompson’s August 2001 memorandum
    4. The impact of the wall
    5. Changes to the wall after September 11, 2001

  4. The process for obtaining a FISA warrant
    1. Legal requirements for a FISA warrant
      1. Agent of a foreign power
      2. The application filed with the FISA Court
    2. Assembling an application for submission to the FISA Court
      1. Investigation and LHM prepared by field office
      2. Role of SSAs and IOSs at FBI Headquarters
      3. Role of NSLU attorneys
      4. Role of OIPR attorneys
      5. Expedited FISA warrants


  1. Introduction
  2. The Phoenix EC
    1. Background
      1. Assigning leads in the FBI
    2. The Phoenix EC
      1. Information on individuals
      2. Recommendations in the Phoenix EC
      3. Addressees on the Phoenix EC
    3. Williams’ theory
    4. FBI Headquarters’ handling of the Phoenix EC
      1. Assignment to the RFU
      2. Assignment to the UBLU
    5. The New York Division’s handling of the EC

  3. OIG analysis
    1. Systemic problems
      1. Ineffective system for assigning and managing work
      2. Lack of adequate strategic analytical capabilities
      3. Resources and training for analysts
      4. Poor information flow and information sharing
      5. General complaints about the difficulties of working in ITOS
    2. Individual performance
      1. Kenneth Williams
      2. FBI Headquarters
      3. Lynn
      4. Jay
      5. FBI management
    3. Other pieces of intelligence concerning airplanes as weapons
    4. Conclusion


  1. Introduction
  2. Statement of facts related to the FBI’s Moussaoui investigation
    1. Moussaoui’s background
    2. The FBI receives information about Moussaoui
    3. The Minneapolis FBI’s investigation
      1. The Minneapolis FBI opens an intelligence investigation
      2. Initial checks for information
      3. The investigation continues
      4. The decision to arrest Moussaoui
      5. Moussaoui’s arrest
      6. Search of hotel room and Al-Attas’ possessions
      7. Interview of Al-Attas
      8. Interview of Moussaoui
      9. Minneapolis FBI’s consultation with Minneapolis United States Attorney’s Office
      10. Al-Attas’ arrest
    4. Expedited deportation order
    5. Discussion regarding search warrant
      1. Henry’s 26-page EC
      2. Assignment of Moussaoui investigation at FBI Headquarters
      3. Prior relationship between the Minneapolis FBI and RFU
      4. Gary seeks advice from ASAC Charles
      5. Henry discusses with Don pursuing criminal warrant
      6. CDC Rowley’s recommendation
    6. The FISA request
      1. Minneapolis seeks to expedite the FISA process
      2. The RFU’s assessment of the Minneapolis FBI’s FISA request
      3. Additional information related to Moussaoui
      4. Consultations with NSLU attorney Howard
      5. French information about Moussaoui
      6. Martin advises Minneapolis FBI that French information is not sufficient to connect Moussaoui to a foreign power
      7. Robin’s research to link Moussaoui to recognized foreign power or terrorist organization
      8. Martin and Robin consult with NSLU attorney Tim
      9. Martin tells Minneapolis its FISA request was not an emergency
      10. Martin seeks information from FAA
      11. Minneapolis FBI seeks assistance from the CIA and London Legat
      12. Minneapolis prepares emergency FISA request
      13. Dispute between Minneapolis and Martin
      14. Minneapolis contacts RFU Unit Chief
      15. Martin and Robin’s consultation with NSLU attorney Susan
      16. Martin’s edits to Minneapolis’ FISA request
      17. Consultation with NSLU chief Spike Bowman
      18. Additional information about Al-Attas and Moussaoui
      19. Failure to reconsider seeking a criminal warrant
      20. Additional French information received about Moussaoui
    7. Deportation plans
    8. Dissemination of information about Moussaoui
    9. September 11 attacks
    10. Information received from British authorities on September 12 and 13
    11. Moussaoui’s indictment

  3. OIG Analysis
    1. No intentional misconduct
    2. Probable cause was not clear
    3. Problems in the FBI’s handling of the Moussaoui investigation
      1. Initial evaluation of the request for a FISA warrant
      2. Failure to reconsider criminal warrant
      3. Conservatism with respect to FISA
    4. Assessment of probable cause
    5. Conflict between Minneapolis and FBI Headquarters
    6. Problems with legal review of FISA request
    7. The Phoenix EC
    8. Edits to Minneapolis FBI’s FISA request
    9. Inadequate dissemination of threat information
    10. Inadequate training

  4. Individual performance
    1. RFU
      1. Don
      2. Martin
      3. Robin
    2. NSLU attorneys
    3. Minneapolis FBI employees

  5. Conclusion


  1. Introduction
  2. Background
    1. OIG investigation
    2. Background on the CIA
      1. CIA authority and mission
      2. Organization of the CIA
      3. The CIA’s collection and internal dissemination of information
      4. Passing of intelligence information by the CIA to the FBI
    3. FBI detailees to the CIA Counterterrorist Center
      1. FBI Headquarters detailees
      2. Washington Field Office detailees
      3. New York Field Office detailee

  3. Factual chronology regarding Hazmi and Mihdhar
    1. Identification in January 2000 of Hazmi and Mihdhar as al Qaeda operatives
      1. Background
      2. NSA provides intelligence regarding planned travel by al Qaeda operatives to Malaysia
      3. Mihdhar’s travel and discovery of his U.S. visa
      4. CIR is drafted to pass Mihdhar’s visa information to the FBI
      5. Mihdhar in Dubai
      6. CIA cable stating that Mihdhar’s visa and passport information had been passed to FBI
      7. The Malaysia meetings and surveillance of Mihdhar
      8. OIG findings regarding FBI’s knowledge about Mihdhar and the Malaysia meetings
    2. Hazmi and Mihdhar in San Diego
      1. Introduction
      2. Hazmi and Mihdhar’s association with Bayoumi
      3. Hazmi and Mihdhar’s communications
      4. Hazmi and Mihdhar’s association with an FBI asset beginning in May 2000
      5. OIG conclusion
    3. Mihdhar’s association with Khallad, the purported mastermind of the Cole attack
      1. Background
      2. Source’s identification of Khallad
      3. OIG conclusions regarding whether the FBI was aware of the source’s identification of Khallad in the Kuala Lumpur photograph
    4. FBI and CIA discussions about the Cole investigation in May and June 2001
      1. Background
      2. Discussions in May 2001
      3. June 11, 2001, meeting
      4. OIG conclusions on May and June discussions
    5. The FBI’s efforts to locate Mihdhar in August and September 2001
      1. Continuing review of the Malaysia meetings in July and August 2001
      2. Discovery of Mihdhar’s entry into the United States
      3. The FBI’s intelligence investigation on Mihdhar
      4. The New York Field Office’s investigation
      5. OIG conclusions on the intelligence investigation
    6. Summary of the five opportunities for the FBI to learn about Mihdhar and Hazmi

  4. OIG’s analysis of the FBI’s handling of the intelligence information concerning Hazmi and Mihdhar
    1. Systemic impediments that hindered the sharing of information between the CIA and the FBI
      1. Use of detailees
      2. FBI employees’ lack of understanding of CIA reporting process
      3. Inadequate procedures for documenting receipt of CIA information
      4. Lack of appropriate infrastructure in FBI field offices
      5. OIG conclusion on impediments to information sharing
    2. The actions of the San Diego FBI
      1. The San Diego FBI’s preliminary investigation of Bayoumi
      2. The FBI’s handling of the informational asset
      3. San Diego FBI’s failure to prioritize counterterrorism investigations
    3. Events in the spring and summer of 2001
      1. Restrictions on the flow of information within the FBI
      2. Problems at the June 11 meeting
      3. The FBI’s investigation in August 2001 to find Mihdhar and Hazmi
    4. Individual performance
      1. Dwight
      2. Malcolm
      3. Stan
      4. Max
      5. Donna
      6. Rob
      7. Richard
      8. Mary

  5. OIG conclusions


  1. Recommendations
    1. Recommendations related to the FBI’s analytical program
    2. Recommendations related to the FISA process
    3. Recommendations related to the FBI’s interactions with the Intelligence Community
    4. Other recommendations

  2. Conclusions


  1. List of Acronyms
  2. Phoenix EC

  4. FBI Response to the Report

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