ISIS: STATE OF TERROR
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Exclusive: CIA Documents on 9/11
The CIA has released nearly 800 pages of newly declassified documents on Al Qaeda and the September 11 attacks.
The documents were released in response to an INTELWIRE Freedom of Information Act request for material referenced by the 9/11 Commission. Numerous documents were withheld, and those that were released have been heavily redacted. Despite this, it is highly unusual to receive any material from the CIA in response to a FOIA request, and they provide a fascinating look at the state of the agency's understanding of Al Qaeda over the years.
While much of the material has been previously described, by the 9/11 Commission and other sources, seeing the actual documents still has an impact. For instance, the following extracts:
The documents are presented here in two large PDFs. Each individual document is bookmarked within the PDF. Almost everything in the release was previously classified secret or top secret. The CIA also released several items already available on its Web site or in public testimony, which I omitted.
The documents are presented here in no particular order but I grouped material near the top related to warnings about the activities of Khalid Al Mihdhar, one of the hijackers, and material related to 1998 efforts to capture or kill Osama bin Laden together in roughly chronological order.
You are welcome to report from these documents, but you must credit Intelwire.com. If you wish to break out a specific document for a major media outlet, contact me
. Smaller outlets, please feel free to grab excerpts using screencaps, but kindly remember to add the credit.
CIA 9/11 Binder 1:
CIA 9/11 Binder 2:
- DCI Report: The Rise of UBL and Al Qa'ida
- DCI Task Force Report: Improving Intelligence Warning, 29 May 1992
- 2003-03-18 Bin Attash in Los Angeles in 2000
- 2001-05-15 Email, Suspicious travel, Khaled and Nawaf
- 2001-05-24 Email, Khalid Al-Mihdar in Malaysia
- 2001-08-21 Email, re: Khalid Al Mihdhar
- 2001-Undated, Email, Khallad
- 2001-08-21, Email, Re: Khalid Al Mihdhar
- 1998-05-05 Email, To Michael Scheuer, OBL Rendition
- 1998-09-02 Talking points RE OBL Rendition
- 1998-11-18 Memo re: OBL Rendition
- 1998-11-24 Options for OBL (Rendition)
- 1998-12-20 Email to Michael Scheuer, re: urgent re: UBL (missile )
- 1999-02-10 Talking Points: CIA Operations Against Usama bin Ladin
- 1999-05-17 Email from Scheuer, your note, UBL ops
- 2001-05-03 Senior Executive Intelligence Brief, Bin Ladin Public Profile May Presage Attach
- 2001-06-25, Senior Executive Intelligence Brief, Bin Ladin and Associates Making Near-Term Threats
- 2001-06-30 Senior Executive Intelligence Brief, Bin Ladin Planning High Profile Attacks
- 2001-06-23 Senior Executive Intelligence Brief, Bin Ladin Attacks May Be Imminent
- 2001-06-30 Senior Executive Intelligence Brief, Bin Ladin Threats Are Real
- 2001-07-02 Senior Executive Intelligence Brief, Planning for Bin Ladin Attacks Continues Despite Delay
- 2001-07-25 Senior Executive Intelligence Brief, One Bin Ladin Operation Delayed, Others Ongoing
- 2001-08-07 Senior Executive Intelligence Brief, Bin Ladin Determined to Strike in US
- 1998-12-04 Memorandum, Usama Bin Laden, From Director CIA
- Presidential Daily Brief, Bin Ladin Determined to Strike in US
- 1997-01-06 Usama bin Ladin Trying to Develop WMD Capability
- 1997-01-06 Usama bin Ladin Trying to Develop WMD Capability
- 1992-07-17 Improving Intelligence Warning
- 2001-08-23 DCI Update, Terrorist Threat Review, Islamic Extremist Learns To Fly
- 12 JUN 20 01 Biographical Information on Usama bin Ladin Associates
- 2001-06-24 MBC TV Carries Video Report on Bin Ladin, Followers in Training
- 2002-12-06 Fraudulently Acquired Saudi Passports Facilitates Al Qa'ida Travel
- Undated, Bin Ladin Threatening to Attack US Aircraft
- 2003-06-20 Afghanistan Camps Central to 11 September Plot: Can Al Qa'ida Train on the Run?
- DCI Counterterrorist Center: Attack on the US Cole, Preliminary Findings, 10 November 2000
- 2000-10-18 The Threat to US Personnel in Yemen
- 1999-04-09 Islamic Terrorists: Using Nongovernmental Organizations Extensively
- 1999-11-12 DCI UBL Update
- 2001-08-12 CIA document, Atta did not travel to Prague
- Undated, Planning by Usama Bin Laden to Hijack U.S. Airplane, Successful Circumvention of Security Measures in U.S. Airport
- 2001-04-12 Pursuing the Bin Ladin Financial Target
- 2002-02-27 Identifying Al Qa'ida's Donors and Fundraisers, A Status Report
- Undated, Bombings in Nairobi and Dar Es Salaam -- An Update
- 1997-08-25 DCI Talking. Points Regarding Operations Against Usama Bin Ladin
- 1997-01-08 Memo on OBL Fatwas
- 1997-06-17 UBL financial support to Gamaat Islamiyya and others
- 1998-12-24 Timeframe for hijacking operation
- 1999-01-08 Hijacking Operation
- Undated, Sudanese [redacted] ties to Gamaat Islamiyya
- Undated, UBL funding of Gamaat Islamiyya
- 1998-12-04 Bin Ladin Preparing To Hijack US Aircraft and Other Attacks
- 1998-09-22 Incorporation of Ayman Al Zawahiri's Al Jihad into UBL's Al Qa'ida
- Undated, Terrorism: Extremists planning attacks against US interests in Pakistan
- 2001-03-27 Afghanistan: An Incubator for International Terrorism
- 2002-11-14 Saudi-Based Financial Support for Terrorist Organizations
Check out J.M. Berger's new book, Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam, on sale everywhere.
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New America Foundation Panel: Infiltration and surveillance
New America Foundation report: PATCON, a case study on infiltration
- 2001-07-03 DCI Update Terrorist Threat Review
- 2001-02-06 Senior Executive Intelligence Brief, Sunni Terrorist Threat Growing
- 2004-03-11 Name Variants and Aliases of 11 September Hijackers and Associates
- 2000-06-30 Intelligence Community Threat Advisory: Bin Ladin Orchestrating Possible Anti-US Attacks
- 2001-03-23 Senior Executive Intelligence Brief, Afghanistan: Taliban Holding Firm on Bin Ladin For Now
- 2001-05-23 Senior Executive Intelligence Brief, Terroristr Groups Said Cooperating on US Hostage Plan
- 2001-05-24 Call-In Threat Of High- Explosive Attack
- 1996-12-17 Africa Division Recommendations Regarding Sudan
- 1999-09-06 UAE Imposition of Sanctions Could Disrupt Bin Ladin's Finances
- 1999-03-16 Iraqi Delegation Meets with Bin Ladin
- 1997-07-14 Activities of Bin Ladin's in Pakistan, Afghanistan and India
- 2003-07-02 Bin Ladin Finances
- 1997-02-13 Al Qaeda Links to Hosni Mubarak Assassination Attempt
- 1997-08-11 Al Qaeda Plan to Establish Anti-Saddam Hussein Unit
- 1997-01-31 COOPERATION AMONG USAMA BIN LADIN' S ISLAMIC ARMY, IRAN, AND THE NIF (Sudan)
- 1997-01-31 TERRORISM: ESTABLISHMENT OF A TRIPARTITE AGREEMENT AMONG USAMA BIN LADIN, IRAN, AND THE NIF
- 1997-03-18 UBL's Attempts to Obtain Uranium
- 1997-04-30 USAMA BIN LADIN'S ACTIVITIES IN SOMALIA AND SUDANESE NI F SUPPORT
- 1997-03-05 USAMA BIN LADIN' S LINKS TO A SOUTHERN YEMENI GROUP
- 1997-01-08 Regarding 1992 UBL Fatwa
- 1996-12-19 RESPONSIBILITIES AND BACKGROUND OF ISLAMIC ARMY SHURA COUNCIL MEMBERS
- 2003-03-10 Al Qa'ida in Sudan, 1992-96: Old School Ties Lead Down Dangerous Paths
- 1996-11-26 HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF THE ISLAMIC ARMY, AND BIN LADIN'S MOVE FROM AFGHANISTAN TO SUDAN
- 1997-04-18 USAMA BIN LA DIN'S HISTORICAL LINKS TO 'ABDALLAH AZZAM
- 2000-11-02 Bin Ladin's Terrorist Operations: Meticulous and Adaptable
- 1999-07-29 Ariana Afghan Airlines: Assets and Activities
- 2001-07-06 Expanding Links Between Alien Smugglers and Extremists: Threats to the United States
- 1999-12-11 Senior Executive Intelligence Brief, Bin Ladin to Exploit Looser Security During Holidays
- Afghanistan: Strains Surface Between Taliban and Bin Ladin
- Terrorist Threat to US Interests in Caucasus
- 2001-08-24 TERRORISM: SANITIZED VERSION OF THREAT REPORT
- 2000-07-14 DCI UPDATE: Islamic Extremist Terrorist Threat
- 2000-07-07 DCI UPDATE: Islamic Extremist Terrorist Threat
- 2000-05-22 DCI UPDATE: Islamic Extremist Update
- 2000-04 -05 DCI UPDATE: Islamic Extremist Update
- 2000-03-06 EXDIR Update: Islamic Extremist Terrorist Threat
- 2000-04-03 Islamic Extremist Update
- 2000-02-18 DCI Update: Islamic Extremist Terrorist Threat
- 2000-01-07 Update: Islamic Extremist Terrorist Threat
- 1999-12-16 DCI Briefing Millennium Threat
- DCI Document Request No. 16, Item No. 1: Production of the [redacted] Usama Bin Ladin Situation Reports
- 1999-10-28 DDCI UBL Update
- 1999-08-03 UBL Update
- 2002-08-07 Terrorism: Amount of Money It Takes To Keep al-Qa'ida Functioning
- 1997-01-27 UBL Fatwas
- 1996-12-18 Structure of UBL's Islamic Army
- 1996-12-19 TERRORISM: ACTIVITIES AND FUNCTIONS OF THE ISLAMIC ARMY'S MILITARY COMMITTEE, AND POLITICAL AND SHARIA COMMITTEE; PROCESS OF APPROVING TERRORIST OPERATIONS
- 1999-01-27 How Bin Ladin Commands a Global Terrorist Network
- 2003-12-10 Letter to Douglas Feith from Stanley Moskowitz, Director of Congressional Affairs, re: Corrections to Iraq-AQ claims
- 1999-04-05 Targeting Study of US Embassy, Nairobi, Kenya
- 1995-12 Sketch of a South Asia-Based Terrorist Training and Logistic Network
- RESPONSE TO DCI DOCUMENT REQUEST NUMBER 52, ITEM 2 (9/11 Commission)
- 2001: Central Intelligence: Origin and Evolution
- 1994-10 OIG Inspection Report: The Agency's Counterterrorism Effort
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Labels: 9-11, 9-11-Commission, Al-Qaeda, CIA, East-African-Embassy-Bombings, Hijackers, Osama-Bin-Laden, September-11
Views expressed on INTELWIRE are those of the author alone.
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ISIS: THE STATE
Jessica Stern and J.M. Berger co-author the forthcoming book, "ISIS: The State of Terror," from Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins. The book, which will debut in early 2015, will examine the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, its potential fall, how it is transforming the nature of extremist movements, and how we should evaluate the threat it presents. Jessica Stern is a Harvard lecturer on terrorism and the author of the seminal text Terror in the Name of God: Why Religious Militants Kill. J.M. Berger is author of the definitive book on American jihadists, Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam, a frequent contributor to Foreign Policy, and editor of Intelwire.com.
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