Skip to comments.TERROR REPORT SLAMS CIA
Posted on 05/11/2004 4:01:15 PM PDT by Prince Charles
TERROR REPORT SLAMS CIA
The CIA failed to pass on warnings to the FBI about two of the terrorists who went on to become September 11 hijackers, it has been claimed.
An FBI agent who was working with the CIA more than a year before the attacks on New York and Washington said he wanted to warn FBI bosses about al Qaeda suspects Khalid Al-Midhar and Nawaq Alhamzi.
They had been spotted at a gathering of terror suspects in Malaysia and were understood to be headed to America, it was reported.
US officials told ABC News the agent was denied permission by the CIA to warn his superiors at the FBI, who could have put airports on alert.
The CIA has claimed the FBI was alerted by email. But FBI sources told ABC they had no record of such warnings.
The episode reinforces claims that the US spy and security agencies badly mishandled intelligence in the months before September 11.
"The failure to communicate that info to the FBI, which would have been potentially able to act on it, is a very serious failure," said Michael Bromwich, a former Justice Department inspector general.
The two terrorists first went to the US in January 2000 and enrolled in a flight school in San Diego, California.
They eventually ended up on American Airlines Flight 77, the Boeing 757 which was flown into the Pentagon.
Former FBI agent and al Qaeda expert Jack Cloonan told ABC: "If that information disseminated, would it have had an impact on the events of 9/11?. I'm telling you that it would have."
Al-Midhar left the US and returned two months before the September 11 attacks.
His name, and that of his accomplice Alhamzi, were not put on law-enforcement watch lists until August 2001.
Mr Bromwich said: "I think the failure of our government to work in the way we hoped it would is a deep setback in our confidence that our government can protect us."
Last Updated: 16:59 UK, Tuesday May 11, 2004